NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit October 31, 2016

From the CEO's Office

On October 1st, 2010, a "grand experiment" was launched by the NAO Board of Directors. That experiment, originally proposed for a three-year time period, was to hire me as NAO's first Executive Director and first NAO paid staff person, to, initially, help raise the visibility of NAO and to focus on advocacy and policy issues, as well as manage the NAO-HRSA-CHSC (Collegiate Health Service Corps) Expansion Program. I was honored to be NAO's Executive Director then and I've been honored even more so to be NAO's Chief Executive Officer now. Well, more than six years after we started this experiment, the opportunities, the work and our organization have grown exponentially. In my opinion, NAO and the AHEC Network have accomplished such a great deal of great work and are ready to take off in an ever-increasingly meaningful and impactful way. None of us could have predicted how successful we'd be back in 2010 and how far we'd reach. It is, however, time for me to say "so-long" (never "good-bye"), as I transition to the next phase in my professional journey.

I will be leaving NAO ​on December 16, 2016 to move with Catherine, our son Sam and daughter Carsen Cate (and a soon to be adopted new dog) from our home in Barrington, Rhode Island to Portland, Oregon where I will assume the ​Executive Director position of the Oregon Health and Sciences University Family Medicine Richmond community health center on December 28, 2016. This is a significant transition though one I know we're ready for. It is, of course, immensely bittersweet, as ​I've worked closely with so many of you in a variety of ways since early 2001, first as a Center director at the Champlain Valley AHEC in St. Albans, Vermont​, then as deputy director for the Rhode Island AHEC Program Office at Brown University from 2004-2010, as NAO president from 2009-2010, and, of course, now in my current role. It's hard to believe that 16 years ​have passed so quickly! Each year has presented great opportunities — and challenges that we've always met — that have helped NAO and the AHEC Network to learn together, ​grow and expand its work in improving health in underserved communities throughout the United States.

I wish I could call each of you to say "so-long" in person and to process the news, ​but for now, the Monday Update will have to do until we get a chance to talk next. Please know that as ED/CEO over the past six years, I have always tried to lead with integrity and to do what I thought best ​for our entire AHEC network — all AHECs, regardless of staff size, location, size of budget. If there's been one overriding leadership principle that I tried to stay true to it would be this, stated so eloquently by the Dalai Lama: "be kind whenever possible, and it's always possible". I hope you all found this to be true.

I wish you all the very best and I'm certain our paths will cross again someday after I make my transition. In the meantime I look forward to working with you all until December 16th.​

With great admiration for you all,



Jake Frego, Executive Director receives Outstanding Rural Health Achievement Award

Since the establishment of the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC) in 1997, Jake has served as Executive Director, leading this organization which recruits, trains and supports healthcare professionals and serves the nine-county region of the Eastern Shore in this rural and medically underserved area.

Jake's longevity at the ESAHEC has allowed him to provide leadership for the state AHEC program and others who work to provide health care for rural Marylander's. Throughout his tenure and changes in leadership in the state AHEC program, the regional AHEC centers, as well as other organizations such as the Rural Maryland Council, Maryland Rural Health Association, MidShore Mental Health Association, and other entities, he has been able to provide historical knowledge, organizational guidance, and sustained partnerships that have allowed these programs to continue, grow, and thrive. His stability, vast experience, and knowledge, as well as his heartfelt passion for equitable, accessible, and quality healthcare for all are legacies that will follow him.

Please join us in congratulating Jake with his well deserved recognition!

National Training Center

Hello from Salt Lake City!

The HPV Project leadership team along with the Project Specialists will be heading to Salt Lake City next week for some intensive meetings! Not only will there be team-building activities and strategic planning for Year 3, we'll also spend some time with the Utah AHEC and their HPV partners to learn more about the specific HPV strategies that are using to increase vaccination in their state. A tour of the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is also in the works. HCI is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer research facility and hospital at the University of Utah. We'll also be working with the Intermountain West HPV Vaccination Coalition which covers 10 states. We're making solid connections and paving the way to new opportunities!

Today is the deadline!

Don't forget to get your applications in for Year 3 of the HPV Project! Today is the deadline. If you're still interested in applying but won't be able to get your application in on time, drop a note to

October is Health Literacy Month!

On our last day of health literacy month go out with a shout for health literacy on twitter! Following health literacy groups on twitter is a great way to stay in touch with health literacy happenings throughout the year. Be sure to also search for #informationliteracy, #healthinformationliteracy, #NLM, and #healthliteracymonth.

Health Information Literacy

NAO's national partners, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Center for Public Service Communications (CPSC), fund NAO to work on health information projects. A related initiative developed between NLM and CPSC is a Community Health Mapping project aimed at developing low-cost approaches to mapping and data visualization for community based organizations. Their mapping blog contains two and a half years of posts for everyday people who want to up their skills with low-cost technologies. Find it all at


Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living through Partnerships and the National Prevention Strategy Presented by Region VIII Federal Partners

The Role of State, Local and Tribal Governments
Thursday, November 17, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 pm, MT (4:00-5:30 ET)


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


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


In honor of Veteran's Day: The Veterans Health Administration MOVE program – The VA's MOVE program is the largest and most comprehensive weight management program associated with a medical care system. We will review avenues of access for veterans interested in the program along with resources you can provide. Speaker: Megan Brister, MS, RDN, VHA Eastern Colorado Health Care system MOVE Coordinator


Healthy South Dakota - In this presentation, you will learn about key nutrition and physical activity initiatives the SD Department of Health (DOH) Nutrition and Physical Activity Team is focusing on to promote active and health lifestyles. You will also hear about specific strategies a key partner, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board (GPTCHB), is focusing on to promote health with American Indians in the state. Speakers: Nikki Prosch, Health & Physical Activity Specialist for SDSU Extension & the SD DOH and Nichole Cottier, Director of Health Promotion Programs for the GPTCHB


Let's Move! Missoula –Raising a Healthier Next Generation - Discover a holistic approach and framework which mobilizes community efforts and strategic planning to increase physical activity and quality nutrition for all Missoulians. Let's Move! Missoula is a childhood obesity initiative comprised of a local health department and public-private partnerships. Speaker: Lisa Beczkiewicz, Senior Health Promotion Specialist at Missoula City County Health Department


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 Joining Forces Wellness webinar schedule

Fall has arrived and the 2016 Joining Forces Wellness webinar schedule is ready to be announced. In collaboration with the White House Joining Forces staff and the Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, we are pleased to offer the following webinars the week of Veterans Day:

All webinars are 12-1 p.m., ET

Monday, November 7

Joining Forces to Address Suicide in Military and Veterans

Tuesday, November 8

Caring for Caregivers

Wednesday, November 9

Pain Management – Nuances for the Military and Veteran Patient Population

Thursday, November 10

The Deployment Life Cycle of the Military Family: Implications for Health Care Providers

Friday, November 11
Veterans Day

What Veterans Want their Health Care Providers to Know and How Academic Medical Centers Can Contribute

Registration will open shortly, and we will be sure to share that information when it is ready. In the meantime, please mark your calendars for what promises to be a wonderful week of learning and feel free to share with others. Last year, we had over 1,000 providers and trainees participate in the webinar series, and it would be amazing if we could double participation.

As always, many thanks for your support of our military service members, veterans, and their families.

Other News

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

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

Join us on the next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call, which will be Tuesday, November 8th 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! I am sure we'll continue discussing the AHEC 2017 redesign and FOA and other important NAO items! 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.

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