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NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit February 15, 2016

From the CEO's Office

Happy February Vacation Week! I will be out of the office today and on Friday, though I will be in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Last week you saw that President Obama's final budget proposal once again did not include funding for the AHEC Program in FY2017.​ This is nothing new, really, and of course, we've been here before many times. In my ​now 17 years as an AHECer (covering 18 fiscal years), 12 times we've been zeroed out and one time a recommendation for funding was less than $10 million, meaning that only 5 times in these last 18 fiscal years has the AHEC Program been recommended for ​'full' funding (28% of the time). The last time the AHEC Program was recommended for funding in the president's budget was FY2012. In the previous 17 years the AHEC Program final appropriation has ranged from roughly $26 million to nearly $34 million, with this year's final appropriation being $30.25 million, which funds the coming program year.​

So, it is clear that we have our work cut out for us, as we do annually, and we will do what we do every year to be sure that funding is restored in the final FY2017 budget:

  • Activate our grassroots advocacy network when the time is right to do so
  • I and other NAO leaders will make many Hill visits touting the AHEC Program and our national network as the budget process unfolds over the coming weeks and months
  • Continue to build up our national advocacy sophistication and engage local and national policy makers regarding the effectiveness and reach of the AHEC Program​

For this year, the importance of attending our national conference in Washington, D.C. CANNOT be overstated (please see immediately below for additional information regarding the "Countdown to the Capitol").​ We need a robust, strong, and energized turnout for our conference and for our rally on the Hill on June 29, 2016. If you haven't yet made plans to attend, please do so, as we need YOUR voice!

We will keep you posted as the FY2017 budget process unfolds and please be sure to connect with me and​/or our brilliant Public Policy Co-Chairs Kristina Fjeld-Sparks ( and Angela Boyer ( should you have any questions. Please see below the "Countdown to the Capitol" piece for additional FY2017 budget proposal information.

Countdown to the Capitol!

The "Countdown to the Capitol" page is now live on the NAO website (​, where a great deal of information is available regarding the 2016 NAO Washington, D.C. conference and ​the webinar series to prep AHECers for our "Day on the Hill" on June 29, 2016, including archived webinars, the advocacy toolkit and state data one-pagers.

As you recall, the National AHEC Organization's Countdown to the Capitol webinar series is designed to prepare our 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.​

Please be sure to take a look at the page and be sure to register for the March 11, 2016 webinar. Registration information for our final webinar on May 13th will be available soon.

Other FY2017 Budget Proposal Information

From the Coalition for Health Funding (of which NAO is a member):

The Coalition for Health Funding just released this statement on the President's 2017 Budget. Specifically, the Coalition highlighted the use of mandatory funds to supplant funding for programs that are generally funded by discretionary dollars as a symptom of austerity. Here is an excerpt:

The President's fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request attempts to restore some of the harmful public health and research cuts of recent years and make new investments in emerging health challenges. However, the unprecedented use of mandatory funds to supplant discretionary funding for these critical functions is indicative of the effects that years of austerity have had, and continue to have, on the discretionary budget.
Total funding for public health and health research remains too low, as discretionary funding in many cases remain below FY 2010 levels. The fiscal pressures imposed by austerity afford little opportunity for growth in the President's budget. In fact, due to the austere caps on discretionary funding, many of the President's major health initiatives, including the cancer "moonshot" and his efforts to combat opioid abuse, are funded through mandatory streams of funding for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and other key public health agencies. While these mandatory accounts are fully offset in the President's budget, they are indicative of the inability to invest in new health programs under the current discretionary budget caps."

From the APHA:

A slight clarification to the proposed cut to HRSA – the president's budget proposes transferring the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program to HRSA. The program is currently appropriated to SAMHSA. As such, the president's budget adjusts the program levels in FY 2015 and FY 2016, as if BWET had been appropriated to HRSA during those years. FY 2015 in the PBs, also does not show funding for the Traumatic Brain Injury program that was transferred to the Administration for Community Living beginning in FY 2016. In reality, HRSA was funded at $6,139,558,000 in FY 2016 (according to HRSA's FY 2016 operating plan). The president's proposal of $5,733,481,000 assumes the BWET program is transferred to HRSA in FY 2017. The difference between the proposal for FY 2017 (including the BWET transfer of $56M) and HRSA's FY 2016 operating plan is a decrease of $406,077,000 (-6.6%).

Other Highlights:

  • Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: $877 million across programs to administer the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, a $43 million increase from FY16.
  • Public Health Preparedness: $660 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, although cuts to related programs; $575 million for the Strategic National Stockpile; and $255M for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program
  • Food Safety: $1.6 billion for FDA and CDC food safety programs, a $212 million increase over FY16. Most would be for FDA to support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH): $30 million, a $21 million cut from FY16.
  • Preventive Health & Health Services block grant is zeroed out.
  • Environmental Health: Under the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, a $10 million cut to the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
  • No new CDC money for lead poisoning or any environmental health surveillance.
  • Gun Violence Prevention Research: $10 million for the CDC Injury Center.
  • Early childhood: A $434 million increase for Head Start programs and $200 million in additional discretionary funding for states, tribes, and territories to implement new health, safety, and quality requirements of recent child care block grant reauthorization.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse: $1.1 billion in new mandatory funding, focusing on improving access to treatment and recovery. According to the White House, this includes:

    • $920 million to support cooperative agreements with States to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.
    • $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to expand access to substance use treatment providers.
    • $30 million to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs employing medication-assisted treatment
    • $500 million ($90 million increase) to continue and build on current efforts across the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities

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, March 1st from 12:30--1:30 pm EST. On our call last week we primarily discussed President Obama's FY2017 budget proposal and AHEC funding, as well the need for consistent, meaningful data that can highlight the effectiveness of our AHEC network. Certainly NAO's CORE is hard at work in ensuring we're collecting the right data to demonstrate our effectiveness nationally. Please dial in for our next call at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#​. Join us and see where the conversation goes!​

NAO Special Interest Groups

The SIGs are becoming vibrant, groups are meeting and dialogue is underway! Please take a look at the spreadsheet and consider joining a SIG that aligns with your interest areas and your AHECs' strategic priorities.​

Remember: ​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.

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

Good Reads!

National Training Center

Webinar Recording

If you missed our webinar last week on how to use survivor stories in your HPV events – then you really missed out on a great presentation! No worries, though. You can click here to access the webinar recording. Due to a technical glitch, there’s about three minutes where the slides don’t show. The slides will reappear and you can still follow along with the audio using the PowerPoint slides.

NLM-CPSC-NAO Teen Health Information Literacy Project

Four months of project work has flown by for the health information literacy initiative. During this time we've managed to select awardees, select a literacy project model, and develop stellar project and evaluation plans for each AHEC awardee. With the assistance of twice per month face to face online collaboration calls (and many emails and meetings in-between), there are a few lesson's we've learned about project relationships and process that I'd like to share with you:

  • Jump-starting a new initiative on a tight time-line has many challenges. Be ready to establish and communicate a project timeline, with project milestones from the get-go but be willing to begin project work without every single detail hammered out.
  • On the other hand, taking plenty of time to build your project with community partners can help ensure your success. Some AHECs found that going back to refine project details with partners before jumping in increased their partner enthusiasm, support and engagement.
  • Collaborative sharing takes time and trust. On a short time-frame, increase your communication frequency with everyone involved.
  • Develop community support. Existing linkages and relationships are important for a well-grounded fast start-up and will mitigate pitfalls.
  • Partnering with like-minded AHECs can inspire and encourage you. Not to mention the shared resources and effort that can divide necessary work.
  • Consulting with an evaluation expert can significantly raise the quality of your evaluation measures (and hence, the story you can ultimately tell), and does not need to add significant time or effort to your project planning. A consultation fee, however, may be needed.

Last week, NN/LM medical librarian Christian Minter from Omaha, NE, recorded an informational webinar for the AHEC Network's Teen Health Information Literacy Project. Archived now on NAO's Health Information Literacy webpage, it is freely available for your use. The webinar is appropriate for anyone working on a teen health literacy program including AHEC staffers or interns as well as valued community partners such as library or school personnel, HOSA-type advisors and others involved in your project. Just be sure to have pen and paper handy, because the presentation is chock-full of helpful information that you're going to want to write down! You can find and print a hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation on our webpage as well. While the webinar is free, we ask that in return for watching it, please take the ten question participation survey when you are finished.

Available Now - "An Intro to Health Information Resources for Teens"

This 1-hour, archived webinar is available at no cost to anyone with an interest in teen health information literacy. After participating you will be able to:

  1. Define health information literacy
  2. Describe the role of the NLM and the NN/LM within a health information context
  3. List teen appropriate health information resources from the NLM and other organizations to use in your programming
  4. Identify at least 2 health information careers and resources about health–related professions

Access the webinar and the participation survey here:

2016 Conference Information

National AHEC Organization
2016 Biennial Conference Award Nominations

An Invitation to the AHEC Community
To Recognize Our Most Outstanding Projects and Individuals

The NAO Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the NAO Awards for Excellence, which will be presented at the 2016 National AHEC Conference in Washington, DC.

At each of the biennial national conferences, the National AHEC Organization recognizes projects and individuals that epitomize the AHEC spirit of excellence in the following categories:

AHEC Center Awards for Excellence (Continuing Education, Educational Resources, Health Careers Student Recruitment, Research or Evaluation Tools, Health Professions Student Training, and Special Community-Based Program)

  • Eugene S. Mayer Program of Excellence Award

  • Red Koelling Distinguished Service Award

  • Andy Nichols Award for Social Justice

We encourage you to visit the NAO website ( and click on the link to the nomination forms for each individual award categories to review the criteria and instructions for nominating candidates. Only NAO members are eligible for awards. No individual or organization may receive more than one award.

The deadline for nominations is March 4, 2016.

For further information about the 2016 NAO AHEC Awards, please contact any of the Awards Committee leadership team members:

Mary Mitchell
Manhattan-Staten Island AHEC

Bob Alpino
Eastern Virginia AHEC

Marty Schaller
Northeastern WI AHEC

NAO 2016 On-line Conference Agenda Now Available!

We are excited to release a preview of the on-line agenda. This agenda will automatically update so you can view the most recent agenda as you plan your week. You will be able to see information on our keynote speakers, our multitude of exciting sessions, and find out information about the activities we have planned for you.

Even more exciting is the ability to create an account on our on-line agenda site, which will allow you to network with other conference attendees, and to even create your own personal agenda to follow throughout your week at the conference.

To VIEW a "simple" version of the schedule of events, CLICK HERE.

To VIEW the "expanded" version of the schedule of events, CLICK HERE.

To PRINT a "simple" version of the schedule of events, CLICK HERE.

To PRINT the "expanded" version of the schedule of events, CLICK HERE.

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 dates for the upcoming Countdown to the Capitol webinar series.

Friday, March 11, 2016          12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Eastern Time  Register HERE

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.

  • 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.

Other News

Save the Date


The Military Health System Speaker Series has an upcoming educational opportunity that offers up to 6 hours of Continuing Education Credits.

Date: March 16, 2016, 9:00 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. (EST)

Topic:  Brain Injury Awareness (Nutrition, Sleep, and Vision)

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, medical coders, health care executives, social workers, pharmacists, case managers, psychologists, speech language professionals, counselors and other healthcare professionals who support/care for U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and/or their families.

Registration is set to open on March 2, 2016.

Please mark your calendar and save the date!

Thank you,

DCoE Event Planning Team Support for MHS Speaker Series

Psychological Health Webinar

Literature Review on Resilience in the Military
Feb. 25, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

In an attempt to define resilience, researchers have examined adaptation and growth and capacity versus demonstration. Findings have shown that positive adaptation is influenced by factors both outside and inside the work setting. When examining resilience in high-stress occupations, the process includes appraisal of adversity, coping with adversity and seeking help from others in order to achieve positive adaptation. To address the challenges of positive adaptation for those deploying to war zones or other high-stress environments, the Department of Defense implemented pre-deployment training on resilience. The training is based on literature that identified several predictors of resilience in military personnel including quality of sleep, higher unit moral and positive leader behavior.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define the distinct elements of resilience
  • Describe how adverse conditions affect resilience
  • Narrate the potential benefits of resilience in high-stress occupations

Thomas W. Britt, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
College of Business and Behavioral Science
Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina

Vladimir Nacev, Ph.D., ABPP
Senior Program Manager
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) Feb. 25, 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 or Defense Collaboration Services to attend the webinar.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email the DCoE Webinar Team at

Suicide Prevention Webinar

The DoD/VA Suicide Prevention: The Public Health Approach Webinar Series Presents: The Power of One: Maximizing a Public Health, Community-Based, and Holistic Approach to Suicide Prevention Webinar will be held February 24, 2016.  Please join the Defense Suicide Prevention Office's Dr. Adam Walsh, Ph.D., LCSW and the Department of Veteran Affairs' Dr. Caitlin Thompson, Ph.D. as they discuss the Public Health, Community-Based, and Holistic Approach to Suicide Prevention. 
Date: February 24, 2016
Time: 1400 –1530 (EST)
This webinar will discuss:

  • The rationale and evidence to support a public health, community focused approach to suicide prevention.
  • Demonstrate the importance of using a prevention science framework to guide and implement           suicide prevention efforts.
  • Describe how a population-wide suicide prevention strategy can leverage an entire community to prevent suicide.


Mark Bates, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Psychological Health Promotion     
Deployment Health Clinical Center
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE)


Dr. Adam Walsh, Ph.D., LCSW
Subject Matter Expert
Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO)

Dr. Caitlin Thompson, Ph.D.
National Mental Health Director of Suicide Prevention & Community Engagement
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Registration opens on February 10, 2016. To register for this webinar please visit:

Continuing Education Units:
This continuing education activity is provided through collaboration between DSPO, VA, and DCoE, and issued by Professional Education Services Group (PESG).

You must register by 6 p.m. (EST) on February 24, 2016, to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit.  A variety of CME/ CEs credit designations are offered, for all other health care provider disciplines, a certificate of attendance is available for you to use to negotiate CEs with your state occupational board.

The awarding of continuing education credit is limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.  The authority for training of contractors is at the discretion of the chief contracting official.  Currently, only those contractors with SOWs or with commensurate contract language are permitted to obtain CEs. 

For additional information, please contact:


Rural Health & Agriculture CE Series

Special rural populations that include farmers, fishermen, foresters and their families have unique environmental healthcare needs. The NC AHEC, in collaboration with the NC Agromedicine Institute, Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, and the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund is offering a blended-learning continuing education series for healthcare professionals focused on rural population health.

2016 Agricultural Medicine: Keeping Rural America Healthy & Safe - Occupational & Environmental Medicine for Healthcare Providers
A 3-month series of both face-to-face workshops and informative webinars will provide improved knowledge of the cultural impact of the agriculture workforce, along with specific information about the risks and illnesses associated with living and working in rural communities.

Available sessions include:
Two separate sets of workshops: March 18 & 19 and May 20 & 21
Six Webinars: April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and May 6

Participants may earn up to 41 contact hours, 4.1 CEU, and 41.5 CNE contact hours are available.
See brochure for more details.

For questions, contact Dawn Morriston, MPH, Director of Student Services, Public Health & Special Projects

Eastern AHEC at 252.744.5214 or

Job Opportunities

Executive Director Northwest Wisconsin AHEC (11-county region)
Position Announcement

The Executive Director is the chief operating officer and reports to a Board of Directors. The Executive Director is responsible for developing, organizing, directing and evaluating all administrative, fiscal, personnel and operational functions and has a primary role in delivery of programs and programmatic functions of the Center. The region encompasses 11 counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St Croix and Washburn counties.

AHEC services and programs support health careers promotion; health professions student and medical resident educational opportunities; community health programs; and professional continuing education. The NWAHEC Executive Director serves as liaison with community representatives including funding sources, health care providers and educators, project partners, governmental officials and the statewide Wisconsin AHEC System. Significant travel within the region is required. The location of the NWAHEC office will be home-based and located within the NWAHEC region in northern Wisconsin.

Qualification highlights:

  • Degree in a healthcare profession, public health, business, or related (Bachelors degree required, Masters/advanced degree preferred)
  • 3-5 years professional experience required
  • Experience in building relations with government agencies, funders, healthcare providers, and educational institutions
  • Development, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs for school age, adult and non-traditional learners
  • Business management principles

For a complete job description and additional information, see:

Interested candidates should submit resume with a cover letter to: Jann E Brill, Director, Northwest Wisconsin AHEC

Apply by March 1, 2016

Interested in the AHEC Associate Director Position in Hawaii?

It's a big move full of lots of challenges, but here's the information:

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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