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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit November 2, 2015

From the CEO's Office

This week you'll see a little something different in the Monday Update. Starting today, the CDC HPV project and ​the National Library of Medicine Teen Health Information Literacy Project will fall under the new National Training Center section. All national-scale NAO/AHEC projects will ​be found under that section of the Monday Update. It will be​ a way to better keep track of a growing body of work that engages AHECs from all parts of the country. ​ I look forward to your feedback.​

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, November 3rd from 12:30--1:30pm EST. I'm looking forward to another robust discussion! Dial in at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

NAO Special Interest Groups

Upcoming Webinars

As you've seen in the last few Monday Updates, I've proposed the idea regarding NAO organized and supported 'Special Interest Groups" to connect AHECs that have similar interests or are doing similar work in disparate parts of the county as a means of creating a robust virtual national-scale learning community. Thus far a number of you have started to populate the spreadsheet which I'm thrilled about! We will be updating the spreadsheet with conference call numbers this week that you can use, so please be sure to sign up for what you'd like to discuss and then it will be up to you to get the conversation going with your colleagues; have at it and enjoy!​

Ideas that have included though are not limited to: ​

  • Future trends in health care

  • Population health

  • Patient navigation

  • Health workforce and workforce development

  • Professional-personal life balance

  • Sharing resources for AHECs similar in size, infrastructure and ​regional demographics

  • Interprofessional education and practice

  • National data collection processes and a shared national database for AHEC data

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

View Google Doc Spreadsheet

Communications Committee Co-Chair Needed

Have you thought about getting involved in the work of NAO, but weren’t sure how?  Well, here’s your opportunity!  Much of the work of the NAO is accomplished by volunteer AHEC-ers just like you who serve on an NAO committee.  Most committees have two co-chairs who work together to lead the work of their committee.  The Communications Committee provides leadership and coordinates with other committees on behalf of the NAO Board of Directors on all aspects of NAO written and electronic communications, both internally and externally.  You do not need to be a communications “content expert” to co-chair this committee.  If you are a good organizer and detail oriented you would likely be a good candidate to fill this important role.  The time commitment is approximately 4-5 hours per month.  For more information, please contact Rob Trachtenberg, CEO, at 401-248-4837 or

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

TED Talks

TED ( talks are a wonderful way to learn something new in a short period of time. I came across ​this talk regarding leadership a couple of weeks ago and it spurred a great deal of interest and thinking on my part. Given the many hats ​we wear and how we demonstrate leadership in a wide variety of environments and under a great many circumstances, considering what the presenter has to say may make sense to you. It's worth a quick look: ​Click to view article

FY 2016-2017 Budget Update

Speaker of the House John Boehner made good on his promise to “clean up the barn” last week and his final act was to negotiate a comprehensive fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017 budget deal with Senate leadership and the White House. The agreement averts a federal default on the national debt through March of 2017, paves the way for Congress to finish up appropriations bills for FY 2016, and sets overall budget numbers for FY 2017. Before transitioning the Speakership to Paul Ryan (R-WI) last Thursday, the comprehensive budget deal was passed by the House. The Senate approved the agreement early Friday morning and the President then signed the measure.

The bipartisan budget agreement covers two years and will add about $33 billion in non-defense discretionary spending (which includes public health and medical research programs) in FY 2016. For FY 2017, the package includes an additional $23 billion in non-defense discretionary spending that is coupled with a scheduled $10 billion increase in the overall budget cap.

With the additional spending allocation for FY 2016, lawmakers in the House and Senate can finish the twelve annual appropriations bills and will likely roll them into a FY 2016 omnibus appropriations package that increases funding for healthcare and education programs. The current Continuing Resolution or “CR” is set to expire on December 11th, and Congress is expected to finalize the appropriations package during the next several weeks.

The new funding provided by the FY 2016-FY 2017 budget agreement is largely offset and the package provides some entitlement reforms, including targeted cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. 

We will continue to keep you informed as the effort to craft an FY 2016 omnibus appropriations package with additional funding for medical research and public health programs moves forward.

National Training Center

New Regional Coordinator Hired

Michelle Richard has joined the HPV Project as a regional coordinator, serving Region A: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New York. She will be splitting her time between the HPV Project and serving as the operations assistant at Berkshire AHEC in Pittsfield, Mass. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history, and also a Massachusetts Teacher Licensure for History in grades 5-12. She has previously taught in local schools, covering multiple disciplines and grade levels. Michelle has also worked for several years at a history museum as a lead interpreter and volunteer coordinator. Welcome to the HPV team!

New Research validates the need for this project!

According to new research, doctors – not parents – are the biggest obstacle to the HPV vaccine. Primary care doctors treat the HPV vaccine differently from other routinely recommended immunizations, hesitating to recommend it fully and on time and approaching their discussions with parents differently. Read more

NLM-CPSC-NAO Teen Health Information Literacy Project

Last week we welcomed the below listed AHEC centers and programs to the National Library of Medicine – Center for Public Service Communication – National AHEC Organization teen health information literacy learning collaborative. The five projects will provide a variety of interesting platforms on which to test the selected NLM health literacy model including working with urban programs, frontier groups, First Nations tribal groups, and a multi-center AHEC partnership. The learning collaborative structure will allow project participants to share best practices and their implementation experiences with each other throughout the year-long project.

Congratulations to these AHECS, their directors, and their program staff:

Boston AHEC, director Uchenna Ndulue

Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island AHEC, director Gabriella Kersaint

Centennial AHEC/SW Colorado AHEC Partnership, director Monica Mika and Kathleen McInnis

Eastern Connecticut AHEC, director Maritza Bond

Montana AHEC, director Kristin Juliar

AHEC On the Hill: A Capitol Idea

The planning for the June 26-30, 2016 NAO Washington, D.C. conference is ratcheting up to a fever pitch and ​a great deal of work is currently underway to ensure that the 2016 NAO conference will be ​as outstanding as expected. Please be sure to check out the NAO ​website which has all the conference information, including the Online Call for Presentations. Please see below for details and consider submitting a proposal abstract: ​

The conference theme for 2016 is AHEC on the Hill: A Capitol Idea!   The goals of the conference are:

     1. To provide practical skills and information to implement or improve AHEC-sponsored programs.

     2. To enhance the professional development of AHEC directors, staff and board members.

     3. To enable participants to develop new approaches that advance the AHEC mission.

Proposals are to be submitted online. Please read all of the directions carefully to ensure that all submission requirements are met.

Please click on the following link to access the online submission system:

Note: The due date for final submission is Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 11:59 p.m. CT.

Care Coordination Improvement Series

Join us for a 30 minute, monthly series!

1st Wednesday of the Month

November 4, 2015: 1:00 pm

Using Health Care Literacy Assessment Information for better care coordination Success story: Ruth Wingel, RN, BSN, Professional Development Specialist, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center

Come prepared to discuss the following questions:

  1. How do we assure that the patient actually understands follow-up instructions?

  2. When we identify a health literacy challenge, what do we do next?

  3. Are there resources for patients whom we identify as experiencing a health literacy challenge?

Dial-in: 800-747-5150; Access Code: 9963169

Traumatic Brain Injury Webinar

ICD-10 Coding Guidance for Traumatic Brain Injury within the Military Health System

Nov. 12, 2015; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

All programs covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act were mandated to transition to ICD-10 code sets as of Oct. 1, 2015. This transition accommodates dramatic changes in the practice of medicine and provides the flexibility to adapt as medicine changes. The new code set also provides a significant increase in the specificity of reporting, allowing more information to be conveyed in a code.

This webinar will address how the ICD-10-CM codes use seven alphanumeric characters to represent illnesses and conditions and present the commonly used codes for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Accurate ICD-10 coding is critical; proper coding provides a detailed clinical picture of a patient population, contributes to quality outcomes and standards of care, permits reimbursements for clinical services and prevents over- or under-billing for services. In addition, it permits oversight of population health within a military treatment facility, a region or the entire Military Health System (MHS) as well as helps anticipate demand for future TBI services.

At the conclusion of this webinar, MHS providers and coders will be able to:

  • State the importance of proper coding

  • Identify appropriate ICD-10-CM codes to use for TBI care

  • Formulate ICD-10-CM codes correctly for TBI care

  • Apply consistent ICD-10-CM codes among providers and facilities


Judith Aurelio, RHIT, CCS-P
AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer
Patient Administration Systems and Biostatistics Activity (PASBA)
Medical Records Administration Specialist
Ft. Sam Houston, Texas

Gina M. Lambdin, CPC
PASBA/Coding and Training Department Trainer
ICD-10-CM/PCS Approved Trainer
Behavioral Health Coding Specialist
Ft. Sam Houston, Texas

Lynne M. Lowe, PT, DPT, OCS
ORISE Fellow – Knowledge Preservation
Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division
Health Policy and Services
Army Office of the Surgeon General
Falls Church, Virginia

SFC John Makowski
Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge
Physical Performance Service Line
Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division
Healthcare Delivery and Services
Army Office of the Surgeon General
Falls Church, Virginia


Sherray Holland, PA-C
TBI Clinical Educator
Contract Support to Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Silver Spring, Maryland

Continuing Education

Continuing education credit is available from Professional Education Services Group (PESG).  You must register by 3 p.m. (ET) Nov. 12, 2015, to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit. 

The awarding of continuing education credit is limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide psychological health and traumatic brain injury care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.


Sign up for the webinar at Please note, registration is required for each webinar regardless if the participant has an existing PESG account.

Upon completion of registration, a confirmation email will be sent providing webinar event details.

Once registered, you may use Adobe Connect or Defense Collaboration Services to attend the webinar.           

If you have questions or need assistance, please email the DCoE webinar team at

2015 Webinar Series

Addressing Health Disparities through the National Prevention Strategy and Partnerships Presented by Region VIII Federal Partners

The Role of State, Local & Tribal Governments

Thursday, November 19, 2015, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, MT (4:00-5:30 ET)

2:00-2:05 Welcome and Adobe Connect Logistics Speaker: Cherri Pruitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Region VIII Maternal and Child Health Consultant

2:05-2:20 What IS the National Prevention Strategy, it’s Strategy to Eliminate Health Disparities and the Role of Social Determinants of Health Speaker: Lorenzo Olivas, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Office of Minority Health, Region VIII

2:20-2:40 Walking in Our Moccasins - Imagine living in a community where the poverty rate is 40%, where alcoholism, substance abuse, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and teen suicide are taking lives so fast the median age of the community is only 26 years old, and the average life expectancy only 55. These are the conditions in which Native American people across the nation are living, making health disparities on reservations a national crisis. In this session, you will learn about 7 key strategies the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe used to create more than $7.5M in funding to address health disparities and other social, economic and environmental issues and how Ute Mountain Ute Tribe youth used the strengths-passions-needs approach to address teen suicide. Speaker: Beverly Santicola, Grants Coordinator for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

2:40-3:00 Helping Rural Communities Thrive! - USDA Rural Development helps to finance infrastructure, economic and community development projects throughout rural America. This presentation will highlight how Rural Development helps address health disparities in rural and tribal communities and showcase examples ranging from financing the construction of health clinics and hospitals through low interest rate loans to providing grants that help support telemedicine programs. Speaker: Tedd Buelow, Native American Coordinator for USDA Rural Development

3:00-3:20 Setting a Place at North Dakota’s Table - Healthy North Dakota is a unique initiative that works to improve the health of North Dakotans by building innovative statewide partnerships. Through collaboration, partnerships and coordination, Healthy North Dakota is working to ensure a place at the table and a voice for speaking to health disparities, and working upstream on socioeconomic factors. Speaker: Karen Ehrens, Healthy North Dakota Coordinator

3:20-3:30 Questions & Answers and Additional Resources


Please contact: RegionVIIIFedPartners@HHS.GOV with any questions, to be added to our direct webinar series distribution list, or to request a written transcript of this event. Continuing education credits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this activity are pending.

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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