NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit May 2, 2016

From the CEO's Office

I am writing to provide you with an update of the NAO "AHEC re-design" writing process. Writing is in full force now, with final editing and writing to be conducted this week. The final version of the proposed activities for the AHEC Program, after review and approval from the NAO board, will be sent to Dr. Padilla and other leaders from the HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce no later than May 9, 2016. ​

The core NAO team of writers includes leaders from the NAO board and leaders from the Program Director and Center Director Constituency Groups, and takes into account feedback from a diverse group of AHECers. Again, the purpose of the outline/white paper is to propose key AHEC elements that the leadership wants to ensure are included in the re-design and in the FY2017 AHEC FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement). The writing team will meet at least one last time this week before final submission. Please let me know if you have any questions.​

NAO 2016 Washington, D.C. Conference: Register NOW!

Only eight (8!) weeks until the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C Conference kicks off! That's two months--which is not a lot of time and will certainly fly by. Register now before it slips off your 'to-do' list. ​The 'Early Bird ​' registration ends on May 13th, which is only ten (10!) working days from today. Register now while you're thinking about it!

As you've heard me mention before, there is so much to do while in Washington. Given the hotel's fantastic central location, one can go in nearly any direction and find something ​interesting to see or do. Being in D.C. in the summer does mean that it can be warm, but don't let that dissuade you from exploring. Click on this link to check-out many free (or nearly free) activities that you can do in D.C:

And check this link out, as well, for 51 things everyone should experience at least once in D.C:

I'm looking forward to seeing you in just a few weeks; the conference will be here before you know it, so REGISTER NOW!

Awards Dinner Theme Chosen

An important part of the biennial NAO conference is the AHEC Awards Dinner. This is an opportunity to socialize, celebrate as an AHEC family, and recognize some of our colleagues for the outstanding work we AHECers all do every day in meeting our mission. The theme for this year's awards dinner is A Salute to AHEC! NAO Capitol Awards Dinner. If you haven't already done so, please register for the 2016 NAO conference - AHEC ON THE HILL: A CAPITOL IDEA!

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

"Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" will be going on a little holiday during the month of April and will be back in May. I'm not sure where it's going, but I've heard that maybe it's heading to Costa Rica. Please continue to watch the Monday Update for the date of the next call.​

Special Interest Groups: Making Progress Every Day — Be sure to meet in-person in D.C.!

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:

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

Across the nation, there is much work being done to protect children from cancer. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is extremely common and is the leading cause of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, and other genital cancers in both males and females. Fortunately, there is a vaccine that can prevent these cancers, and the National AHEC Organization in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to increase HPV vaccination rates among young males and females by educating health care providers and encouraging them to give a strong recommendation for the vaccine to their patients.

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Combat HPV

In 2015, the Northeast Missouri AHEC office was selected to take part in this initiative by forming partnerships and organizing trainings for health care providers throughout the state. In February, a panel of medical professionals delivered education and spoke on their professional experience with HPV and the HPV vaccine. This training was held at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Mo., and was also broadcast live to hospitals in Joplin, Saint Joseph and Cape Girardeau. There were 46 people in attendance including hospital staff as well as A.T. Still University third- and fourth-year medical students. The multi-disciplinary approach was a very well-received and the method of delivery of the presentation was found to be effective. The panel included a family practice physician, a pediatrician, and an OB/GYN. Each presenter was able to provide his or her own unique experience in the field as it related to HPV and HPV prevention. Read more HPV success stories!

A Health Literacy Rationale for Modern Times

The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy report produced a pivotal realization in the history of health literacy. It stated that 88% of US adults had below basic, basic, or intermediate understandings of basic medical terms and information. Put another way, only 12% of the adult population had proficient health literacy skills! Now, it's true that times have changed since then. Today, we have broadband internet and mobile phones increasing population-wide access to information. But we also have a significantly more distressed health care system with overloaded providers, electronic medical records, a sluggish economy, and health insurance complications abounding. And, as ever, low health literacy rates contribute to poorer health outcomes and increased health care costs and utilization. Times may have changed, but at least one fact remains; it's a great time to invest in health literacy!

2016 Conference Information



Early Bird registration for the NAO 2016 Washington, DC Conference is in full swing! 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 — Register Now!

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.


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 Early Learning Centers, Schools, Colleges and Universities
Thursday, May 19, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 pm, MT (4:00-5:30 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

2:05-2:20 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 Assistant Secretary for Health, Acting Regional Health Administrator, Region VIII

2:20-2:40 TOP Star: Utah's Obesity Prevention Program in Early Care and Education: Learn about this successful program in which TOP Star consultants partner with child care providers to assess their nutrition and physical activity practices, set goals and develop an action plan, and provide training and technical assistance to implement an effective childhood obesity program in child care facilities.
Speaker: Patrice Isabella, Nutrition Coordinator: Healthy Living Through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care, Utah Department of Health

2:40-3:00 Measuring Food Waste in School Settings to Influence Dietary Intake - Food waste measurement is a powerful tool for changing policies and practices to positively influence dietary intake in the school setting. From early child care to K-12 to colleges and universities, this presentation will provide information on simple and effective measurement strategies to increase healthy food consumption at school.
Speaker: Dr. Carmen Byker Shanks, Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of Human Nutrition at the Food and Health Lab at Montana State University

3:00-3:20 Food is More Than Something to Eat – An Innovative Tribal College Program: In this presentation, you will learn how the United Tribes Technical College uses USDA Extension Program funds to bring culturally relevant educational resources, training, and consultation on nutrition, life skills, and food systems to their campus and greater community.
Speaker: Dr. Wanda Agnew, Faculty/Extension Nutrition Educator, United Tribes Technical College

3:20-3:30 Questions & Answers and Additional Resources

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.

The Military Health System Speaker Series has an upcoming educational opportunity that offers up to 6 hours of Continuing Education Credits.

Date: 18 May 2016, 9:00 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. (EST)

Topic: Mental Health

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.

Registration is set to open on 4 May 2016.

Please mark your calendar and save the date!

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