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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit December 14, 2015

From the CEO's Office

As I mentioned last week, I"ll be in Washington, D.C. this week with NAO president Jacqueline Wynn as we make the rounds on Capitol Hill in support of AHEC funding for FY2016 and begin setting the stage for AHEC funding in FY2017.

As important as the in-person visits are, making regular calls to your Congressional Delegation is equally or more important to an effective and strategic advocacy effort. As I'm sure you've seen, there have were three (3) 'Action Alerts' last week encouraging you to make calls to your legislators in Washington. Please be sure to continue making those calls in support of AHEC funding; the importance of regular calls cannot be overstated.

The Senate passed a 5-day CR by voice vote last Thursday.

The Senate passed a 5-day CR by voice vote last Thursday. On Friday, The House passed a stop-gap spending bill that will give Congress until the middle of this week to complete a deal on a year-end appropriations package needed to fund the government.The 5-day CR does not make any substantive changes to the current CR – it only extends the date of the expiration. The spending patch will hopefully give negotiators sufficient time to work through their differences – the new deadline will be Dec. 16 by midnight.

Disagreements on a variety of ideological policy riders remain, including measures that would freeze the resettlement of refugees from Syria and Iraq, halting the Waters of the United States rule, relaxing restrictions on campaign finance, shielding e-cigarette manufacturers from an FDA approval process, ending the crude oil export ban and more. Continuing to make calls to your legislators in support of FY2016 AHEC funding is still important!

Thank You for Your Proposals!

More than 90 proposals were submitted for single, double or poster sessions for the 2016 NAO Conference. What a tremendous response! The Program Subcommittee would like to thank all who submitted. A team of reviewers will diligently assess and consider each proposal in the next several weeks. Our goal is to notify you of the status of your proposal by early February.

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

A Tool for Connecting with Colleagues AND catching up on all things NAO

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be Tuesday, December 22nd from 12:30--1:00pm EST. I will be providing an update of the December 15-17th Hill visits as well as as updates regarding the 2016 NAO conference and any other "breaking news". Dial in at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

Please note that this call will be only 30 minutes long.

NAO Special Interest Groups

​I'm so pleased that some of you are volunteering to get the groups going; great work!! Please keep at it! I'll keep pushing the SIGs as I know there is considerable interest in them as evidenced by how many of you have signed up for one or more SIG.

Reminder: you DO NOT need to be an expert in your area or areas of interest; the only requirement is that you organize the group using the free conference call number we've provided for you. Go forth and engage with your colleagues! I look forward to hearing how the discussions are progressing.

Here's the link to the spreadsheet; and remember, you can edit and add areas of interest:

SIG Spreadsheet

"Give an Hour"

Give an Hour is an organization dedicated to developing a national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society, beginning with the mental health needs of those who serve and their families. Given NAO and a number of AHECs still involved with training primary care providers regarding mental health issues facing veterans, I thought I would share this:

"Give an Hour is gearing up for the new year by seeking information from our wonderful partners. We would love to highlight any information you have that you would like us to share with our stakeholders, mental health professionals and partners in the community. Give an Hour’s main focus in military related but we also are a partner for Change Direction (changing the conversation about mental health in America).

We are looking for content highlighting training on military culture or topics related to serving military, success stories from how your organization or members have contributed to military or mental health empowerment this year, interesting highlights or Save the Dates for upcoming programming and more.

If you have anything relevant you would like for us to share with our followers, we would be happy to do so!"

Please submit to

Erin Timmermans, MPA
Program Specialist
Got Your 6, Army National Guard & Army Reserve Programming
Give an Hour

Northwestern CT AHEC is requesting proposals from AHECs interested in participating in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Corps.

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an evidenced based training program that helps individuals and communities better understand mental health and respond appropriately to adolescents who may be experiencing a mental health issue.  President Obama and other national, state and local leaders are calling for the widespread implementation of YMHFA as a strategy to improve access to mental health care services for young people suffering from mental illness.

NWCTAHEC seeks AHECs to serve as host sites for full-time AmeriCorps members during the 2016-17 program year.  AmeriCorps members are trained as YMHFA Instructors and implement YMHFA trainings for a wide cross section of community members who work with young people.

This is a terrific opportunity for AHECs who want to begin or bolster their ability to implement YMHFA widely in the communities they serve.

Follow this link for the Request for Proposal to learn more about this opportunity. View the PDF

National Training Center

Promote "You are the Key" webinar to professionals AND students!

We are excited to have Dr. Robin Curtis of CDC present our next nationwide webinar targeted at both health professionals and health professions students. Dr. Curtis will be giving the "You are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention" presentation and credit will be awarded by Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. Our webinar room capacity is 500 and we’d love to max it out! Here’s a template for you to use in an email to promote this webinar. The template includes the learning objectives and registration link! NAO and CDC graphics are available upon request to go with promotional materials. Based on participants' registration data, NAO will count those who attend from your state as part of your training totals.

NAO training included in Immunization Action Coalition newsletter!
The social media training offered by NAO was featured in the Immunization Action Coalition weekly newsletter last week. It was exciting to be featured and boosted our webinar attendance to nearly 200 people!

2016 Conference Information

Save the Dates!

The National AHEC Organization’s Countdown to the Capitol webinar series is designed to prepare the entire NAO membership to join together as one strong voice on Capitol Hill during the 2016 NAO Conference; AHEC on the Hill: A Capitol Idea. The 2016 NAO Conference will be held June 27th- 30th, 2016 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.

NAO is planning activities throughout the coming months to support the membership as you prepare to visit Washington, D.C. and tell your important story to your elected officials.

Please save the dates for the upcoming Countdown to the Capitol webinar series.

Friday, January 15, 2016         12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Friday, March 11, 2016          12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Friday, May 13, 2016              12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time

More information on each webinar will be shared in the near future.  The content for each topic in the series is designed to meet the membership needs and is based on results from NAO advocacy survey.  Each webinar will present a different Advocacy topic and will build upon the previous webinar.  This interactive robust webinar series will share proven strategies, provide tools, allow for dialog and time for questions.

The Countdown to the Capitol is brought to you by your NAO leadership, the NAO Conference Planning Committee and its Advocacy Subcommittee,  Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington, NAO Public Policy Committee and through the coordination and efforts of many, many others within NAO.

Stay tuned for more details and registration information and welcome aboard as we Countdown to the Capitol!

For more information, please contact your NAO Public Policy Co-Chairs:

Angela M. Boyer (Indiana AHEC Network)

Kristina Fjeld-Sparks (New Hampshire AHEC)


MAIN SClubs Logo with taglineCatskill Hudson Area Health Education Center in downstate New York is offering an innovative, effective and lively after-school club curriculum known as “Scrubs Club” to Area Health Education Centers nationwide to introduce students to healthcare careers via local secondary schools.

Since its creation four years ago, 15 schools have been using it to vitalize student clubs on a subject for which no similar club curriculum had previously existed. This breakthrough program brings healthcare careers alive through hands-on activities, thoughtful exercises and meaningful field trips. Scrubs Club was introduced to the AHEC network nationally at this year’s NAO Business Summit.

Early evaluations of the impact of Scrubs Club on student participants, as a three-year curriculum, are showing that it improves the likelihood of a student completing a high school degree, proceeding to some level of higher education or vocational or technical education, and identifying a stable and prosperous career track – while contributing to the well-being of a community as part of a growing sector of work.

Scrubs Club can be adapted into many formats. It can be used in a daily classroom curriculum as well as an afterschool program. It meets New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies Core Curriculum and Learning Standards, so AHECs can review it against your own state’s standards in that area.

Sessions consist of 1.5-hour, activity-based lessons. These hands-on experiences demonstrate to students that continuing their education beyond high school can be meaningful and relevant to their future.

Scrubs Club contains 27 90-minute health career exploration and life-skills lesson plans that are extremely adaptable. The program binder is tabbed by academic grade, but each of the lesson plans can be effectively used in any sequence that best suits the instructor’s teaching style and needs. The program itself has been successfully utilized as a three-year, longitudinal program; an afterschool program following a tailored schedule; a joint, multi-school weekend workshop; and incorporated into a daily classroom curriculum.


In Scrubs Club, students learn the real-life roles and rewards of serving in healthcare occupations. They learn about educational and employment skills development. Field trip options to health-related facilities and exhibits are also offered. Scrubs Club is now utilized by high schools throughout the Catskill Hudson AHEC region, as well as by at-risk youth programs, afterschool programs, community-based career workshops, BOCES units, Science & Technology Entry Programs (STEP), and other AHECs, including in Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana.

The success of Scrubs Club relies on the ability of the school to identify an instructor/facilitator who can recruit and organize students and manage this simple, turnkey, comprehensive curriculum. One does not have to have clinical experience to facilitate this program. Some potential instructor backgrounds, by way of example, could include:

  • Family and consumer science teachers

  • Health educators

  • School nurses

  • Guidance/career counselors

  • Physical education instructors

  • School administrators

  • Teachers of other subjects

  • STEM educators

  • AHEC staff/volunteers

  • Leaders of local community-based organizations and healthcare providers who may collaborate with your school

Catskill Hudson AHEC supplies many “props” in a single easy-to-store shipment, and can help determine outcome evaluation standards. If content changes become necessary, Catskill Hudson AHEC automatically contacts buyers.

We sell AHECs the curriculum for $1,500. If you identify a school that wishes to use it in addition to your making use of it, we handle fulfillment of the order directly with the school, and $300 of the sale goes to your AHEC. Your AHEC can then claim deliverables resulting from the sale against your service targets for grant reporting. Catskill Hudson AHEC can provide sample grant letters should an AHEC decide to try to seek foundation support for the program.

(Oh…and why is this program called Scrubs Club? Among other reasons, it’s because you can make it possible for students to receive personalized “scrub tops” like you might see a health professional wearing in any number of healthcare settings.)

Scrubs Club was created with private funding from the Foundation for Community Health and through federal and New York State grants for AHEC operating funds.

image007To learn more about Scrubs Club and the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center – you may wish to visit our website at…or to be a continuing part of the conversation about the value of after-school programming and Scrubs Club in your area, you can like our Facebook page at, follow our Twitter feed at, and check out our Instagram at

To learn more, you can also reach Kathy Doyle, our program/marketing coordinator, at; Carolyn Steele, our administrative assistant, at; or Rob Wingate, executive director, by calling (845) 883-7260, Mondays through Fridays, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Or you can e-mail

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

National AHEC Organization
7044 S. 13th St.
Oak Creek, WI 53154