NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit December 12, 2016

From the CEO's Office

As I write this, my last CEO note from an increasingly cluttered and chaotic home office as my family and I prepare for our move to Oregon in one week, a heartfelt thank-you to you all for a wonderful six years as NAO CEO (and a grand total of seventeen exhilarating years as an AHECer!).

It's been more than an honor to serve as NAO's first chief executive and be given the keys — and trust — to represent our incredible network on a number of stages large and small throughout our country. I wish you all the very best, and, knowing the uncertainty ahead with the pending ​release of the AHEC 2017 FOA, the expected leadership changes ​at the Federal level and possible changes in the health care environment, I am reminded of the axiom known to all ultra-marathoners everywhere, which may be apt here as we enter an uncertain time, and which may provide some motivation to keep moving ahead. Just remember, regardless of the challenge: 'Relentless Forward Progress'!

Fare-thee-well, my friends,

National Training Center

We chose you!

Congratulations to those AHECs who will be acting as HPV Project State Entities for Year 3!

  • West Central Alabama AHEC
  • University of Alaska Center for Rural Health AHEC (AK, ID, OR, and WA)
  • Greater Valley AHEC (AZ)
  • Western Colorado AHEC
  • Southwestern AHEC (CT)
  • Southeast Pennsylvania AHEC (DE)
  • Suwannee River AHEC (FL)
  • Three Rivers AHEC (GA)
  • Northeast Indiana AHEC
  • Scenic Rivers AHEC (IA, MN and WI)
  • Southern Kentucky AHEC (KY and TN)
  • Southeast Louisiana AHEC
  • Maine AHEC Center
  • Eastern Shore AHEC (MD)
  • Southeast Regional AHEC (MI)
  • Northeast Mississippi AHEC
  • Northeast Missouri AHEC
  • High Sierra AHEC (NV)
  • Southern New Hampshire AHEC
  • The University of New Mexico AHEC
  • Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island AHEC (NY)
  • Area L AHEC (NC)
  • Consortium for Health Education in Appalachian Ohio
  • Southwest Pennsylvania AHEC
  • Pee Dee AHEC (SC)
  • Yankton Rural AHEC (SD and WY)
  • Texas AHEC East – Piney Woods
  • Mid Rio Grande Border AHEC (TX)
  • Crossroads AHEC (UT)
  • Piedmont Access to Health Services AHEC (VA)
  • Central West Virginia AHEC
  • Champlain Valley AHEC (VT)

There are a few more still working on their applications that we will announce later. We welcome you all to Year 3 and look forward to working with you!

Dissemination of HPV materials

As part of the HPV project, state entities are required to disseminate HPV promotional materials to clinicians. As part of the first quarter, state entities were given the HPV Vaccine Information Sheet and the Preteen Vax News 2-shot Recommendation handouts to distribute. Consider passing these on to health professionals in your area as well!

Don't be Fooled by Cheap Imitations

Health literacy programs have been part of AHEC programming for many years. The emphasis on health information literacy may be new to many, however. As a component of health literacy, being able to use and understand reliable information resources is key to evidence-based decision making and health habits over a lifetime. Unfortunately, some beliefs of the general population are at odds with evidence-based decision making. For example, many people believe these falsehoods:

  • That all care meets minimum quality standards,
  • That medical guidelines are inflexible,
  • That more care and newer care is better, and
  • That more costly care is better.

For people to truly engage in their own health care in a meaningful way, they must be taught to value the use of evidence in decision-making. Medical science librarians near you or at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine can help.

Funding Available

This is the last day to submit your letter of interest to participate in NAO's "American College of Rheumatology—National AHEC Organization Lupus Education Project" for lupus education and networking events! See this funding opportunity announcement for more details. Deadline is today, 12/12/16.


The Center Director Constituency Group invites you to attend a one-hour webinar on Population Health.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
1 pm CST

Brenda C. Gray,PhD, MPH, Executive Director, Milwaukee AHEC, will discuss her experience with population from her background in public health, her experience with AHEC, and in academic settings. All program and center directors are invited to attend.

Registration link:

Dr. Gray has worked in academe for over two decades as both an administrator and faculty member. Her teaching and research interests include education, human development, and health disparities. Dr. Gray has held faculty positions at Jackson State University and Tougaloo College. Other professional experience includes consultation in both higher education and not-for-profit organizations. Dr. Brenda C. Gray previously served as Research Fellow/Adjunct Professor in the Jake Ayers Institute for Research at Jackson State University. She received her baccalaureate degree in biology from Tougaloo College, her M.P.H. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, her Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. Dr. Gray has published empirical research in refereed journals including Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) and the Researcher.

Using Telehealth to Deliver Diabetes Prevention Programs

A Webinar for Clinicians & Administrators Interested in Reaching People with Prediabetes in Rural and Frontier Areas

Presented by the Montana & Florida Diabetes Programs and HRSA's Office of Regional Operations

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

11:30-1:00 pm EST (10:30-12:00 CST) (9:30-11:00 MST) (8:30-10:00 PST)

Continuing Education Credits for Registered Dietitians are being arranged.

This webinar is free, but registration is required! Please register in advance here, and you will be sent a link to access the webinar.

Using Telehealth to Deliver Diabetes Prevention Programs
Presented by the following individuals:
Rachel Blacher, MPH, Division of Diabetes Translation, CDC
Dorota Carpenedo, MPH, Montana Diabetes Program, Helena, MT
Liane Vadheim, RDN, CDE, Holy Rosary Healthcare, Miles City, MT
Robert Parker, CVE, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings, MT
Joanna (Craver) DiBenedetto, BS, MNM, American Association of Diabetes Educators

This webinar is designed to help you explore how telehealth may help increase access to Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP) for your patients or for your partners and stakeholders that provide care to patients with prediabetes. To help implement DPP via telehealth, it is highly important to provide information about issues key to establishing and operating distance-based DPP. The webinar begins by emphasizing that using DPP to prevent diabetes makes sense in terms of both an individual's health and the economic costs of developing type 2 diabetes. The clinical efficacy of delivering DPP via telehealth will be presented. Key considerations necessary for distance-based DPP to be delivered successfully at the originating and remote sites will be identified, followed by an overview of the technological components needed to remotely link patients and providers. Lastly, an overview of Medicare's new DPP benefit will be provided.

After participating in this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate that the cost of preventing diabetes is typically much less than the cost of managing type 2 diabetes;
  • Describe what the academic literature says regarding the clinical efficacy of using telehealth to deliver DPP;
  • Review key considerations at the originating and remote telehealth sites to ensure successful DPP sessions;
  • Identify the basic technology and equipment needed to connect those providing DPP to their patients;
  • Name the key provisions of Medicare's new DPP benefit.

This webinar is for health professionals who are interested in expanding the availability of DPP programs in rural and frontier areas: diabetes educators, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurses, dietitians, social workers, and case managers, and administrators at the state and local levels or who operate in hospital and clinic systems.

Psychological Health Webinar: Evidence-based Management of Suicide Risk Behavior: A Guideline Perspective

December 15, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

The Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formed a partnership in 1998 called the VA/DoD Evidence-based Practice Work Group. This group develops clinical practice guidelines to improve the quality of care and health management across both the Veterans Health Administration and the Military Health System. Active participants in the group include multi-disciplinary experts from DoD, Army, Navy, Air Force and the VA.

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) plays an integral role in this joint work group. Among other things, DCoE develops clinical support tools to promote provider compliance with clinical practice guidelines for psychological health conditions.

In January 2015, DoD and VA released four clinical support tools to promote compliance with the 2013 "VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide." The tools feature evidence-based practices to help health care professionals treat military members, and their families, at risk for suicide.

This webinar will focus on how to access, implement and disseminate these tools. Webinar participants will learn to:

  • Understand the joint partnership purpose
  • Evaluate the role of the joint work group
  • Analyze clinician input in evidence-based guideline development
  • Know where to find implementation tools and education resources
  • Examine challenges to implementation


M. Eric Rodgers, Ph.D., FNP-BC
Acting Nurse Executive, Quality, Standards and Programs, and Director
Evidence-based Practice Program, Office of Quality Safety and Value
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C.

James Sall, Ph.D., FNP-BC
Clinical Quality Program Specialist
Evidence-based Practice Program, Office of Quality, Safety and Value
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C.

Cmdr. Angela Williams, Psy.D.
Chief, evidenced-based practice
Deployment Health Clinical Center
Silver Spring, Maryland


Maj. Demietrice L. Pittman, Ph.D.
Chief, implementation science
Deployment Health Clinical 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) Dec. 15, 2016, 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.

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

Other News

Wrap Up – 114th Congress Lame Duck Session

The 114th Congress finished up this week by passing bills of interest to the National AHEC Organization (NAO). These bills either have been or are in the process of being signed by the president.

21st Century Cures

As an FYI, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures legislation which provides modest resources during the next 10 years for specific programs at the NIH and FDA, and establishes initiatives at both agencies meant to accelerate the development of treatments, medical devices, and diagnostic tools for diseases.

Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations/CR through April 28th, 2017

Congressional leaders and President Obama punted final decisions on Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 spending into the coming calendar year — leaving the incoming president and the 115th Congress to finish off that process. In order to keep the federal government operating in lieu of completed spending bills, Congress and the administration enacted a Continuing Appropriations Resolution or "CR."

The CR passed by Congress and signed by the President sets spending at FY 2016 levels for most federal agencies through April 28th, 2017. The CR does not contain controversial health policy riders that have bogged down the appropriations process in recent years.

Accounts at nearly all federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, are level-funded through April 28th. Pending increases and policy recommendations contained in the FY 2017 appropriations bills for these agencies are on hold at this time. The AHEC program's funding is held at level.

We will continue to keep you informed on developments in the FY 2017 appropriations process and on developments related to the FY 2018 budget proposal.

2015-2016 CORE NAO Data

Congratulations and thank you to all of you who shared your data with the NAO CORE for the 2015-2016 reporting periods. We had 100% participation across the AHEC Network. This is what WE "look" like on an annual basis Click Here to View PDF. Please feel free to share this widely with partners, constituents, board members, key collaborators, etc. And a HUGE THANK YOU!!!! TO CORE co-chairs Detra Brown, Jennifer Taylor, and Rachel Little and the rest of the CORE Team; OUTSTANDING WORK!

Special Interest Groups

Please keep the momentum going on the NAO SIGs — I know that they have been useful! Remember: anyone can add a SIG and work with AHEC colleagues from anywhere in the country. It may make sense to create more SIGs regarding AHEC redesign with a focus on practice transformation. If there is interest, we can supply a dial-in number and log-in for those interested in sharing information and resources.​

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

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