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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit October 5, 2015

From the CEO's Office

FY2016 Federal Budget Update

As we look back to last week and October 1st, and the beginning of fiscal year 2016, congressional leaders found a path to keep funds flowing to federal agencies under a continuing appropriations resolution (CR). On Wednesday September 30th, the Senate and House will pass a “clean CR” which will avert another government shutdown and keep federal agencies in business at their current fiscal year 2015 levels through December 11th.

Congressional leaders intend for the continuing resolution to buy time for Congress and the President to negotiate an overarching budget package that ultimately allows the twelve annual appropriations bills to move towards enactment at the end of the calendar year. Most Members of Congress believe that more spending is needed in both defense and non-defense discretionary programs and there is pressure to lift budget caps that are forcing reductions. Further, the administration is unlikely to support appropriations legislation that includes additional funding reductions for federal programs.

Despite the passage of a continuing resolution, there remains much disagreement by vocal factions in Congress over divisive policy riders and overall federal spending levels. With majority leadership in the rambunctious House in flux, the current path forward for FY 2016 appropriations is by no means a certainty. The short-term continuing resolution has restored a sense of optimism on Capitol Hill, but more work is needed to ensure final fiscal year 2016 spending measures with additional funding for key programs are ultimately signed into law.

We will continue to keep you informed as this process unfolds over the coming months.

NAO Special Interest Groups

As you saw in last week's Monday Update, I've been thinking a good deal about the idea of 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 I've heard from one or two of you, though I thought I'd share this idea with you again in the hopes that ​​we can collectively build a thought movement.

I imagine these special interest groups could self-organize around topics such as telemedicine, rural health, urban health issues, tribal health, tobacco cessation, Veteran's health/mental health, opioid addiction issues, personal-professional balance issues and many other areas of interest I haven't thought of. These would not necessarily be formal work-groups nor would they replace the NAO formal committee structure.

These "Special Interest Groups" would be a way to connect informally among colleagues, share best practice, and support one another in an organic, self-organizing manner. Again, I'm eager to hear your thoughts, and if there is significant interest and a desire to explore this further or dive right in, I'm happy to provide free conference call numbers for those wishing to take the lead and participate. 

Email me your thoughts: I'd love it if a variety of robust national dialogues regarding our diverse arenas of work could spring up; I think it would be great!​

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg:

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

Last week we had a great discussion regarding the National Library of Medicine Teen Health Literacy-NAO initiative as well as discussed the FY2016 Federal budget process.

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be Tuesday, October 13th from 12:30--1:30pm EST. I'm looking forward to a robust discussion!? Dial in at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

Please join us and please also note that this call will only be 30 minutes long.

Wrapping Up CDC-HPV Project Year One and Transitioning to Year Two

As we close the books on the first year of the NAO CDC HPV project (sort of; NAO does have a no-cost extension to complete unfinished year one project objectives in the coming months) and enter year two of our five year project.

I'd like to thank our project leadership team for their extraordinary work over the past 12 months. Gretchen Forsell, HPV Project manager and Trisha Schulz, HPV Project Coordinator, have done an enormous amount of high quality work in launching and managing the project to its current state; it's a pleasure to work so closely with them. Thank you also to our crack evaluation team of Dr. Terry Zollinger and Cindy Lewis, who are driving the overall evaluation agenda for the CDC HPV project with CDC and the other national association awardees (American Academy of Pediatricians, American Cancer Society, Academic Pediatric Association and the National Association of City and County Health Officials). We feel more than fortunate to have Terry and Cindy on our team!

Many thanks also to our top-notch regional coordinators, who truly are pioneers as they work across state lines to support the AHEC 'State entities" in their on-the-ground CE activities. It's amazing that we now have 40 states on board with this project (though we need the remaining states to get on board for us to be as successful as we can be!).

The CDC NAO HPV project is beyond a doubt a shining example of "It takes a Village" to get a project of this scale up and running and successful; thank you to all our leaders on this vitally important project and on to Year Two!

NLM Update

By now you've seen the National Library of Medicine FOA and the information regarding the NLM-NAO project manager position two or three times as released to the membership. Please do let me know if you have any questions on either as the deadlines are approaching: 10/08/15 for the project manager applications and 10/15/15 for the project proposals. Many thanks and looking forward to getting this important project off the ground!

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.

HPV: Seeing results!

Wow! Participants in the NAO HPV Immunization Project have been working hard. Here are some highlights as of 8/31:

  • More than 10,000 HPV educational materials have been distributed to partners and providers

  • State entities posted nearly 1,300 times to social media regarding the project or HPV

  • More than 75 new partnerships have been established and more than 100 partnerships enhanced as part of this project

  • NAO-NTC’s first nationwide webinar for providers and partners exceed expectations with nearly 300 attending live! (Northeast Ohio University is planning on sharing the presentation with high school students who are interested in researching vaccination opposition. What a great yet unexpected outcome!)

Entering Year 2, we know that the AHEC network will continue to work hard on this project – in conjunction with other CDC grantees – to help improve HPV immunization rates across the country. Keep up the fantastic work!

Care Coordination Improvement Series

Join us for a 30 minute, monthly series!

1st Wednesday of the Month

October 7th: 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Improved Healthcare Literacy= Better Patient Outcomes

Speaker: Dr. Glenda Knight, is a member of the Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy


Access Code: 9963169#



Mark your calendar to register for access to summit presentations regarding psychological health and TBI

Registration Opens October 13, 2015

Visit to register

Format: Web-based, pre-recorded home study courses. Available on-demand 24/7.

Target audience: Professionals involved in all aspects of psychological health and TBI care, education and research for the military population.

Continuing Education: Up to 36 hours of credits are available for health professionals who access recorded presentations online through April 2016.

Alaska’s Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN)

The Alaska AHEC program requests your assistance in sharing a brand new and exciting interdisciplinary opportunity with your students. The Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN) program is designed to expose pre-professional health majors to a rural and/or underserved healthcare experience. The program has been in development over the course of the past 3 years and will launch in June, 2016.

Students will have a one-of-a-kind experience traveling to some of the most remote communities in the United States in order to walk in the shoes of healthcare providers in the Last Frontier. Many students sign up for international experiences where they take part in high risk clinical scenarios in an attempt to enhance their resumes and skillsets. The RIIN program provides these same students with access to a safe yet culturally diverse healthcare landscape without leaving the country. RIIN provides students with early exposure to rural practice, providing the perfect backdrop of rural healthcare to entice future practice in the neediest communities in our country.

Please feel free to share the downloadable brochure with your students and colleagues. Eligible RIIN applicants include undergraduate juniors and seniors, gap year students and professionals returning to graduate school including by not limited to the following areas of study:

  • Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physician Assistant
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Healthcare Administration

Please feel free to contact Alaska AHEC Program Director, Gloria Burnett for more information.

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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