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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit June 8, 2015

From the CEO's Office

Washington, D.C. Update

It was quite a productive week in Washington last week. I had the good fortune of attending the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) annual workforce conference and presented an 'AHEC & NAO 101' workshop to an intimate group of conference attendees. During the conference I had an opportunity to talk with a number of attendees, many of whom were representing FQHCs from across the country and encouraged them to connect with their local AHECs. It was a nice way to make some new connections as well as highlight the impact AHECs have in most parts of the country.

Beyond the ACU conference, I had an opportunity to meet with the deputy director of policy, programs and advocacy from the National Indian Health Board to discuss potential areas of collaboration given that a few of our AHECs are working with some of the tribes to promote health and health care workforce programs. There will be at least one follow up meeting in the next few weeks where we'll work to develop a specific focal point of collaboration.

Also, I had an extremely productive meeting with staff from the National Library of Medicine in the Specialized Information Services Branch (NLM is part of the National Institutes of Health). We discussed NAO and the AHEC Program and areas of collaboration as well. I am aware that some of our AHECs have worked with the NLM and have received funding for specific projects. We will continue our discussion and seek to find some specific areas to partner.

I see potential with both the NIHB and the NLM, and as the dialogue evolves I will keep you all informed regarding potential opportunities and next steps.

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be Tuesday June 9th from 12:30--1:30pm EST.

I'll provide an overview of my meetings last week in D.C., as well as share updates regarding our HPV CDC Project, the June 2016 NAO Conference, the work of the board and the on-going strategic visioning process and more!

Dial in at:

1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

Join us to see where the discussion will go!


Congratulations to Dr. Mark Mengel, who is retiring from his position of AHEC director in Arkansas. A message from Mark to us all: "I wish you and all the other AHECers the best in your continued fight to obtain more resources for AHEC". If you'd like to drop Mark a short note, here is his email address:

Please join me in wishing Dr. Mengel the very best in his retirement!

HPV Immunization Project

Regional Coordinator update

Welcome Sarah Wood! She is the new HPV regional coordinator for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Sarah is a registered dietitian who has been working in Wellness Connections at Mosaic Life Care the past seven years. Mosaic Life Care, located in St. Joseph, MO, is the host for Northwest Missouri AHEC. She is coming into the fold at a very busy time for regional coordinators as they were just given the HPV Resource Guide and Environmental Scan Protocol, developed by the GW Cancer Institute.

State profile sheets

Our partners at GW Cancer Institute just finished the customized state profile sheets for state entities to use as handouts at their HPV events. The profile sheets will be sent to state entities as part of a CE toolkit for the project. If you need yours for events in the next two weeks, please request through

HPV programming update

A CE toolkit is being revamped to help states with CE program planning. Although work is still underway to attach credits to the You are the Key presentation, state entities can begin HPV programming now as CE credit is not required for your programs. If you have a program coming up in the next two weeks, let us know and we will provide you with an evaluation form. Official training and release of materials is coming soon!

New webpages

Did you know all of the HPV project information – including past webinars – are located on the NAO website? Right now, that information is located under the Initiatives Tab. Very soon, the HPV Immunization Project will soon have its own landing page:


The 1st session of the 114th Congress has been active as the Republican-controlled House and Senate move through an aggressive legislative agenda, which includes a number of budget, health, and medical-related items.


House and Senate appropriations panels have begun to move forward with issuing subcommittee allocations and marking up individual appropriations bills. Popular bills with more generous allocations, such as Veterans and Defense have advanced, while those bills will less-generous allocations, including Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) and Interior/Environment, are still waiting for consideration.

The House allocation for the LHHS bill, which funds many public health agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Department of Education, is so dramatically reduced from its fiscal year 2015 amount that it is unclear how or if a bill will be considered by the House. Most likely there will be a June/July subcommittee mark-up of a draft bill that will serve as a placeholder until action by the Senate late in the summer–followed by an end-game scenario that provides a funding boost for the LHHS bill that allows for a final, streamlined version in an omnibus/CR-type measure.

The Interior/Environment appropriations bill faces a similar outlook to the LHHS bill. The House allocation is notably low. Further, it is an annual target for controversial environmental riders, which slow down its consideration and cause great consternation on both sides of the aisle and at both ends of the Capital. The end-game for Interior/Environment may ultimately mirror that of LHHS.

We will continue to keep you informed on individual appropriations bills as they move (or don’t move) through the process.

Job Opportunity - Director, Oregon AHEC

The Oregon Area Health Education Center announces an opening for the Director of the Oregon AHEC.  This person will be responsible for overall leadership, direction, organization and fiscal oversight of the AHEC program at OHSU working collaboratively with the Executive Directors, Governing Boards of the Regional Centers, and the AHEC Statewide Advisory Board. The Director also collaborates with the National AHEC Organization (NAO) and serves as the Oregon AHEC Program Office representative to the NAO. The Director must have a doctoral degree and successful experience writing and managing grants, preferably including those offered by HRSA. The Director must have a strong passion for, and experience in, the conception and implementation of educational and workforce development programs to address the health of individuals and communities in rural and underserved areas. 

For more information about the job and how to apply, please go to:, or see the job section on the NAO website at

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