NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit September 19, 2016

From the CEO's Office

Tomorrow is the second webinar for the membership as we collectively work to address the future of the AHEC Program. Please be sure to register if you haven't already (link below)​. I know this will be a productive learning experience for participants. I'm looking forward to a strong turnout.​

I'll be in Washington, D.C. later ​this week participating in the 2nd annual SelfMade Health Network Leadership Council Meeting as a member and possibly squeezing in some Hill visits as well. The SelfMade Health Network is a national network of dedicated professionals, organizations and communities seeking to eliminate cancer and tobacco-related disparities among our nation's most vulnerable, underserved and "high-risk" populations. As a cross-sector network of members, the network aims to educate, empower and mobilize systems within communities nationwide for a healthier future. The SelfMade Health Network is the newest member of the CDC's consortium of national networks, jointly funded by the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC), established to advance prevention efforts related to tobacco-related and cancer health disparities among vulnerable populations. The strategic focus areas are breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer prevention, screening, control and survivorship, tobacco use screening and cessation and tobacco-free environments.

HRSA AHEC Re-Design & FY2017 FOA

We're looking forward to a good discussion tomorrow related to best practices and model programs as they relate to health workforce distribution. We will be able to provide answers to some of the questions posed to Dr. Padilla and his team at the Bureau of Health Workforce, as we've heard back from HRSA BHW Division of Health Careers and Financial Support staff.​

Registration link​ for tomorrow's (9/20/16) webinar:

Again, 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 continue to hear that 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 and the upcoming webinars will be useful in your planning. In fact, I'll get a chance in the coming weeks to visit a few of the AHECs who already have strategic planning meetings scheduled. I look forward to working and learning with our AHEC colleagues as they develop their future programmatic plans.

For Center and Program directors: Again, 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. ​It's important that all AHECers are aware of how the AHEC Program will look starting in 2017.

Good Reads!

National Training Center

Need Obesity Management Tool Input

The National Training Center staff are working on new program proposals for the network and need your input urgently. What obesity management tools have you and your partners tried clinically or within the community? We are interested to know what type of tools they are/were, what their limitations have been, and what you are looking at using or what your needs are now. Please send your input to this week.

From left to right: Terry Zollinger, Cindy Lewis, Gretchen Forsell, Achal Bhatt, Trisha Schulz and Robert Trachtenberg, at the National Immunization Conference.

NAO featured at national immunization conference

Rob Trachtenberg, Gretchen Forsell, Trisha Schulz, Terry Zollinger and Cindy Lewis attended the National Immunization Conference in Atlanta last week. Here's some highlights from a productive trip:

  • Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, name-dropped NAO as a brand new partner during the general session. Did we mention attendance of 1,500?!
  • Gretchen presented on the project as part of a well-attended (140!) partnership session "Partners for HPV Vaccine Uptake." Many connections were made following the presentation with immunization entities interested in working with AHEC! We also provided 100 handouts about our CME self-study guide and AHEC's mission.
  • NAO's CDC Project Officer, Dr. Achal Bhatt, received the Carol Friedman Award at the National Immunization Conference for her work in foster partnerships. During the award announcement, again at the general session, there was a nice mention of her work with AHEC!
  • NAO's HPV project and mission were featured in a slide at the information booth.

We're looking forward to reaping the benefits of this added name exposure as potential partners in the immunization world are starting to take note!

Year 3 kickoff

Can you believe we're nearing completion of Year 2 of the HPV project? We are gearing up for Year 3 and want you to be a part of this important national project. Learn more about what we have planned at our kick-off webinar. Thursday, Sept. 22, 3 p.m. ET Register Now. For background and project successes, check out our HPV Project Webpage.

Year One Outputs and Outcomes

September finishes out the year one NLM-CPSC-NAO Health Information Literacy initiative with some informative and interesting lessons learned about implementing Project SHARE for year two. Across the five AHEC awardees 81 students completed the program of the 90 originally enrolled. An additional 214 students participated in parts of the Project SHARE curriculum via peer to peer presentations, summer camp integrations, and summer internship program integrations. Here are some of the things Project SHARE students had to say about the program and what they learned:

  • I downloaded the health apps and changed my settings on the CNN updates for health so that I know when other tribes are dealing with health problems.
  • The interviews with the family members helped me speak to my uncle about why he has the messed up leg. And then I learned that it is a bone degenerate thing in my family so I need to be careful. Now I ask questions all the time.
  • The social determinants of health starts with where one is born and lives.

Health Literacy Month — Upcoming Events

Friday, October 7, 2016, Greensboro, NC. 3rd Annual Patient Education Summit: Hands-On Advancement Tools and Strategies. Sponsored by Greensboro AHEC, Southern Regional AHEC and Cone Health; register early at

October is Health Literacy Month. Send in your health literacy events scheduled during the month of October, and get them listed in the Monday Update newsletter. Send to:

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.

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

Rural Immersion Institute of the North July 12 – August 2, 2017

Applications for RIIN 2017 are Now Open!

The Alaska Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program requests your assistance in sharing an exciting interdisciplinary opportunity with your students. The Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN) program is designed to expose pre-professional health majors to a rural and/or underserved healthcare experience. The program was developed over the course of three years and launched in June 2016.

Students will have a one-of-a-kind experience traveling to some of the most remote communities in the United States in order to walk in the shoes of healthcare providers in the Last Frontier. Many students sign up for international experiences where they take part in high risk clinical scenarios in an attempt to enhance their resumes and skillsets. The RIIN program provides these same students with access to a safe yet culturally diverse healthcare landscape without leaving the country.

The AHEC program aims to strengthen the healthcare workforce in rural and underserved communities. RIIN provides students with early exposure to rural practice, offering the perfect backdrop to entice future practitioners to the neediest communities in our country.

More information is available through the Health Careers Exploration website. There is also a PDF brochure for download. Eligible RIIN applicants include undergraduate juniors and seniors, gap year students and professionals returning to graduate school including, but not limited to, the following areas of study:

  • Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physician Assistant
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Healthcare Administration

Apply online at

Click here for a PDF Brochure

Tuesdays with Trachtenberg

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

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:

To unsubscribe, please click here.

Email Contact: Robert M. Trachtenberg, MS

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