NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit March 28, 2016

From the CEO's Office

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday weekend. As in the past few weeks, there's quite a bit of information in today's Monday Update so grab a cup of coffee or tea and be sure to read through all the important NAO items. Please also be sure to share the MU with your colleagues and staff in your office; thanks!

Washington, D.C. Update

Our visits (Jacqueline Wynn, HMCW staff and me) in Washington, D.C. with House and Senate Appropriations Committee Members last week were quite successful. As we met with legislators, we had two essential messages, each of which seemed to be fairly well received:

  • ​Funding the AHEC Program at $40 million for FY2017 (and beyond) is vitally important to ensure that the AHEC network be ​positioned to successfully do the work with which we're charged
  • Our national network of AHECs is so well positioned and connected to the primary care provider base in rural, urban and frontier underserved communities throughout the United States in a way that no other national entity is, and that provides an enormous value to the country in terms of provider education and and training regarding population health issues

Our meetings were made more successful when the health legislative aide of any given office had heard from their local AHEC constituent in advance of our visit, which allowed for ​dialogue that focused on local health care issues and community concerns, and how the local AHEC has engaged around those concerns. ​Thank you to those who called prior to our visits; I know the timeline was tight, and I greatly appreciate the extra effort in reaching out and making the calls; thanks!​

And finally; we say so long and good-luck (but not good-by) to Priyanka Surio, as she leaves HMCW to move over to the Veteran's Administration. Priyanka ​has diligently worked with NAO over the past three years and has certainly supported NAO in our efforts to increase our national effectiveness regarding advocacy and policy issues. Please join me in wishing Priyanka well!

Priyanka and Rob

HRSA BHW Presentation at AAMC

In addition to our meetings on the Hill, Jacqueline, Kirstina Fjeld-Sparks, staff from HMCW and I attended a presentation by Dr. Luis Padilla, ​MD, Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), where he discussed BHW's FY17 budget request and the state of the Title VII and Title VIII programs.

Dr. Padilla spoke generally regarding BHW's strategic priorities ​and funding allocations as we prepare for FY2017. As we all know, the AHEC Program was not recommended for funding in President Obama's final budget request last month, though we know what we need to do in order to have the AHEC funding restored by Congress through the budgeting process.

The most important part of the meeting was shortly after the formal presentation where we had a chance to talk ​directly to Dr. Padilla and Captain Sheila Norris, ​Bureau of Health Workforce, Director of the Division of Health Careers and Financial Support to discuss our concerns regarding the future direction of the AHEC Program.

Our conversation was robust, and for the 30 or so minutes we had to talk, we covered a lot of topics and found multiple areas of common ground. I left our meeting feeling encouraged that NAO and the AHEC network will be part of the dialogue around any AHEC re-design and that medical schools and nursing schools (in states where there are no medical schools) will remain the 'eligible entities" to apply for funding in competitive cycles.​ Please join us on this Thursday's "Winds of Change" webinar to learn more. Details below:

SAVE THE DATE: THIS THURSDAY 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.​

***Here's the registration link for participants***

"Countdown to the Capitol" Webinar Series

The third "Countdown to the Capitol" webinar on March 11th was a great success and chock-full of useful information. Be sure to check out the archived version on the NAO website if you didn't get a chance to participate; everything anyone needs for a successful trip to the Hill can be found at the link below:

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

A Tool for Connecting with Colleagues AND catching up on all things NAO

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be tomorrow, Tuesday, March 29th from 12:30--1:00 pm EST. On our most recent call we primarily discussed AHEC funding, the next AHEC grant cycle and especially the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C conference this coming June (register now! 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 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:

CMS Releases Interactive Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) released a new interactive map to increase understanding of geographic disparities in chronic disease among Medicare beneficiaries. The Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) Toolidentifies disparities in health outcomes, utilization, and spending by race and ethnicity and geographic location. Understanding geographic differences in disparities is important to informing policy decisions and efficiently targeting populations and geographies for interventions.

"Our commitment to health equity begins with properly measuring the care people get and having an honest dialogue on how and where we need to improve," said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. "Today's tool aims to make it harder for disparities to go unaddressed."

Racial and ethnic minorities experience disproportionately high rates of chronic diseases, and are more likely to experience difficulty accessing high quality of care than other individuals. The identification of areas with large differences in the proportions of Medicare beneficiaries with chronic diseases is an important step for informing and planning health equity activities and initiatives. The Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool features:

  • A dynamic interface with data on the prevalence of 18 chronic conditions, end stage renal disease, or a disability; Medicare spending, hospital and emergency department (ED) utilization, preventable hospitalizations, readmissions, and mortality rates.
  • The ability to sort by state or county of residence, sex, age, dual-eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, and race and ethnicity.
  • Built-in benchmarking features to investigate disparities within counties and across racial and ethnic groups, and within racial and ethnic groups across counties.

"It's not enough to improve average health care quality in the U.S.," said CMS OMH Director Cara James. "As the CMS Equity Plan lays out, we must identify gaps in quality of care at all levels of the health care system to address disparities. We are excited to share this new tool, which allows us to pinpoint disparities in health care outcomes by population and condition."

The MMD Tool was developed in collaboration with KPMG LLC and NORC at the University of Chicago as part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare. The plan provides a framework for advancing health equity by improving the quality of care provided to minority and other underserved Medicare beneficiaries. MMD Tool

To access the MMD tool, visit

To learn more about how to use the tool and its data sources, see theMMD Tool Overview. Further details are available in the MMD Tool Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the Quick Start Guide, and the MMD Tool Technical Documentation.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) was established as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and works to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of all minority populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and rural populations.

2016 Match: 3,105 graduates choose family medicine

Data from the 2016 National Resident Matching Program show a record 3,105 graduating medical students chose family medicine, the seventh year in a row the numbers have increased. Stan Kozakowski, M.D., director of AAFP's Medical Education Division, said the numbers are heartening, but still far too few students are choosing family medicine to meet the nation's needs. AAFP News (3/18)

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

Hosting a Successful Continuing Education Webinar

Do you want to incorporate webinars into your continuing education outreach but are not sure where to start? We have training to help you get started! Join us for "Hosting a Successful Continuing Education Webinar," at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 6. This training will introduce participants to the basics of planning and executing a live and/or recorded online event and how to acquire and manage continuing education credit for the event. Participants will learn how this format differs from face-to-face events and about the resources necessary for implementation. This webinar is open to all AHECs regardless of their participation in the HPV project. Register Now

Study: Scheduling expectations results in missed HPV doses

Conflicting expectations between parents and medical providers about who is responsible for scheduling follow-up appointments is resulting in a failure of young girls completing the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination series, according to a new study led by Boston Medical Center researchers. Read more

SIG: Youth Community Health Coaching and Health Literacy

Last week NAO members held their first "Youth community health coaching and health literacy" special interest group meeting. It was a lively discussion that could have gone on much, much longer than the allotted time. Sometimes, working for an AHEC can seem like working on a small, remote island that has its own language. That's why it's so refreshing to meet with energized and knowledgeable colleagues that share your aims and interests. The bulk of the group's discussion honed in on youth summer camp programming issues; a timely discussion as folks begin gearing up for the summer season. Ideas were shared on issues such as marketing, whether to charge students and/or cost-share fees with other groups, the benefits of wait-listing students, offering program alternatives for non-selected students, innovative transportation solutions such as a student exchange, logistical barriers with overnight camps, fostering engagement after camp ends, and fostering student bonding. Our group agreed to meet monthly until or unless it was no longer deemed useful, so if you just found yourself wanting more details, join us! Email to be added to the group.

2016 Conference Information



Early Bird registration for the NAO 2016 Washington, DC Conference is 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 date for the upcoming Countdown to the Capitol webinar:

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. To see videos of Patti's TED talks, visit her website.

  • 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.


Traumatic Brain Injury Webinar

Management of Headache Following Concussion/Mild TBI: Guidance for Primary Care Management in Deployed and Non-Deployed Settings (New Department of Defense/Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Clinical Recommendation)

April 14, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

More than 339,000 service members sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2000 and 2015 with approximately 82 percent of these classified as mild TBI, also known as concussion (Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, 2016). Headache is the most common symptom reported following a concussion (Lucas, Hoffman, Bell, & Dikmen, 2014). In a study of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, 74 percent reported post-traumatic headaches (PTH) occurring within 30 days of sustaining a concussion (Theeler, Flynn, & Erickson, 2010).

The presentation will review the newly released Clinical Recommendation which offers guidance for the primary care management of PTH in deployed and non-deployed settings. The speakers will address the characteristics of four of the most common types of PTH and review non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment recommendations for each type. In addition, they will address when specialty referral may be indicated. Practical resources, including the clinical recommendation, provider training slides, companion clinical tool and patient education materials, will be available for download.

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

  • Articulate risk factors associated with PTH
  • Describe and distinguish among the common types of PTH
  • Employ the clinical recommendation to assess, diagnosis and treat each type of PTH

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. (2016). DoD Numbers for Traumatic Brain Injury
Worldwide - Totals. Retrieved from

Lucas, S., Hoffman, J., Bell, K. & Dikmen, S. (2014). A prospective study of prevalence and characterization of headache following mild traumatic brain injury. Cephalalgia,34(2), 93–102.

Theeler, B. J., Flynn, F. G. & Erickson, J. C. (2010). Headaches after concussion in U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 50(8), 1262-1272.

Donald W. Marion, M.D.     
Senior Clinical Consultant
Clinical Affairs Division
Contract support to Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Silver Spring, Maryland

Ronald Riechers, II, M.D.   
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Medical Director, Polytrauma Program
Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center
Cleveland, Ohio

Gary McKinney, M.S., CBIS  
Chief, Office of Clinical Practice and Clinical Recommendations
Clinical Affairs Division
Silver Spring, Maryland
Continuing Education
Continuing education credit is available from Professional Education Services Group (PESG). You must register by 3 p.m. (ET) April 14, 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 EPT support team at

Enhancing Access to Behavioral Health Care: A Webcast Series on Tele-Behavioral Health

This free Webcast Series is designed for provider organizations who would like to develop
or expand tele-behavioral health services for underserved populations.

For more information on this series of 3 webcasts, scheduled on April 14, April 28, and May 19, 2016, please see our flyer.

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