NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit May 16, 2016

From the CEO's Office

Rob is away this week. Be sure to check back next week!

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.

  • A Salute to AHEC: NAO Capitol Awards Dinner: 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


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.

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

Get Set: View Countdown to the Capitol Webinars and Schedule Hill Visits

We are looking forward to seeing AHEC's full representation at the NAO Conference, AHEC on the Hill: A Capitol Idea!, June 27-30, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

If you've missed any of the Webinars 1-4 series, then it's not too late! We hope you'll take the time to view them on the NAO Countdown to the Capitol! webpage. Webinars 1-3 are archived for continued access, and Webinar 4 will be posted soon for those who missed it last week.

Please make use of this NAO customized website landing page. This page provides our membership with a source for all your advocacy planning, including access to customized tools and resources developed by the Public Policy Committee.

It's TIME to start scheduling your state's legislative Hill Visits!  View Webinar 3 for lots of tips and tools. If you're not sure what to say in your visit request, use our advocacy resource tool, the Scheduling Template, on our webpage. It's okay if your elected official is not in town, go ahead and schedule to meet with the healthcare legislative office staffers. These meetings build your AHEC relationships, while supporting NAOs identity and visibility for Congressional support. The staff visits can often provide more face time, and they can also be a real win!

The NAO CORE Committee has created an excellent and user-friendly tool to help you showcase how your state contributes to the national AHEC effort!

The State AHEC Data One-Pager Tools, include directions and templates for you to create a one-pager that matches the NAO Data One-Pager. You can view an informative session about how to use these resource templates on Webinar 2 (starting at about the 30 minute mark).

For more information, please contact your NAO Public Policy Co-Chairs:

Angela M. Boyer (Indiana AHEC Network)

Kristina Fjeld-Sparks (New Hampshire AHEC)

National Training Center

HPV Project: By the Numbers
Our evaluation team has been hard at work crunching the data on all the programs offered by AHECs participating in the HPV project. Drum roll, please! A total of 259 program for clinicians have been delivered hosted or supported by HPV state entities with a total of 9,475 participants! We're well on our way to reaching our project goals!

It's time to think about back to school already!
In the next several weeks, schools across the country will be dismissing for summer break! Did you know that most childhood vaccinations occur in the summer months? Consider posting some back-to-school vaccination messages on your social media accounts such as: #BackToSChool season is crucial to ensuring preteens are protected from serious diseases like pertussis, meningitis and HPV cancers. Here's some more suggestions from our partners, American Academy of Pediatrics: Facebook Posts for Parents and Caregivers, Facebook Posts for Healthcare Professionals, Tweets for Parents and Caregivers, and Tweets for Healthcare Professionals.

Don't Just Teach Facts; Teach How to Find Facts

A newly published study from Loyola University Medical Center found 63% of their newly diagnosed cancer patients did not know how to find quality health information online about their medical condition. Their patients visited commercially biased advertising websites rather than reliable, vetted medical websites to research their condition. While most of those patients had below-average literacy scores; even the high school graduates from the study visited commercial advertising sites 1/3 of the time. These findings contribute to other work that suggests it is not enough to just teach facts about health topics, but that teaching people how to distinguish good information from bad is an important life skill.

Click here to view the published study.


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.

2016 May Military Health System Speaker Series — Continuing Education Opportunity

Join us for the third event of the 2016 Military Health System (MHS) Speaker Series, "Mental Health," scheduled 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EDT) 18 May 2016. The topics covered during this event support an integrated system of health care for those who serve in the defense of our country, and newly established Defense Health Agency objectives.

Presentations include:

"Applications of Music Therapy: Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health with Military Populations"
Rebecca Vaudreuil, EdM, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Rehabilitation & NICU Specialist, National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland

  • Interpret the use of targeted music therapy interventions in a mental health setting.
  • Identify music therapy interventions and the applicable context for utilization in an interdisciplinary or co-treatment setting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of neurologic music therapy (NMT) through real-time experiential examples in the realms of speech and language, sensorimotor and cognition.

"Obesity, Eating Behaviors, and Stigma among Service Members and Dependents"
Natasha Schvey, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Uniformed Services University Health Science (USUHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland

  • Recognize antecedents to weight bias in clinical settings.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the impact of weight bias on engagement in primary health care.
  • Identify and apply strategies to reduce weight bias in primary health care settings.

"Chronic Neuropsychiatric Effects of Mefloquine Toxicity"
Remington Nevin, MD, MPH, DrPH Candidate, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Identify characteristic neurologic and psychiatric features of the mefloquine toxidrome.
  • Describe plausible pathophysiologic mechanisms of the toxidrome's chronic sequelae.
  • Relate progressive changes in military mefloquine policy to updates in the mefloquine drug label.
  • Recognize the relevance of mefloquine intoxication and its chronic sequelae in the care of military service members and veterans.

"Sleep Disturbance: Assessment and Evidence-Based Clinical Interventions in the Active Duty and Veteran Populations"
Anthony Panettiere, M.D., USN Retired, Neurology and Sleep Medicine, National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
Jonathan Olin, M.D., Psychiatrist and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Director, Evans Army Community Hospital Sleep Lab, Department of Medicine, Ft. Carson, Colorado

  • Integrate the key principles of conducting a sleep assessment.
  • Explain evidence-based practices that improve patient complaints of disturbed sleep and nightmares.
  • Discriminate when a medication or non-medication sleep intervention would be most beneficial to the patient.
  • Engage the patient in practicing and documenting sleep hygiene techniques.
  • Determine when a patient would be a good candidate for a sleep study/sleep consult.

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. (EDT) May 18, to earn up to six continuing education credits. This continuing education activity is provided through collaboration between the Defense Health Agency and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and issued by Professional Education Services Group.

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:

Please join us for the VA/DOD Suicide Prevention Webinar - The Public Health Approach Webinar Series Presents: The Power of One: The Role of Peer Support in Suicide Prevention.

Date: May 25, 2016
Time: 1400-1530 (EST)
The webinar will discuss:

  • Understanding recent trends in the epidemiology of suicide and related service needs
  • The theoretical mechanisms by which peer support might mitigate suicide risk factors
  • The clinical trial evidence regarding the efficacy of peer support for reducing the risk of suicide
  • The spectrum of services in which peers are playing a role with regard to suicide prevention, efforts to evaluate those services and areas in need of additional research.

Paul Pfeiffer, MD, MS
Research Investigator
Department of Veteran Affairs
Center for Clinical Management Research
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of Michigan

Mark Bates, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Psychological Health Promotion
Deployment Health Clinical Center
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE)

Registration opens on May 11, 2016. To register please visit:

Continuing Education Units:
This continuing education activity is provided through collaboration between DSPO, VA, and DCoE, and issued by Professional Education Services Group (PESG).

You must register by 6 p.m. (EST) on May 25, 2016, to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit. A variety of CME/ CEs credit designations are offered, for all other health care provider disciplines, a certificate of attendance is available for you to use to negotiate CEs with your state occupational board.

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. The authority for training of contractors is at the discretion of the chief contracting official. Currently, only those contractors with SOWs or with commensurate contract language are permitted to obtain CEs.

For additional information, please contact:


Psychological Health Webinar:

Facilitating Help-seeking Behavior for Psychological Health Concerns in Service Members

May 26, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)

Service members are often susceptible to increased rates of diagnosable psychological health concerns. This is particularly true in service members who have experienced multiple deployments and/or served in combat roles. Data suggest that relatively few service members with psychological health concerns seek help, which may increase the risk of ongoing symptoms, diminished readiness, and career implications. These barriers to care are present across all service branches, including the National Guard and reserve components, who face additional challenges and potentially reduced access to psychological health care or resources. This review presents research findings about the barriers to care for service members, along with systematic efforts to reduce stigma and facilitate help-seeking behavior. Additionally, the presentation will discuss strategies that health care providers and line leaders can implement to reduce stigma and facilitate help-seeking behavior.

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

  • Identify the major barriers in seeking help for psychological health concerns for service members.
  • Recognize systematic efforts to increase access to care, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking behavior.
  • Apply strategies to dispel stigma and facilitate help-seeking for psychological health concerns in service members.

Bradford W. Applegate, Ph.D.
Real Warriors Campaign Clinical Psychological Health Subject Matter Expert
Silver Spring, Maryland

Vladimir Nacev, Ph.D., ABPP
Acting Chief, Implementation Division
Deployment Health Clinical Center
Silver Spring, Maryland

Continuing Education
Continuing education credit is available from Professional Education Services Group (PESG). You must register by 3 p.m. (ET) May 26, 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 at

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!

Follow us on Twitter
2016 #DCoESummit

Other News

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg: It's back from its mini-vacation!

Since Rob is out of the office, there will be no call this week.​​

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.

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