NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit July 25, 2016

From the CEO's Office

I hope everyone had a chance to see the outstanding picture of AHECers rallying on the Hill prior to conducting Hill visits on June 29th during the NAO 2016 conference in Washington, D.C. The photo has been distributed via NAO social media channels (FaceBook and Twitter) and is currently on the NAO website — and please see below as well.​ Thanks to Adam Rossmann for his outstanding photography and the TEI team for coordinating getting everyone on the buses and up to the Hill; what an incredible day — thank you again to all who participated!

HRSA AHEC Re-Design & FY2017 FOA

I hope by now you've seen the E-blast regarding the webinar series to help AHECs prepare for the for the components of the HRSA AHEC FY2017 FOA.

Essentially, in preparation for the release of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from HHS/HRSA/Bureau of Health Workforce, anticipated in early January 2017, and in response to requests at the recent NAO Conference, a working group is developing a series of webinars that will address the three focus areas: distribution, diversity and practice transformation. The first webinar will be held on Monday, August 8, 2016 at 2pm EST. We will send out a registration link shortly. It will be a review of the conversations between Dr. Padilla and NAO leadership, NAO's response to that conversation, HRSA's response, and Dr. Padilla's presentation on Thursday, June 30th during the NAO Conference. This will be a review for those who attended the conference, but we know many directors would like to hear this information again, and many were unable to attend the conference. Thank you to Sandra Pope (WV AHEC), chair of the Program Director's Constituency Group, Paula Overfelt (NW MO AHEC), chair of the Center Director's Constituency Group, and Gretchen Forsell for leading the work.

For reference, 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.

National Training Center

Vaccine safety webinar for health professionals

We are pleased to offer our next educational webinar for health professionals on the topic of HPV vaccine safety. Please promote the following to your clinician networks:

HPV Vaccine Safety, 3 p.m. ET, Thursday, Aug. 4. Register Now
Presented by Julianne Gee, MPH, epidemiologist at the CDC
Continuing education is pending and we will provide you with the approved information once it is available

The target audience is physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses or any other staff but may also be suitable for last-year health professions students who will have influence on vaccination rates. Continuing education credits for this webinar are pending and information will be sent out as soon as confirmed.

Library Heroes Make Health Happen

Libraries advance equal access to health information and services in many ways. Learn more about how Health Happens in Libraries with this infographic by Web Junction.

NAO-American College of Rheumatology Lupus Initiative Update

The American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) Lupus Initiative (TLI) continues to successfully educate non-rheumatology healthcare professionals about lupus and health disparities. The ACR recently held a multi-session, small-group, cohort-style virtual education series for healthcare providers in Southwest Georgia and the Pacific Northwest, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health (OMH).

Especially instrumental in the development and execution of this provider education series and its accompanying community awareness campaign were the Southwest Georgia AHEC in Albany, GA and the Cascades East AHEC in Bend, OR. This series built on lupus fundamentals and included sessions on lab testing, medications, pregnancy and pediatric considerations, lupus flares, and health maintenance and preventive care. Twelve healthcare providers — advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and MDs — engaged with the ACR in this series that emphasized the health disparate nature of lupus, especially as it pertains to African American and American Indian/Alaska Native populations in both series' sites. 100% of participants were pleased ("a lot" or "somewhat") with the pace, delivery, and content of the sessions, and 100% self-reported increased levels ("a lot" or "somewhat") of awareness, knowledge, and competence regarding lupus' signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Each session was recorded and will become enduring activities for continuing medical education (CME) credit available through TLI's website later this year. Both AHECs will be involved in further ACR efforts under renewed OMG funding for 2016-2017.


You are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention

Alaska AHEC is sponsoring three upcoming continuing education webinars to provide more information on the burden of HPV cancers, the importance of HPV vaccination, and how to help parents overcome hesitancy about HPV vaccine. The target audience is physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses or any other staff who work with children, adolescents and their parents in primary care settings. Feel free to promote among your clinician networks. The webinar events are:

Wednesday, Aug. 3, noon PT, Registration Link

Thursday, Aug. 4, noon MT, Registration Link

Thursday, Sept. 8, noon MT, Registration Link

Technological Updates in the Treatment of Mental Health Conditions

July 28, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

Using technology designed to improve health care is not a new concept. However, access to evidence-based technology to assist with psychological health care treatment, such as psychotherapy, is limited.

Without an established standard of care, it is appropriate for providers to use a "null" or waitlist control group in clinical trials. However, in cases where health care providers apply technology-based solutions to an evidence-based practice, they are required to compare these solutions to active treatments.

One approach, becoming more prominent in medical literature, is to use a non-inferiority trial. The overall goal of this type of trial is to test and demonstrate that an experimental treatment is no worse than the current standard of care. Unfortunately, some reports about using this type of trial reveal confusion or a lack of understanding about the technical and philosophical distinctions of the trial design.

In this webinar, we will develop the tools needed to evaluate the quality of the evidence base to improve clinical care. We will use trials that incorporate technology to administer psychotherapy compared to the in-office standard of care as a practical case study.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will know how to:

  • Identify the key design elements of a non-inferiority study
  • Interpret the results of a non-inferiority trial
  • Evaluate the credibility of the evidence base for a treatment approach based on non-inferiority designs

Derek J. Smolenski, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Epidemiologist and Quantitative Methodologist
National Center for Telehealth & Technology
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Maj. Demietrice L. Pittman, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Subject Matter Expert
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
Silver Spring, Maryland

Continuing Education
Continuing education credit is available from Professional Education Services Group (PESG).  You must register by 3 p.m. (ET) July 28, 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.

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

Join health care professionals and academics to exchange knowledge on the "State of the Science: Advances, Current Diagnostics and Treatments of Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in Military Health Care" at the 2016 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit.

Presented live September 13 – 15 from the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, this three-day hybrid event will connect a limited-size physical audience with up to 1,500 other attendees from around the world via a concurrent virtual component in real-time.

All attendees will have access to 28 hours of evidence-based treatment programing, plus opportunities to join session discussions and Q&As with speakers; earn continuing education credits; visit exhibitors; gain resources; share experiences through peer-to-peer learning; seek new and lasting collaborations with potential partners; and much more!

Plenary sessions will be organized into two tracks - psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

Register today, and get additional information at

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Other News

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 July 26th from 12:30-1:00pm EST. Please dial in at 1-605-475-3220 Passcode: 245171# to get caught up on all things NAO and AHEC!​​ ​​

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.​

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