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

From the CEO's Office

I hope you all had a relaxing July 4th holiday last week, and for those of you who were at the NAO 2016 conference I hope you all had an easy and uneventful trip home​. It was wonderful to see so many of you during our week together in Washington, D.C., though one of my regrets was that I didn't get to spend as much time talking with each of you as I would have liked. By now, all the conference presentations should be up on the Google Drive for your review and use​. Please take a look and use liberally!

NAO Board of Directors Update

The NAO board of directors met on Sunday June 26th — the day before the official kick-off of the conference — and had a productive afternoon of dialogue, discussing committee activities, current and future, the preceptor issue, the HRSA AHEC re-design, and, significantly, a shift in the leadership for the NAO board based upon unexpected external circumstances.​

As I mentioned during my report to the membership on Thursday June 30th at the conference, Mary Craig, previously at the Erie-Niagara AHEC in Buffalo, NY, who was elected as NAO president-elect and was slated to be ​the next NAO board president as October 1st, is no longer part of NAO and the AHEC Network, and therefore cannot be ​the incoming board president. The NAO board​ made the wise decision to extend current board president Jacqueline Wynn's term for another year while we seek a president-elect for the FY2018 program year. Once that decision is made I will let you all know.​ In the meantime, please take a look at this PPT, which I presented on the last day of the conference and which outlines the NAO board and committee activities and make-up, the current NAO strategic plan, and the current and expected initiatives of ​NTC (National Training Center). I look forward to your feedback.​

HRSA AHEC Re-Design Team & Workgroup

Last week, I had an initial call with Sandra Pope (WV AHEC), chair of the Program Director's Constituency Group and Paula Overfelt (NW MO AHEC), chair of the Center Director's Constituency Group, to begin developing a process to provide a webinar series — much like the "Countdown to the Capitol" series — that will help all AHECs address the ​components of the HRSA AHEC FY2017 FOA.​ Our initial discussion focused on providing to the membership an overview of the process to date (likely in August) and then a webinar series where AHEC experts in each of the three AHEC focus areas — Distribution of Health Professionals; Diversity of Health Professionals; Practice Transformation — would ​share their expertise and provide suggestions regarding defining common terms, sharing standardized measurement tools and targeting common aims as part of the application process prior to the anticipated January 2017 FOA release date. As the timeline gets finalized we will get this out to you all ASAP. In the meantime, if you haven't yet seen these, you can see the June 30, 2016 HRSA presentation slides here. You can also see the NAO redesign proposal of May 6, 2016 to HRSA here and a summary of our call on June 22, 2016 with HRSA to discuss their response here. Stay tuned for further details as they evolve.

New NAO Intern!

I am pleased to announce that Annie Short, Grants Manager at the Northeastern WI AHEC in Manitowoc, WI, will be doing a 120 hour internship with NAO and me as she pursues her MBA at Concordia University in Milwaukee, WI, effective July 1st. Annie will work on strengthening the NAO National Training Center from a marketing, promotion, and data collection perspective, each of which align with the NAO strategic plan, particularly regarding marketing and enhancing funding streams. I'm thrilled to be working with Annie; please join me in welcoming her to the team, and many thanks to Marty Schaller, executive director of NEWIAHEC for making the connection!

SelfMade Health Network (SMHN)

As an advisory committee member of the SMHN, I am happy to announce that access to the first round of SelfMade Health Network (SMHN) Fact Sheets are available for downloading and sharing — these may be of interest to many AHECs. Several topics are featured and range from Cancer Survivorship to Secondhand Smoke and Cancer Screening Patterns Among Working Adults along with others.

SMHN Fact Sheets can be accessed by visiting the SelfMade Health Network (SMHN) website at:

National Training Center

HPV Special Publication – Showcasing the AHEC Network

Special Report: NAO and the AHEC Network Working to Increase HPV Immunization Rates publication was available at the recent NAO Conference. This publication highlighted examples of AHECs work across the country training professionals on the need for strong recommendations for the HPV immunizations. We also have some extra print copies for those who weren't able to attend the NAO Conference or wish to distribute copies locally. Let us know if you're interested and how many copies as we put a distribution plan together. Email The publication is also available electronically on the NAO website, click on the publication title above.

AHEC shines in partnership with American Cancer Society

Partnering with AHECs for HPV education was the topic of a webinar for the American Cancer Society's State Health Systems Managers last week! Not only did the ACS staff get an overview of what AHEC is all about, they heard about successful ACS — AHEC colloborations in Oregon and New Mexico! It was truly exciting to hear comments like, "AHEC trainings keep the integrity of the mission!" from a national partner like ACS. Keep up the good work and reach out to the ACS representative working in your state if you haven't already. For a full map of HPV partners and contacts by state, check out this interactive map.

Open Door Collective

The Open Door Collective (ODC) is a group dedicated to reshaping U.S. society to decrease poverty and economic inequalities, and increase civic engagement. As professionals working in adult education, social services and poverty reduction, ODC members believe that adult education and lifelong learning programs can help open doors of opportunity to healthier, more prosperous and satisfying lives. With those aims in mind, ODC recently published a white paper making a case for increasing adult basic education (and health literacy) as a primary route to better health outcomes and decreased health care costs. They also advocate for partnerships within the healthcare safetynet to make progress on these goals. You can view the whitepaper here.


Autism Spectrum Disorder: Best Practices in Screening, Referral and Behavioral Health Interventions

Michigan AHEC and the University Pediatrician's Autism Center (UPAC) in the Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics are sponsoring a free webinar designed to provide health care professionals a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms, to identify concerns as early as possible and to make a referral with conviction. The program, titled Autism Spectrum Disorder: Best Practices in Screening, Referral and Behavioral Health Interventions, is targeted to physicians, physicians assistants, nurses, social workers and community health workers. Continuing education credits are available. To register click on the following link:

Mark your calendars for the 2016 DCoE Summit Sept. 13-15

Health care professionals and academics involved in all aspects of psychological health and traumatic brain injury care, education and research for the military population will take part in the 2016 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit – State of the Science: Advances, Current Diagnostics and Treatments of Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in Military Health Care.

Live Broadcast from Defense Health Headquarters
Live programing from the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, will give virtual participants around the globe access in real-time to more than 26 hours of state-of-the-science programing each day, plus opportunities to join panel discussions and Q&As, and network with professionals. As a virtual participant, you are also eligible to earn continuing education credits! Continuing education credits will vary by profession.

Registration opens July 11, 2016

Visit for more information. Bookmark and follow updates!

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Other News

Special Interest Groups

I hope some of the Special Interest Groups had a chance to meet in Washington during our conference. Please keep the momentum going and if any new SIGs emerge and a call-in # is needed, please let me know (Preceptor issue group, perhaps?). ​ Remember; anyone can add a SIG and work with AHEC colleagues from anywhere in the country.​

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

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Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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