NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit November 21, 2016

From the CEO's Office

Many thanks to the Colorado AHEC Program for ​hosting me last week at the Colorado AHEC Program Office at the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. It was a pleasure to work with the Program Office and the Center Directors as they ​began their strategic planning for the AHEC redesign and expected release of the FY2017 AHEC FOA in the ​coming days.

As you all are working to develop your programmatic activities under the three BHW AHEC priority areas, I'd like to recommend that you connect with your colleagues — perhaps by using the Special Interest Groups format (please see below) to share your ideas, get feedback and learn from one another. I am aware of a few ad-hoc groups that have come together, and I think the strategy of working and learning together ​will be beneficial as you put pen to paper, so to speak, when the FOA officially is released.

As we officially enter the holiday season this week with Thanksgiving this Thursday, I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday. I am reminded daily that I — and we — have much to be grateful for even amidst some trying times. As a way to cultivate a regular spirit of gratitude, I do try to take time daily to to be thankful for everything that is meaningful to me and find it to be a helpful practice. My best to you for a wonderful holiday weekend.​


Late in the day on Friday, November 18, I spoke with ​senior HRSA leadership regarding the release of the FY2017 AHEC ​Funding Opportunity Announcement. As of ​CoB Friday 11/18/16, ​the AHEC FOA is still pending internal review and final clearance in HHS and will be delayed further​, although I was reassured that the FOA will be released as soon as possible. At this point I do not know how long the delay will be, though I am certain that the ​AHEC FOA will not be out ​this week nor ​likely next week. I ​do expect to hear from HRSA BHW staff once a new release date and deadline has been established. Additionally, the dates of the technical assistance sessions will likely change to November 30, 2016 and December 14, 2016, although these ​dates are ​still tentative and will be confirmed once final HHS clearance has been completed and the AHEC FOA has been released.​

This update is current as of 1​0am EST, 11/​21/16. Please let me know what questions you have, and as soon as I get any additional concrete information from HRSA BHW I will let you ​all know.


NAO and the Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association (IPMA) have once again partnered on a national-scale project that seeks to utilize our AHEC Network. This time, the project seeks​ to use the AHEC Network to offer training to a wide spectrum of providers regarding venous thromboembolism (VTE) education. Please see ​the documents linked below for more information and how to apply. Please let me know what questions you have; I look forward to robust participation!

Document 1
Document 2

National Training Center

Switch to two-dose schedule when formal policy statement released

Now that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has voted to recommend two doses of HPV vaccine rather than three doses when vaccination is initiated prior to an adolescent's 15th birthday, and the recommendation has been approved by the director of the CDC, we are looking forward to publication of the formal policy statement in the next month. That's when clinicians will officially switch to two-dose practices. While there will likely be some challenges in the early months, the American Cancer Society said the two-dose schedule is being celebrated because:

  • Parents will have one less visit to make
  • Adolescents will receive one less shot
  • Providers and practices will be able to schedule one less visit, or two if they combine the second dose with the patient's next annual well-visit
  • Insurance plans will have one less dose and visit to cover, and
  • Public health will hopefully see both a rise in completion rates and an increase in vaccination rates at younger ages, since the age 15 cutoff for two doses will be an added incentive for providers to make a strong recommendation and parents to agree to vaccinate their children on time.

What implications will the new two-dose schedule have on your HPV programs? Well, nothing right now.

  • Continue to use the "You Are the Key" educational materials, verbally noting the change in the schedule and use the PreTeenVax News as a handout.
  • Continue to promote the "You Are the Key" self-study guide available through Postgraduate Institute of Medicine.
  • As soon as new "You Are the Key" materials are released by CDC, they will be made available to you, including a new presentation handouts package with updated information.

Thanks for being flexible as changes are being made.

New CDC partnership toolkit

The CDC has updated its HPV Toolkit to include information on establishing partner networks as well as ways to do outreach to clinicians. The entire toolkit can be accessed here. Use this valuable resource as you expand your HPV educational efforts in Year 3!

Welcome to HPV Year 3 webinar planned

Those state entities selected to be a part of the HPV Project for Year 3 are invited to attend our next webinar "Welcome to Year 3!" set for 12 p.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 8. Register Now! At this webinar, you'll get to meet our four Project Specialists and learn more about each of their focus areas as well as updates on new materials for Year 3. This will also be an open forum to ask any questions you have about the project.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) invites public comment into their strategic planning process. The research community and users of NLM's information services and analysis tools are invited to comment on what they can imagine as the greatest achievements for biomedical informatics research or biomedical information access and use over the next 10 years. Input into the plan is anonymous and should be completed by January 8, 2017. See this webpage for more information.

In a statement from the new National Library of Medicine (NLM) Director, Patricia Flatley Brennan, the post-election environment for NLM looks positive. Among other plans, Brennan vowed to increase NLM's outreach to citizens. In recognizing that a major reason people use public libraries these days is to find health information, Brennan wants NLM to be more consumer friendly and has plans to expand PubMed Central's capabilities. PubMed Central is NLM's free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature open to the public.

Funding Available

NAO is pleased to release this funding opportunity announcement for NAO member AHECs to support a second year of the "American College of Rheumatology - National AHEC Organization Lupus Education Project" to engage the AHEC network in Federal FY2017. Funding will support a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 AHEC centers or programs in lupus education and networking events for MDs, DOs, ARNPs, and PAs. Due deadline is 12/12/16.


Using Telehealth to Deliver Diabetes Prevention Programs

A Webinar for Clinicians & Administrators Interested in Reaching People with Prediabetes in Rural and Frontier Areas

Presented by the Montana & Florida Diabetes Programs and HRSA's Office of Regional Operations

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

11:30-1:00 pm EST (10:30-12:00 CST) (9:30-11:00 MST) (8:30-10:00 PST)

Continuing Education Credits for Registered Dietitians are being arranged.

This webinar is free, but registration is required! Please register in advance here, and you will be sent a link to access the webinar.

Using Telehealth to Deliver Diabetes Prevention Programs
Presented by the following individuals:
Rachel Blacher, MPH, Division of Diabetes Translation, CDC
Dorota Carpenedo, MPH, Montana Diabetes Program, Helena, MT
Liane Vadheim, RDN, CDE, Holy Rosary Healthcare, Miles City, MT
Robert Parker, CVE, St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings, MT
Joanna (Craver) DiBenedetto, BS, MNM, American Association of Diabetes Educators

This webinar is designed to help you explore how telehealth may help increase access to Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP) for your patients or for your partners and stakeholders that provide care to patients with prediabetes. To help implement DPP via telehealth, it is highly important to provide information about issues key to establishing and operating distance-based DPP. The webinar begins by emphasizing that using DPP to prevent diabetes makes sense in terms of both an individual's health and the economic costs of developing type 2 diabetes. The clinical efficacy of delivering DPP via telehealth will be presented. Key considerations necessary for distance-based DPP to be delivered successfully at the originating and remote sites will be identified, followed by an overview of the technological components needed to remotely link patients and providers. Lastly, an overview of Medicare's new DPP benefit will be provided.

After participating in this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate that the cost of preventing diabetes is typically much less than the cost of managing type 2 diabetes;
  • Describe what the academic literature says regarding the clinical efficacy of using telehealth to deliver DPP;
  • Review key considerations at the originating and remote telehealth sites to ensure successful DPP sessions;
  • Identify the basic technology and equipment needed to connect those providing DPP to their patients;
  • Name the key provisions of Medicare's new DPP benefit.

This webinar is for health professionals who are interested in expanding the availability of DPP programs in rural and frontier areas: diabetes educators, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurses, dietitians, social workers, and case managers, and administrators at the state and local levels or who operate in hospital and clinic systems.

Other News

Remembering a leader: Dr. George Wolff

Dr. George Wolff (1925-2016) began his medical career in 1954 as a resident at Moses Cone Hospital ​in Greensboro, North Carolina in General Practice. He helped create one of the 16 original Family Medicine residencies in the country, located at Cone Health. Dr. Wolff left private practice in 1975 to become the first Family Physician director of the Family Medicine Residency Program. In later years, Dr. Wolff taught at the residency part time until 2009. Bill Hensel, MD, director of the Cone Health Family Medicine Residency, kindly shared the following reflection on Dr. Wolff:

"He was a prince of a man, liked and respected by all. He made enormous contributions to family medicine, the medical profession and ​the North Caroliona community​, as well as to the nation​. He was a giant and we stand on his shoulders. Dr. Wolff was much more than a list of accomplishments. He never sought awards. He stayed out of the limelight. He was a kind, consummate professional who cared for his patients, his community and his profession."

Among his many accomplishments, he was most proud of his work at the Family Practice Center at Cone Hospital in Greensboro. He served as both Vice-President and Treasurer of the American Academy of Family Physicians. As part of his constant efforts to further the practice of family medicine, he encouraged medical students towards a rewarding career in family practice. In recognition of his lifetime pursuit of the betterment of family medicine, he was honored to be selected as the North Carolina Family Physician of the Year in 1985 and to receive the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from UNC School of Medicine in 1995.

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

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

Join us on the final "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call, which will be Tuesday, November 29th 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! Join us!​

Special Interest Groups

Please keep the momentum going on the NAO SIGs — I know that they have been useful! Remember: anyone can add a SIG and work with AHEC colleagues from anywhere in the country. It may make sense to create more SIGs regarding AHEC redesign with a focus on practice transformation. If there is interest, we can supply a dial-in number and log-in for those interested in sharing information and resources.​

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

To unsubscribe, please click here.

Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

National AHEC Organization
7044 S. 13th St.
Oak Creek, WI 53154