NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit May 23, 2016

From the CEO's Office

It was such a pleasure to travel to and explore Anchorage and other areas of Alaska for a few days last week and the week before. Beyond seeing some incredibly beautiful areas of Alaska and the occasional moose, I had the opportunity to participate on a panel with Alaska AHEC director Gloria Burnett, Rachel Gonzales-Hanson from the Texas Community Health Development organization and Pat Carr, Alaska State Office of Rural Health discussing "Rural Recipes for Success" at the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association's annual conference. Hearing from fellow panelists and during other conference sessions I got a glimpse into some of the challenges of living in remote and frontier locations and the difficult issues of provider recruitment and retention and access to care in regions (some the size of Oregon) where there may be no roads and the only way into a particular community may be by boat or float plane. It's a little tough to comprehend from a "Lower 48" perspective, though in speaking with a number of Alaskans, they make it work as best they can and clearly love where and how they live. Overall, it was a wonderful experience visiting a small piece of Alaska and seeing and talking with our Alaska AHEC colleagues. As the plane's wheels lifted off the ground as we headed towards Seattle and ultimately home, I felt a mixture of sadness at leaving and a strong desire to return again soon.

I wish you all a Happy Memorial Day weekend in advance and look for the Monday Update to come out on Tuesday May 31st.

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

Only five weeks until the NAO 2016 Washington, D.C Conference kicks off! That's soon and will be here before you know it! Final conference details are getting set and we need YOU at our conference! ​Register now while you're thinking about it!​.

It's vital that we get a great turnout at this year's conference. Not only do we have an outstanding conference planned with notable speakers and important concurrent sessions, we will be discussing the AHEC Program and it's potential HRSA "re-design" and future. If ever there was a dialogue that demands everyone's input, this would be it. ​On top of all that, ​having an overwhelming presence on the Hill as we advocate for a $40 million appropriation in FY2017 gives us a better chance at creating that reality. We need YOU to be at this conference.​ Register soon!​

New NTC Initiative

I'm pleased to announce a new NTC initiative between NAO and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Rachel Chase, our NLM coordinator, will be overseeing this initiative with the ACR regarding lupus and provider education in medically underserved areas.

NAO and Haymarket Medical Education Partnership

The National AHEC Organization is exploring a collaborative partnership with Haymarket Medical Education (an accredited provider of continuing medical education that designs educational activities for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners) to help advance NAO's National Training Center in addressing population health initiatives.

To help us better understand which provider health education-related areas to pursue, I am asking you to complete a short survey that will identify areas of common interest which will guide the pursuit of external funding to support population health initiatives utilizing our AHEC network. Please see the survey and complete it by June 10, 2016. Once responses are compiled and reviewed I'll be back in touch with results and an action plan going forward. I'm excited about this new partnership with Haymarket Medical Education (HME) and its potential to meet your needs and the needs of the clinicians with whom you work. Your survey responses will be helpful in framing which direction we'll go in working with HME. Please make every effort to complete the survey by June 10.

HRSA CHW Funding Opportunity Announcement from HAB

The HIV/AIDS Bureau is pleased to inform grant recipients of a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for a single Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center (TAEC):

Announcement Number: HRSA-16-185

Purpose of the FOA: This announcement solicits applications for fiscal year (FY) 2016 to support a single organization that will serve as the Technical Assistance Evaluation Center (TAEC) for a new initiative entitled Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in HIV Care. The goal of this three year cooperative agreement is to increase the utilization of community health workers (CHW) to improve access to and retention in healthcare; and to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV (PLWH) by strengthening the health workforce, building healthier communities, and achieving health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations. The project will focus on assisting HIV medical provider sites, particularly those funded by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), with the support needed to integrate CHWs into an HIV multidisciplinary team model through training, direct technical assistance, and collaborative learning sessions.

Entities that are eligible to apply include national organizations; State, local, and Indian tribal governments; institutions of higher education; other non-profit organizations (including community-based and faith-based and tribal organizations) involved in addressing HIV/AIDS related issues at a national scope.

Technical Assistance Webinar: All applicants are encouraged to participate in a technical assistance (TA) webinar for this funding opportunity. The technical assistance webinar will be held June 9, 2016 from 2:00-4:00 PM Eastern Time. The purpose of the webinar is to assist potential applicants in preparing applications that address the requirements of the FOA. Participation in the pre-application TA webinar is strongly encouraged to ensure the successful submission of the application.

Questions on the FOA? HAB staff will respond to the questions during the Q&A portion of the webinar. Go to Grants.Gov for to get a copy of the application and application package.

Amelia Khalil, MA | Project Officer
Division of Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Program
Health Resources and Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Parklawn 09W09C
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone (301)443-0527|Fax (301)443-5271

CDC Zika Virus Information

With the recent Zika virus outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika virus disease cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States is increasing. This Clinical Reminder serves to inform clinicians about CDC Zika Guidance and Recommendations.

Good Reads!

2016 Conference Information


We have just been advised that the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel only has 5 rooms left to sell for Wednesday night, June 29th. Once those rooms are gone, the hotel is totally sold out for that night. If you have not yet made your reservations, I strongly recommend you do so. If you have any troubles booking a room, please contact Paul Rossmann at and he will try to assist you. Include the check in and check out dates along with the type of room (single or double) you are wanting.


Hotel Reservations – By Phone
To make a reservation by phone, call 800-393-2505 and identify yourself as attending the National AHEC 2016 Conference in order to get the special conference rate.

NOTE: Conference Registration does not include or guarantee your accommodation reservation at The Renaissance Downtown DC Hotel (the conference venue). Hotel reservations must be made separately.

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

The evaluations are in and…

More number crunching for us working on the CDC HPV Project. Here's a few highlights from those participating in our HPV trainings:

  • 93% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that as a result of the training they were better able to describe the burden of HPV disease.
  • 95% of participants agreed or strongly agreed they were better able to explain the rationale for administering HPV vaccine to both boys and girls at ages 11 or 12.
  • 93% of participants agreed or strongly agreed they became more aware of the CDC recommendations for administering the HPV vaccine.
    Better yet…
  • 90% plan to use information gained to modify their practices to increase HPV vaccinations! Nearly 27% said they would implement a strong recommendation for the HPV vaccine; 24% planned to implement "same day/same way" practice for vaccinations; and 9% planned to implement or revise their reminder/recall process.

New spreadsheet reporting system

Thank you to all of the state entities embracing the new HPV project spreadsheet reporting system with 88% submitting monthly reports by the deadline! We appreciate your efforts and making the transition to the new system. We think it's going to be a welcome change for everyone moving forward.

Online Information and Health

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Surveys, we are "connected" to our health. As of 2013, 59% of US adults said they had looked for health information online. In 2015, 64% of US adults owned a smart phone. Increased access to information means it is more important than ever to learn to distinguish between good and bad information. This 16 minute tutorial from the National Library of Medicine gives a visual introduction to identifying quality health information online.


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!

The next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call will be Tuesday May 31st 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 (especially as we get close to the conference)!​

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