Problems viewing this email? Click here to view it online.
NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit January 25, 2016

From the CEO's Office

Big News From HRSA!

You may have seen this already, it bears repeating: HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Associate Administrator Becky Spitzgo recently announced her retirement:

"After nearly 40 years in government and 10 years at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), I will retire from Federal service at the end of February and begin a new chapter in my life."

Ms. Spitzgo was the first chief of the newly created BHW, which combined two previous Bureaus within HRSA. The National AHEC Organization has worked very closely with her and the BHW staff over the years and we wish her well in her future endeavors. As some may recall. Ms Spitzgo, in her role as Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment Services (BCRS--now folded into BHW) provided funding for and supported the NAO Collegiate Health Services Expansion Program for 18 months in 2011-2012. Luis Padilla will become the acting Associate Administrator after Spitzgo's retirement Feb. 25, 2016.

The National AHEC Organization and the AHEC network thank Ms.Spitzgo for her decades of public service and we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with BHW under Dr. Padilla's leadership.

NAO FY2017 Federal Request​

During the January 14, 2016 NAO board meeting, the Public Policy Committee moved and the board approved to have NAO request that Congress fund HRSA $40 million for the AHEC Program in FY2017. The funding level was $30.250 million in 2015 and will be so again in FY2016. This new ask of $40 million represents a roughly 32% increase.

Rationale for increase in request:

The AHEC Grant is authorized for up to $125 million (set in 2010). Recent past funding levels range from $27 to $33 million. Level funding is essentially decrease in resources due to increasing cost of doing business. Currently, we believe the climate is favorable in Washington D.C. to ask for an increase in funding. A one page explanation of increase in ask will be on the NAO website in the coming weeks.

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, 206 webinar. Registration information for our final webinar on May 13th will be available soon.​

Congratulations to Pam Reynolds

Congratulations are in order for Pam Reynolds, Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia AHEC, who is stepping down after 25 years as an "AHECer". Please take a look at the lovely article about Pam and her work at the SOWEGA AHEC, and join me in congratulating her on her retirement and wishing her success in her new adventures!

Read More

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, January 26th from 12:30--1:00pm EST. Dial in at: 1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#

Please note that this call will be only 30 minutes long.

NAO Special Interest Groups

NAO Special Interest Groups: Interest is growing!

Every week another SIG pops up, leading me to believe that AHECers are finding value in participating in the SIGs and are finding ways in which to engage with colleagues in every corner of the country. Please consider participating!

AND 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 spreadsheet; and remember, you can edit and add areas of interest:​

SIG Spreadsheets

NAO Special Interest Group Survey

The NAO Special Interest Group - Sharing Resources, is conducting a survey to identify data regarding regions and CEs.  The information will be used to gather best practices, resources and procedures for implementing CEs for those regions that are not currently doing so. Thanks for taking the time to complete our survey. We value your feedback. We ask that only one representative from each AHEC complete the survey. We would like all AHECs to participate, whether you currently provide CEs or not. The survey will remain open until January 31, 2016, 11:59p MST.

Click Here to take the Survey

The next meeting of NAO Special Interest Group - Sharing Resources will be on February 8, 2016, 2p-3p MST. You are invited to join us to review and discuss the survey results. This will be a video-conference that can be accessed at

National Training Center

Next webinar - February 8th

Survivors of HPV-related cancers play a critical role in advancing awareness and education by telling their personal stories. These stories can reach people's hearts and minds in a different way than facts and research data, and the combination of both can be very powerful when educating healthcare providers about HPV vaccines. Christine Baze, a cervical cancer survivor and founder of the Yellow Umbrella Organization, will share her story and describe how she has delivered her message around the US and internationally. Dr. Rebecca Perkins, a practicing OB-GYN at Boston Medical Center and Chair of the Survivor Involvement task force for the American Cancer Society's National HPV vaccination roundtable, will describe the nationwide networks of survivors who are willing to share their stories, and provide step-by-step instruction on how to contact them using the American Cancer Society's HPV cancer survivor database. This webinar is set for 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 8. Those involved in the HPV project are strongly encouraged to attend but the webinar is open to any AHEC. Register Now

You are the Key webinar archive now available

For those who weren’t able to attend the “You are the Key” presentation last week by the CDC’s Dr. Robin Curtis, the archive version is available. You must register to watch the archive and then log in to view it. Remember that the archived version does not have CE/CME credits. For those needing credit, the self-study guide option is available.

The Journey of a Vaccine

Before a new vaccine is ever given to people, extensive lab testing is done that can take several years. Learn more about the vaccine testing and approval process in this CDC infographic on the Journey of Your Child’s Vaccine.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The Program is coordinated by the National Library of Medicine and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers.

Membership is free. Benefits include:

  • Access to a variety of in person and online trainings and education opportunities

  • Eligibility for funding for health information outreach projects

  • Educational materials for National Library of Medicine products and services

  • Consultations for health information outreach projects

  • The opportunity to partner with other libraries or information centers

  • Invitations to provide input on NN/LM regional programs and services

  • Access to the latest health related news and information

  • A certificate recognizing your institution’s NN/LM membership.

  • To Join: Visit your region’s website and fill out a brief membership application form. Select “Affiliate Membership” when asked for membership type. A coordinator from your region will follow up with you after the application is submitted.

    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

    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.


    MAIN SClubs Logo with taglineCatskill Hudson Area Health Education Center in downstate New York is offering an innovative, effective and lively after-school club curriculum known as “Scrubs Club” to Area Health Education Centers nationwide to introduce students to healthcare careers via local secondary schools.

    Since its creation four years ago, 15 schools have been using it to vitalize student clubs on a subject for which no similar club curriculum had previously existed. This breakthrough program brings healthcare careers alive through hands-on activities, thoughtful exercises and meaningful field trips. Scrubs Club was introduced to the AHEC network nationally at this year’s NAO Business Summit.

    Early evaluations of the impact of Scrubs Club on student participants, as a three-year curriculum, are showing that it improves the likelihood of a student completing a high school degree, proceeding to some level of higher education or vocational or technical education, and identifying a stable and prosperous career track – while contributing to the well-being of a community as part of a growing sector of work.

    Scrubs Club can be adapted into many formats. It can be used in a daily classroom curriculum as well as an afterschool program. It meets New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies Core Curriculum and Learning Standards, so AHECs can review it against your own state’s standards in that area.

    Sessions consist of 1.5-hour, activity-based lessons. These hands-on experiences demonstrate to students that continuing their education beyond high school can be meaningful and relevant to their future.

    Scrubs Club contains 27 90-minute health career exploration and life-skills lesson plans that are extremely adaptable. The program binder is tabbed by academic grade, but each of the lesson plans can be effectively used in any sequence that best suits the instructor’s teaching style and needs. The program itself has been successfully utilized as a three-year, longitudinal program; an afterschool program following a tailored schedule; a joint, multi-school weekend workshop; and incorporated into a daily classroom curriculum.


    In Scrubs Club, students learn the real-life roles and rewards of serving in healthcare occupations. They learn about educational and employment skills development. Field trip options to health-related facilities and exhibits are also offered. Scrubs Club is now utilized by high schools throughout the Catskill Hudson AHEC region, as well as by at-risk youth programs, afterschool programs, community-based career workshops, BOCES units, Science & Technology Entry Programs (STEP), and other AHECs, including in Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana.

    The success of Scrubs Club relies on the ability of the school to identify an instructor/facilitator who can recruit and organize students and manage this simple, turnkey, comprehensive curriculum. One does not have to have clinical experience to facilitate this program. Some potential instructor backgrounds, by way of example, could include:

    • Family and consumer science teachers

    • Health educators

    • School nurses

    • Guidance/career counselors

    • Physical education instructors

    • School administrators

    • Teachers of other subjects

    • STEM educators

    • AHEC staff/volunteers

    • Leaders of local community-based organizations and healthcare providers who may collaborate with your school

    Catskill Hudson AHEC supplies many “props” in a single easy-to-store shipment, and can help determine outcome evaluation standards. If content changes become necessary, Catskill Hudson AHEC automatically contacts buyers.

    We sell AHECs the curriculum for $1,500. If you identify a school that wishes to use it in addition to your making use of it, we handle fulfillment of the order directly with the school, and $300 of the sale goes to your AHEC. Your AHEC can then claim deliverables resulting from the sale against your service targets for grant reporting. Catskill Hudson AHEC can provide sample grant letters should an AHEC decide to try to seek foundation support for the program.

    (Oh…and why is this program called Scrubs Club? Among other reasons, it’s because you can make it possible for students to receive personalized “scrub tops” like you might see a health professional wearing in any number of healthcare settings.)

    Scrubs Club was created with private funding from the Foundation for Community Health and through federal and New York State grants for AHEC operating funds.

    image007To learn more about Scrubs Club and the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center – you may wish to visit our website at…or to be a continuing part of the conversation about the value of after-school programming and Scrubs Club in your area, you can like our Facebook page at, follow our Twitter feed at, and check out our Instagram at

    To learn more, you can also reach Kathy Doyle, our program/marketing coordinator, at; Carolyn Steele, our administrative assistant, at; or Rob Wingate, executive director, by calling (845) 883-7260, Mondays through Fridays, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Or you can e-mail


    2016 Webinar Series

    Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living through Partnerships and the National Prevention Strategy

    Presented by Region VIII Federal Partners

    The Role of Individuals & Families

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    2:00 – 3:30 pm, MT (4:00 - 5:30 pm 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 - 2:25 What IS the National Prevention Strategy and its Healthy Eating and Active Living Priorities Speaker: Laurie Konsella, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Acting Regional Health Administrator, Region VIII.

    2:25 - 2:50 Engaging Families in Healthy Eating- Cooking Matters is a program of Share Our Strength and plays an important role in the No Kid Hungry campaign. Cooking Matters empowers families with the knowledge, and skills to purchase and prepare healthy, affordable and delicious meals. During the presentation you will learn about the variety of food skills education programs offered by Cooking Matters, how you can offer Cooking Matters in your community and about, facilitated dialogue, our model for nutrition education. Speaker: Christina Miller, Senior Program Manager, Cooking Matters Colorado.

    2:50 - 3:10 We R Native: For Native Youth, by Native Youth – This presentation will highlight We R Native, a holistic multimedia health resource designed to engage youth in their own health and wellbeing. Developed by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and national partners, We R Native includes an interactive website (, text messaging service (Text NATIVE to 24587), Facebook page, and YouTube channel, with content addressing drug and alcohol use, STD/HIV, mental health, and suicide. Speaker: Stephanie Craig Rushing, Project Director at the NW Tribal Epidemiology Center.

    3:10 - 3:30 Questions & Answers and Additional Resources

    TO REGISTER, PLEASE GO TO: 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.

    Other Information

    HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce National Advisory Committees

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations for new members to serve on the Bureau of Health Workforce’s National Advisory Committees.

    Five committees advise the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Congress on health workforce policies and programs. Please review the brief summaries and links to the Federal Register Notices (FRNs) below for information on the qualifications and nomination process for each advisory committee:

    • The Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL) provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary regarding policy and program development and other matters for activities under Part D, Title VII of the PHS Act, as amended by the Affordable Care Act. The Committee focuses on the targeted program areas and/or disciplines of Area Health Education Centers, Geriatrics, Allied Health, Chiropractic, Podiatric Medicine, Social Work, Graduate Psychology, and Rural Health.
      (FRN at

    • The Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary regarding policy, program development and other matters of significance for family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, general dentistry, pediatric dentistry and physician assistant programs.
      (FRN at

    • The Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) provides an ongoing assessment of physician workforce trends, training issues and financing policies, and recommends appropriate federal and private sector efforts on these issues. COGME advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary and to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
      (FRN at

    • The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) advises the Secretary and Congress on policy issues related to Title VIII programs, including nurse workforce supply, education and practice improvement.
      (FRN at

    • The National Advisory Council (NAC) on the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) serves as a forum to identify priorities for the National Health Service Corps and future program issues and concerns; functions as a sounding board for proposed policy changes and advises on specific program areas; and develops white papers and briefs on issues and/or concerns relating to the NHSC with specific recommendations for policy revisions.
      (FRN at

    HRSA is accepting nominations on a continuous basis, and nominations will be considered as vacancies occur on each committee. Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by others. Professional associations and organizations may also nominate one or more qualified candidates.

    Nominations should be submitted to: 

    or by mail to:

    Advisory Council Operations 
    BHW/HRSA 11w45c
    5600 Fishers Lane 
    Rockville MD 20857

    To unsubscribe, please click here.

    Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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