NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit March 7, 2016

From the CEO's Office

It's hard to believe but the NAO 2016 Washington, DC conference is only fifteen weeks away, which seems like a long time though that's less than 4 months, and yes, the conference website and registration are now Live! ​You can view the dedicated conference website by going to the NAO website: ​ and clicking on the "Registration Now Open" link under the conference logo. Please remember to get your hotel reservations in as soon as you can as rooms are filling up fast. This promises to be an outstanding conference. In fact, nearly every day AHECers on the planning team are hard at work ensuring that all attendees will have a great conference experience. Be sure to make plans to attend!

SAVE THE DATE: March 31st 3:00 Eastern Webinar: "Preparing AHECs for the Winds of Change"

As AHECs prepare for our next grant cycle, we need to be aware of discussions occurring at the federal level about workforce and Title VII programs. On Thursday, March 31st at 3:00 Eastern, with funding support from the NAO Board, a group of AHEC program directors and members of the NAO Public Policy Committee will share information gleaned from federal reports, advisory committees, site visits and recent grants to inform the network so we can all be better prepared for the future. We hope you'll be able to join us for this webinar. This dialogue will continue when we are together in D.C. in June at the NAO conference.​

***A registration link will be sent shortly; please stay tuned.

"Budget Watch"

From our colleagues at The Coalition for Health Funding (in case you didn't see it late last week):

Several news outlets report that the House budget discussions are melting down. Here's what you need to know:

  • The Republican Study Committee, led by Chairman Bill Flores, joined the House Freedom Caucus in support of lowering discretionary spending to the sequestered, pre-Bipartisan Budget Act levels. The RSC, which has over 170 members, wants to keep discretionary spending at no more than $1.040 trillion, with $551 billion going to defense and only $489 billion for nondefense discretionary spending. They may be open open to proposals that would stick to the BBA caps, but only on the condition that $30 billion be cut from mandatory spending.
  • Democrats argue that sequestration relief was already offset in the BBA (which is true), so more spending cuts shouldn't be needed. They also argue that reneging on that deal would make enacting appropriations bills through regular order impossible.
  • Appropriators and Speaker Ryan agree with Democrats on the latter, and are trying to convince their colleagues to avoid reopening the BBA debate. CQ reports that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers is not opposed to $30 billion in additional cuts to mandatory programs--as proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Price--as a way to appease conservative colleagues. But he does not support these cuts being tied to appropriations bills.
  • It's all of the above that has led Speaker Ryan to say the House may need to walk away from doing a budget this year. If Republicans fail to move a budget over the discretionary spending impasse, they will lose the opportunity to draft reconciliation instructions that they could act on next year under a Republican president (reconciliation instructions don't expire until Congress acts or passes new instructions). It may not matter, as it seems increasingly likely the Senate will not do a budget given all the drama in the upper chamber. No Senate budget, no reconciliation instructions anyway.

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 15th from 12:30--1:00 pm EST. On our most recent call we primarily discussed AHEC funding, the next AHEC grant cycle and the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C conference this coming June. Please dial in for our next call at:1-605-475-3220: Passcode: 245171#​. Join us and see where the conversation goes!​

From the NAO/AHEC Archives

Many thanks to Dr. Bruce Gould (CT AHEC Program Director) for forwarding this ​newsletter to me to share with you all. ​This is the VERY FIRST ​AHEC Bulletin, published in May 1983. Take a look through the newsletter; some of our more long-serving AHECers may recognize a few of the names, though I am certain that you will all recognize a number of the same issues that we continue to work on all throughout the country via our expanded AHEC network​. I'd love to hear your feedback after you take a look!

NAO Special Interest Groups

The SIGs continue to roll along! Please take a look at the spreadsheet and consider joining a SIG that aligns with your interest areas and your AHECs' strategic priorities.​

Remember once again: ​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.​

For those groups that are making good progress, please consider meeting at the NAO 2016 conference in DC. It will be a good way to connect in-person to keep the work alive!​

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

Good Reads!

NAO Member Profile Update Information

Attention NAO Members,

Now is the perfect time to take a moment and update your member profile for NAO to make sure we have the most current information not only about you, but about each center and program office.  To update your profile, please go to, log in using your member user id and password and update your profile. If you forgot your user id and password, simply click on the blue box that says "I forgot my User ID and Password", and follow the instructions. 

If you are AHEC staff and do not currently receive information from the NAO organization, and you are interested in doing so, please have your AHEC manager go to, click on the membership tab at the top and then click on member profile update, log in and update their profile and add your name and e-mail address. To search for the manager at your AHEC that can add login accounts,  click here. Once they have done this, you will receive your own user id and password which will allow login access to the members only section of the NAO website, receive our weekly Monday Update Newsletter, be able to register for any NAO conferences at the member rate and more. 

In the event that you or your AHEC manager have difficulty performing any of these functions noted above, or if you are having trouble logging in, please contact our Customer Care department at , or (414) 908-4953 x450.

Thank you for helping us out and updating this important information.

Best Regards,

NAO Membership Committee

National Training Center

Have you considered suggesting HPV as a Grand Rounds topic? Connecticut did, check out their success
Grand Rounds is proving a useful tool in the fight against HPV in Connecticut. Southwestern Area Health Education Center (AHEC) indicates that education format is a "little niche" in reaching health care professionals in that state. Learn more about Connecticut's HPV successes and read about other successes happening throughout the nation here.

Cancer centers urge HPV vaccinations
In an unprecedented move, 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers have recently come together to advocate for HPV vaccination as a preventive measure against many HPV-related cancers. This is the first time NCI-designated cancer centers have endorsed a joint statement on public health. In the joint statement, the centers encourage all health care providers to be advocates by making strong recommendations for HPV vaccination as well as to educate parents/guardians and colleagues about the importance and benefits of HPV vaccination. See the list of cancer centers and the entire joint statement here.

Resource Roundup
Our partners at the American Cancer Society re-vamped their HPV Just the Facts handout. This is great information for AHECs to share with their partners, network of professionals and include as a resource in their HPV presentations.

Lessons Learned

A few weeks ago we posted some lessons learned from the health information literacy project. Here are a few more program planning tips for working with youth and your adult partners.

  • Selecting program participants by using an application process can weed out participants who are likely to drop out of the program or not be strong contributors. Being accepted based on an application creates a sense of pride, and could also potentially be used as a resume builder for participants.
  • After you've made your participant selections, give the lucky few plenty of time to plan their schedules prior to the start date. These future participants likely moved on to other things after they submitted their application and forgot all about you! Even young people (who rely on adults for transportation), need time to make plans.
  • Are there fundamental building-blocks your participants or adult partners need? Assess the capacity and status of your group UP FRONT, and provide or get them the basic education they'll need for full participation as soon as possible.
  • Schedule in PROGRAM time for your evaluations. Evaluation is not just an administrative process, it requires program participant's time as well! Test piloting your evaluation instruments with a member of the target audience is the only way to really tell how much time you will need.
  • Working with mixed-age group youth can be tricky. Encourage everyone's participation with small group work coupled with report-outs, or ice-breakers that draw everyone into the group.

2016 Conference Information



Early Bird registration for the NAO 2016 Washington, DC Conference is now OPEN!   This is the perfect time to take a moment and register for the upcoming conference so you can take advantage of the early bird registration discount. You can register individually by going to and clicking on the link for the conference found on the home page. To register, click on the registration tab and follow the instructions. If you wish to register a group of people, you can print the .pdf registration form also found on the registration tab, complete one for each person, and fax them to the NAO registration team at 414-768-8001. Remember, we must receive your fax by the end of business on Friday, May 13th in order to take advantage of the early bird discount.

  • New Directors Orientation:  If you are a new Center or Program Director, don't forget to sign up for this exciting and informative training for all new directors. You must register in advance to be able to attend.
  • Monday Evening Welcome Reception:  Enjoy a nice evening of networking with your fellow AHECers, and check out the poster session as well.  You must register in advance to attend. 
  • Tuesday Evening Dinner and Awards Banquet:  Come join all attendees at a spectacular and fun Dinner and Awards Banquet.  Network with other AHEC staff, and come support our award winners. We have some exciting, and absolutely fun entertainment for you.  You must register in advance to attend.   


Don't forget to make your hotel reservations at the 


and secure the NAO special negotiated conference rate.

Hotel reservation deadline is June 6, 2016

You can make your hotel reservations on-line by selecting the Hotel tab on the conference web site. Please take a moment to read all of the important information included on that page. A link to make your hotel reservation is noted in this area of the conference website.  Please note that the last day to book your reservation with the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel and get the NAO conference rate is by 5pm, Friday, June 6th.   After this date, the rooms will be released back to the hotel and any reservations made after that date will be based upon availability and current room rates.

A SPECIAL ROOM RATE of $229/night - single/double has been reserved for NAO conference attendees. Please have your credit card available when making your reservation. The hotel will charge a (1) night’s deposit to your credit card in order to hold your reservation.

NOTE:  All reservations must be made on or before the cutoff of June 6, 2016 to take advantage of the negotiated NAO Room rate. Any reservations made after the cutoff date shall be at the hotels current available rate.

Book early to ensure you get the group rate

Please consider when making your plans for Washington, DC, to do your best to arrange to stay in the conference hotel. You will benefit as the conference events will all be at your doorstep, and you'll have lots of opportunities to network and meet up with new and old friends. And NAO will benefit; as you may know, NAO conference contracts are signed with hotels a couple of years in advance. These contracts include a specified number of "room nights" which we have to fill. If we fall short, we pay a significant amount of money in penalties. Given the current economy, our organization, like many others, is suffering short-falls. It is possible that NAO may not be able to afford to do annual conferences if we end up too far in the red, so please, do what you can to continue to support NAO by booking your room at the Renaissance Hotel.

See you in Washington, DC!

Mary Craig and Anna Wenders
Conference Co-chairs


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.


2016 March Military Health System Speaker Series – Continuing Education Opportunity

Join us for the second event of the 2016 Military Health System (MHS) Speaker Series, Brain Injury Awareness (Nutrition, Sleep & Vision) scheduled from 8 a.m.-4:35 p.m. (ET), 16 March 2016.


"Eye and Vision Care Following Blast Exposure and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A Clinical Recommendation" (Dr. Felix M. Barker II)

  • Recognize "invisible" nature of blast-related eye injury and visual dysfunction
  • Identify eye injuries and TBI related vision losses in combat and blast-related casualties
  • Manage combat eye injury and TBI-related vision loss and dysfunction

"Exercise Testing, Prescription, and Heart Rate Variability Training in Post-Concussion Disorders" (Dr. Kristinn Heinrichs)

  • Differentiate between the three primary types of post-concussion disorders.
  • Describe the alterations in neuroautonomic regulation and how exercise capacity is affected in patients with post-concussion disorders.
  • Administer the appropriate graded exercise testing (GXT) protocol and prescribe an exercise program based on the results.
  • Utilize heart rate variability training in the management of symptoms associated with post- concussion disorders and posttraumatic stress syndrome.

"Assessment and Treatment of Sleep Problems in Primary Care" (Dr. William Isler and Dr. Denise Martin Zona)

  • Describe the components of a brief functional assessment and associated treatments
  • Employ cognitive behavioral interventions for improving sleep
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the etiology and clinical presentation involved in insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and other sleep behavior disorders
  • Assemble continuing education, resources and tailor handouts for patients

"Syndromes of Impaired Consciousness: Distinctions and Rehabilitation" (Dr Risa Nakase-Richardson)

  • Examine Conceptual Model of Early Neurobehavioral Phenomenology
  • Identify syndromes of impaired consciousness
  • Define rehabilitation outcomes of disorders of consciousness
  • Classify measurement of disordered consciousness

"Diagnosis and Management of Post -Traumatic Headache" (Dr. Jeanne Hoffman and Dr. Silvia Lucas)

  • Describe the incidence and prevalence of headache after TBI
  • Relate the critical elements for the diagnosis of headache in individuals with TBI using the symptoms of headache for classification purposes
  • Identify and employ current treatment approaches for headache after TBI

Target Audience
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.

Continuing Education
You must register by 6 p.m. (ET) on March 16, 2016, to earn up to 7 CEs.  This continuing education activity is provided through collaboration between DHA and DCoE, and issued by Professional Education Services Group (PESG).

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.

Sign up for the webinar at: Upon completion of registration, a confirmation email will be sent providing event details.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email:

National Public Health Week

Thank you for participating in the National Public Health Week Partnership webinar. If you missed the webinar or would like to share it with others, recordings are available online.

The NPHW website is now live!
The NPHW 2016 website contains many great resources, including: the eight facts for the week, downloadable logos and wallpaper, an infographic and more. The NPHW Toolkit can help you plan your events and rally to make the U.S. the healthiest nation by 2030. Become an NPHW partner and join Generation Public Health, APHA's movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation.

We encourage you to submit your NPHW events to allow your community, and communities throughout the nation, to see what you'll be doing for NPHW. Make sure to check out the map of events to see what's going on in your community!

Social media webinar for NPHW
APHA's social media team will be hosting a Google Hangout on March 9 at 2 P.M. EST. Our experts will discuss simple ways to get involved with NPHW through social media, including how to sign up for the annual NPHW Twitter chat and how we can help build a public health movement together. Visit the NPHW website to learn more and register.

Follow NPHW on Social Media!
For more information and up-to date announcements, follow @NPHW on Twitter and like APHA's Facebook page. Don't forget to RSVP for the NPHW Twitter Chat on April 6 at 2 P.M. EDT.

Questions? Suggestions?Email us.

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