NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit September 6, 2016

From the CEO's Office

I hope you all enjoyed the Labor Day holiday weekend. I guess summer is officially over and we're now back in to the swing of things and our regular fall routines. I'll be in Atlanta with the NAO HPV CDC team next week as we attend and present at the CDC-sponsored National Immunization Conference. I'm looking forward to seeing our NAO and partner organization colleagues during the pre-conference meetings and the conference session. For more information about the NIC, please take a look at

HRSA AHEC Re-Design & FY2017 FOA

Thank you again to those who attended the first in a series of webinars to help AHECs prepare for the for the the ​components of the HRSA AHEC FY2017 FOA. The PPT that I presented on Monday August 8th can be found here​. There were many excellent comments and questions from participants on the webinar asking for more specificity regarding the elements and requirements of the AHEC FOA. We have sent those questions to Dr. Padilla and his team at the Bureau of Health Workforce and hope to have responses by the next webinar on September 20, 2016 at 1:30 EST. If we have the responses before then we will distribute. Registration information will be sent out shortly for the 9/20/16 webinar.​

For reference, if you haven't yet seen these, or wish to review them again, you can download the June 30, 2016 HRSA presentation slides here. You can also download the NAO redesign proposal of May 6, 2016 to HRSA here and a summary of our call on June 22, 2016 with HRSA to discuss their response here.

I am aware that a number of AHEC Programs are beginning their strategic planning for the upcoming AHEC FOA. I am pleased that this is the case and I hope the linked documents have been useful in your planning. ​For Center and Program directors: please share the documents widely with your teams, as I think it will be most valuable to ensure that all AHEC staff are apprised of the key priorities and the future direction of the AHEC program.

Good Reads!

National Training Center

Health Literacy and Pain Catastrophizing

New work at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa seeks to reduce low health literacy as it is a significant predictor of patient pain, pain catastrophizing, and low pain-related self-efficacy. The theory is that individuals who have lower levels of understanding medical information have not processed relevant disease-related information and coping skills. These patients have higher levels of anxiety and fear related to their medical condition. The University will further explore these related issues with 1.4 million in grant funds from PCORI, the national Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Health Literacy Special Interest Group

How does your center or program office include health literacy work in your projects or communities? Join the NAO special interest group (SIG) on health literacy to share and grow as we learn from each other. Email to be added to the group's email list for future announcements and discussions.

Health Literacy Month

It's coming. October is Health Literacy Month. Let's raise awareness and the health literacy competency of our collective communities by participating in a few simple activities together next month. In October, each Monday Update will contain a suggestion or two for things that you and other staff can easily do to participate in this National AHEC Organization initiative.

NAO-American College of Rheumatology Lupus Initiative Update

The American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) Lupus Initiative (TLI) continues to successfully educate non-rheumatology healthcare professionals about lupus and health disparities. The ACR recently held a multi-session, small-group, cohort-style virtual education series for healthcare providers in Southwest Georgia and the Pacific Northwest, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health (OMH).

Especially instrumental in the development and execution of this provider education series and its accompanying community awareness campaign were the Southwest Georgia AHEC in Albany, GA and the Cascades East AHEC in Bend, OR. This series built on lupus fundamentals and included sessions on lab testing, medications, pregnancy and pediatric considerations, lupus flares, and health maintenance and preventive care. Twelve healthcare providers – advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and MDs – engaged with the ACR in this series that emphasized the health disparate nature of lupus, especially as it pertains to African American and American Indian/Alaska Native populations in both series' sites. 100% of participants were pleased ("a lot" or "somewhat") with the pace, delivery, and content of the sessions, and 100% self-reported increased levels ("a lot" or "somewhat") of awareness, knowledge, and competence regarding lupus' signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Each session was recorded and will become enduring activities for continuing medical education (CME) credit available through TLI's website later this year. Both AHECs will be involved in further ACR efforts under renewed OMG funding for 2016-2017.


Mark your calendars for the 2016 DCoE Summit Sept. 13-15

Join health care professionals and academics to exchange knowledge on the "State of the Science: Advances, Current Diagnostics and Treatments of Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in Military Health Care" at the 2016 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit.

Presented live September 13 – 15 from the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, this three-day hybrid event will connect a limited-size physical audience with up to 1,500 other attendees from around the world via a concurrent virtual component in real-time.

All attendees will have access to 28 hours of evidence-based treatment programing, plus opportunities to join session discussions and Q&As with speakers; earn continuing education credits; visit exhibitors; gain resources; share experiences through peer-to-peer learning; seek new and lasting collaborations with potential partners; and much more!

Plenary sessions will be organized into two tracks - psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

Register today, and get additional information at

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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 Businesses and Employers
Thursday, September 15, 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


Discovering your Wellbeing - Discover the five elements of wellbeing that shape your life and how your own wellbeing determines how you show up in your life. Learn about the changing face of "worksite wellness" and how to create a healthier environment at work so you can thrive. Speaker: Erin Cummins, Program Manager Kaiser Permanente's Healthy Workforce Program


Prevention is Good Business – When it comes to an employer's bottom line, health matters. A healthier workforce creates ROI – higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and lower health costs. Live Well Sioux Falls is a community health initiative working to implement policy, systems and environmental changes throughout the community, including within worksites. Learn how this local coalition works with employers and other community partners to demonstrate the return on investment for businesses to implement and support wellness. Speakers: Mary Michaels, Public Health Prevention Coordinator, and Stan Kogan, Health Promotion Specialist, with the Sioux Falls Public Health Department in Sioux Falls, South Dakota


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.

Other News

NAO CORE Needs Your Data!

Data is key to demonstrating the impact of AHEC programming and it is essential that NAO leadership continue to have current data to tell our story. We cannot tell you how beneficial it is for NAO to be able to report current numbers which means every year, the data needs to be updated.

The good news is that our streamlined NAO CORE data collection form and process make reporting easier than ever. There is only one form and essentially all of the questions can be answered using data included in your federal report. Please help us gather the total numbers for 2015-2016 by completing the NAO CORE Data Collection Form and returning it to us no later than Friday, September 23, 2016. All data should be submitted to Rachel Little, NAO CORE Annual Data Collection and Reporting Co-Chair, at on or before September 23, 2016.

Your continued participation in CORE's data collection effort will provide us with the means to not only produce updated annual legislative flyers, but help us determine trends and inform decision making. We look forward to receiving your data! Thank You!

Questions? Contact Detra Brown, NAO CORE Annual Data Collection and Reporting Co-Chair, at

Center Directors – Nominations for the Center Director Constitutency Group Leadership Team are being taken

Deadline for submission is September 9. If you are interested, please send an email with a brief bio to Paula Overfelt at If you know a center director you would like to nominate, send that nomination to Paula also.

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

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

On last week's "Tuesday's with…" call we had an outstanding number of attendees and a robust discussion of the HRSA Redesign and the coming FOA, as well as a discussion of some of the questions that arose out of the August 8th webinar that were sent to HRSA. Again, we are awaiting an official HRSA response to a number of the questions, which I anticipate receiving before the September 20th webinar. Please join us on the next "Tuesdays with Trachtenberg" call, which will be Tuesday, September 27th 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!

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.​ Please note that a Preceptor Tax Legislation and a Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement (RCQI) group has been added (waiting on a dial-in #s). Please be sure to take a look and join one of our SIGs.​

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