NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit April 11, 2016

From the CEO's Office

I was in Washington, D.C. last Friday April 8th meeting with Luis Padilla, M.D, Acting Associate Administrator at the HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), along with Captain Sheila Norris and Commander Jacqueline Rodrigue from the Division of Health Careers and Financial Support to discuss the future of the AHEC Program.​ NAO board president Jacqueline Wynn (NC AHEC) and NAO board member Dr. David Garr (SC AHEC) joined the dialogue via Adobe Connect.

The meeting at HRSA with BHW leadership last week builds off of the presentation that Dr. ​ Padilla provided during the HPNEC (Health Professions Nursing Education Coalition) ​meeting at the AAMC on March 23rd and our subsequent impromptu conversation. During last Friday's meeting we discussed the AHEC Program-it's strengths and challenges--and its potential future direction to get a sense as to what HRSA leadership may be thinking ​in terms of an 'AHEC re-design' for the coming funding opportunity announcement (FOA) next year.

We had a robust, honest dialogue where we had a chance to learn what BHW was generally thinking about the AHEC Program going forward and how it might evolve in the coming years to ​meet HHS/HRSA strategic objectives, as well as share our perspective and concerns regarding strengthening the AHEC Program while maintaining its unique features, particularly those that reflect community-based needs.​ A more comprehensive report will be developed and disseminated in the coming weeks as we continue our discussion with HRSA and BHW leadership.

I left our meeting feeling quite positive that we will be a partner at the table in terms of AHEC Program re-design, and that Dr. Padilla and the HRSA BHW AHEC ​team are strongly invested in helping the AHEC Program improve overall performance, demonstrate national-scale value and maximize program impact across the country. ​The specifics and details still need work though I'm ​confident we're on the right track. As dialogue with BHW evolves we'll keep you all posted here and through other NAO communication channels.​

**** For those who did not get a chance to attend the "Preparing AHECs for the Winds of Change" webinar last week, please be sure to check out the archived version on the NAO website.

NAO 2016 Washington, D.C. Conference: Register NOW!

Only eleven (11!) weeks until the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C Conference! After many months of planning it's hard to believe that it's less than three months away. ​Be sure to register now​!

There's just so much to do while in Washington, including, of course, visiting the many museums in town. All the Smithsonian Museums are free and ​many are within walking distance from the conference hotel, the Renaissance Downtown Washington Hotel. After many trips to D.C. I finally had the chance to spend some time in the National Portrait Gallery a few months back and I can't wait to go back for another visit. ​ It's a gem. ​ Another gem that's a little off the beaten path and never crowded in the Tidal Basin​ area is the FDR Memorial. It's massive, sprawling and quite evocative. ​ Equally powerful in the same general area is the ​new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which simply should not be missed.​

I look forward to seeing YOU at our NAO 2016 Conference in just 11 weeks!​


Tift Regional Medical Center CMO and SOWEGA-AHEC Board Member Dr. William Guest, was honored by Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Dr.​ ​Guest was among five individual recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award:

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

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

"Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" will be going on a little holiday during the month of April and will be back in May. I'm not sure where it's going, but I've heard that maybe it's heading to Costa Rica. Please continue to watch the Monday Update for the date of the next call.​

NAO Special Interest Groups Gaining Steam!

The SIGs continue to roll along; many groups connecting and making progress! Please take a look at the spreadsheet and consider joining a SIG that aligns with your interest areas and your AHECs' strategic priorities.​

Remember once again: ​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'd love to hear how some of the meetings have gone and what the plans going forward are.​

For those groups that are making good progress, please consider meeting at the NAO 2016 conference in DC. It will be a good way to connect in-person to keep the work alive!​

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

Good Reads!

NAO Member Profile Update Information

Attention NAO Members,

Now is the perfect time to take a moment and update your member profile for NAO to make sure we have the most current information not only about you, but about each center and program office.  To update your profile, please go to, log in using your member user id and password and update your profile. If you forgot your user id and password, simply click on the blue box that says "I forgot my User ID and Password", and follow the instructions. 

If you are AHEC staff and do not currently receive information from the NAO organization, and you are interested in doing so, please have your AHEC manager go to, click on the membership tab at the top and then click on member profile update, log in and update their profile and add your name and e-mail address. To search for the manager at your AHEC that can add login accounts,  click here. Once they have done this, you will receive your own user id and password which will allow login access to the members only section of the NAO website, receive our weekly Monday Update Newsletter, be able to register for any NAO conferences at the member rate and more. 

In the event that you or your AHEC manager have difficulty performing any of these functions noted above, or if you are having trouble logging in, please contact our Customer Care department at , or (414) 908-4953 x450.

Thank you for helping us out and updating this important information.

Best Regards,

NAO Membership Committee

National Training Center

New data collection and reporting

It's time to get the Survey Monkey off our back! All of the HPV project state entities will be receiving a new spreadsheet for data collection and reporting for the project. Play around with it and then join us for a 30-minute training at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 12. Register now.

CME Self-study guide available! **Consider focusing on nurses**

Did you know that all nurses need to renew their licenses annually and need continuing education to do so? Do you work with nurses or other health professionals who are looking for continuing education? Direct them to the "You Are the Key" self-study guide. It offers 1.5 ACCME credit hours for physicians; 1.4 ANCC contact hours for nurses; and 1.4 ACPE contact hours for pharmacists and is available through the end of the year at Postgraduate Institute of Medicine's CME University.

Training without continuing education credit

If you have a health professional who doesn't need credit but is interested in training, you can direct them to the archived "You Are the Key" webinar presented by Dr. Robin Curtis earlier this year as well as "Countering HPV Vaccination Opposition" webinar presented by George Washington University. If you have partner groups who want some training, direct them to the archived training "Using Social Media to Reach Healthcare Providers." These three options all count toward training health professionals as part of this project!

Health Literacy for Medical Students

A recent article from the Journal of Family Medicine (Fam Med 2016;48(1):49-53.) has looked at the long term effects of a health literacy curriculum for medical students. For the study, researchers looked at pre- and post-training assessments of self-perceived knowledge and perceived and planned behavior following a health literacy training for first and second year medical students. What they found was that improvements in perceived knowledge and planned behavior in health literacy largely did not persist at the 12-month follow-up in the second year. Their conclusion was that efforts to teach medical students about health literacy principles and practices should include a longitudinal or integrated format, rather than a one-time lecture format.

These findings echo other educational research showing that repeated exposure or reinforcement is needed to retain knowledge. How are you using this information in the health education programming that you plan and provide? In my next post I will discuss non-educational support strategies that help reinforce learning. Don't know what I'm referring to? Read the next Monday Update and find out!

2016 Conference Information



Early Bird registration for the NAO 2016 Washington, DC Conference is OPEN! This is the perfect time to take a moment and register for the upcoming conference so you can take advantage of the early bird registration discount. You can register individually by going to and clicking on the link for the conference found on the home page. To register, click on the registration tab and follow the instructions. If you wish to register a group of people, you can print the .pdf registration form also found on the registration tab, complete one for each person, and fax them to the NAO registration team at 414-768-8001. Remember, we must receive your fax by the end of business on Friday, May 13th in order to take advantage of the early bird discount.

  • New Directors Orientation: If you are a new Center or Program Director, don't forget to sign up for this exciting and informative training for all new directors. You must register in advance to be able to attend.
  • Monday Evening Welcome Reception: Enjoy a nice evening of networking with your fellow AHECers, and check out the poster session as well. You must register in advance to attend.
  • Tuesday Evening Dinner and Awards Banquet: Come join all attendees at a spectacular and fun Dinner and Awards Banquet. Network with other AHEC staff, and come support our award winners. We have some exciting, and absolutely fun entertainment for you. You must register in advance to attend.


Don't forget to make your hotel reservations at the


and secure the NAO special negotiated conference rate.

Hotel reservation deadline is June 6, 2016

You can make your hotel reservations on-line by selecting the Hotel tab on the conference web site. Please take a moment to read all of the important information included on that page. A link to make your hotel reservation is noted in this area of the conference website. Please note that the last day to book your reservation with the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel and get the NAO conference rate is by 5pm, Friday, June 6th. After this date, the rooms will be released back to the hotel and any reservations made after that date will be based upon availability and current room rates.

A SPECIAL ROOM RATE of $229/night - single/double has been reserved for NAO conference attendees. Please have your credit card available when making your reservation. The hotel will charge a (1) night’s deposit to your credit card in order to hold your reservation.

NOTE: All reservations must be made on or before the cutoff of June 6, 2016 to take advantage of the negotiated NAO Room rate. Any reservations made after the cutoff date shall be at the hotels current available rate.

Book early to ensure you get the group rate.

Please consider when making your plans for Washington, DC, to do your best to arrange to stay in the conference hotel. You will benefit as the conference events will all be at your doorstep, and you'll have lots of opportunities to network and meet up with new and old friends. And NAO will benefit; as you may know, NAO conference contracts are signed with hotels a couple of years in advance. These contracts include a specified number of "room nights" which we have to fill. If we fall short, we pay a significant amount of money in penalties. Given the current economy, our organization, like many others, is suffering short-falls. It is possible that NAO may not be able to afford to do annual conferences if we end up too far in the red, so please, do what you can to continue to support NAO by booking your room at the Renaissance Hotel.

See you in Washington, DC!

Mary Craig and Anna Wenders
Conference Co-chairs

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 date for the upcoming Countdown to the Capitol webinar:

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)


Check out this amazing slate of keynote speakers for the 2016 Conference.

  • Patti Dobrowolski – a visual goal setter – will kick off the conference by boosting our organizational genius. Patti captivates and inspires audiences, helping them tap into their innate creativity to identify compelling visions and craft bold plans. This TEDx speaker, critically acclaimed comic performer, writer and business consultant will provide an innovative visual keynote guaranteed to inspire employee and leadership creativity. To see videos of Patti's TED talks, visit her website.

  • Dr. Damon Tweedy, author of the New York Times bestseller Black Man in a White Coat, will share with us his frontline look at race and medicine. This passionate and profound memoir grapples with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans. It was one of TIME Magazine's Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2015, and USA Today described it as "A timely, thought-provoking examination of our heartbreaking health care system." Dr. Tweedy is a graduate of Duke Medical School and Yale Law School. He is assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center.

  • Dr. Jonathan Oberlander, a national health policy expert from UNC Chapel Hill, will wrap up the conference by sharing his perspectives on health care politics and policy and health care reform. His work explores ongoing political fights over and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health care cost control, Medicare reform, and the fate of CHIP. He has been featured in articles and interviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, the BBC, CBS News and PBS.

Look for registration information and highlights on additional speakers soon.


Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Webinar Dates

The DCoE has recently given us a flyer with dates and topics for a number of upcoming webinars that they are presenting, which can be found here.

Enhancing Access to Behavioral Health Care: A Webcast Series on Tele-Behavioral Health

This free Webcast Series is designed for provider organizations who would like to develop
or expand tele-behavioral health services for underserved populations.

For more information on this series of 3 webcasts, scheduled on April 14, April 28, and May 19, 2016, please see our flyer.

Job Opportunities

Please remember to check out the Employment section of the NAO website for current job listings.

Current Openings are for:

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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