NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit April 10, 2017

From the President's Office

NAO Funding Advocacy Week: April 24-28, 2017

Good Monday AHEC Advocacy Leaders!

I hope you have recovered from writing your grant applications! Congratulations to all! Kudos to a job well done!

Now, the critical work is before us in maintaining/establishing relationships with members of Congress to ensure our programs get funded!

It's Call Your Legislators Week in Washington, DC: April 24th through 28th!

That's right. As promised, we have identified a whole week for the AHECs to 'flood the Hill with calls'. Initially, we were thinking of a single day call-in effort; but after some dialog among ourselves and help from the Health and Medicine Council of Washington (HMCW), we have identified five full days of advocacy for the AHECs, our partners, and students we work with to flood the Hill with calls, letters, emails, visits to Capitol Hill and other forms of communication to our elected representatives.  Additionally, if a portion of your funding is state-based, this is also a good time to think about how you can alert local and state-elected officials on ways the AHECs contribute to the delivery of patient care and services, and to the overall health and well-being of communities in your catchment area and state-wide.


Your message for these calls should focus on the FY 17 Appropriations. Specifically, urge members of Congress to fund the AHEC at $40 million in the FY 17 budget cycle.

As you well know – we are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) — a temporary measure to keep the government 'open' while Congress continues to address the appropriations bills. This CR is set to expire on April 28, 2017. That is why it is so important for us to contact our U.S. Congressional Representatives prior to the 28th.

Following your calls and other forms of communication to Congress, please take a moment to share your successes during the week with us! We would love to hear how your calls and other communiques were received.

NAO Membership Chair Sharon Womack Resigns: We want YOU to Drive our Membership!

It is with heartfelt regret that I announce the resignation of Ms. Sharon Womack as our NAO Membership Chair as well as her departure from our AHEC family. Please recall that Sharon served as the CEO of the Central Louisiana AHEC located in Alexandria, LA. for many years. She has also held several posts with the NAO Board across time, her latest being the NAO Membership Chair.

Sharon will be pursuing other professional career moves as well as attending to some personal and family matters. She will be sorely missed.

We now turn to finding Sharon's replacement on the NAO Board of Directors as well as seeking someone who can become our next Membership Chair. If you are interested in this position and possess good marketing and great people skills, contact me immediately to express your interest to become Membership Chair at Or for additional information about the position and serving on the Board, you may reach out to me personally at 919/966-0816.


Your NAO leadership continues to progress toward identifying and selecting our next Chief Executive Officer for NAO. On April 11-12 of this week, we will be conducting webinar interviews of our candidates that were pulled from the total pool of applicants to continue in the search process. This comes after receiving written responses from candidates to five questions posed by the Search Committee.

Following a review of the webinar interview exchange and candidates' written responses, the finalist(s) for the position will be asked to meet us in Charlotte, NC on April 27th to complete the final stage of the search process—the onsite, in-person interview. We will then debrief about the finalist(s), make an offer to the person selected, and negotiate a written contract and start date. If all goes well, our NAO members should expect to be introduced to the new CEO sometime in late April or early May.

We anticipate a start-date for the new CEO on July 1 or shortly thereafter.



National Training Center

HPV Special Projects proposals due April 15!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our special projects information session last week. Here's the recording in case you missed it along with the RFA for all NAO members and the RFA for current HPV State Entities. We're excited about the interest shown in these funding opportunities!

Need some ideas to get the creative juices flowing? Your HPV special project can:

  • Align your AHEC with next year's grant by starting with a population health educational session
  • Include interprofessional experiences for health professions students
  • Work with your partner FQHC or preceptor site and do a small scale quality improvement project

Here's some more HPV Special Project examples. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Successful national webinar!

More than 230 people attended our national webinar on oropharyngeal cancer and HPV last week! Thank you all for promoting it to health professionals in your area. The webinar is now available through the archived webinar registration link although continuing education credit is no longer available. We're already making plans for additional webinars. Stay tuned for more information.

Patient Support Groups for Health Literacy

According to a new literature review published in the American Journal of Managed Care, patient support groups are a powerful strategy for improving health literacy, empowerment, and medication adherence among attendees. While the researchers point to the need for a pilot test of their conclusions, they identify patient support groups as a tool for driving healthcare organizations further into patient-centered care and as a source of educational resources. Peer support groups can help rein in costs but do require specific guidance, strong oversight, and leadership training for success.

Upcoming Events

Health Literacy Research Conference, October 8-11, Baltimore, MD. Abstract submissions being accepted now.


Patient-Centered Care: Reducing Risk & Improving Outcomes Through Health Literacy

Friday, April 21, 2017, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This webinar will call for health professionals' action on increasing health literacy. It will draw on research about the correlations between health literacy and health outcomes and demonstrate the systemic nature of the problem. Participants will then be introduced to the variety of approaches individual health care professionals can take to increase health literacy. Participants will also be exposed to the ways that health care organizations can address the problem and how addressing health literacy makes good business sense to a health care organization.

Register here, or contact Eriz Hughey at 616-771-9487 or email at for more information.

The NAO National Training Center:
Helping AHECs be Successful!

Have you heard about the NAO National Training Center (NAO-NTC) but weren't really sure what it is?

Have you participated in any national AHEC projects or wondered how to participate?

Could your AHEC center benefit from training to increase its organizational capacity to do more programming?

While some people solely equate the NAO-NTC with recent partnerships, like the CDC's current HPV grant, or the past Veteran's Mental Health initiative, this webinar will help explain that the scope of the NAO-NTC goes beyond management of grants and contracts. 

You can access the archived webinar at

Other News


Are you looking for resources to help your Center(s) move forward? Do you have resources other Centers can benefit from? The Sharing Resources Special Interest Group (SIG) will be meeting 4/17/17, 11a PST/12p MST/1p CST/2p EST (note new time).

We will be discussing Professional Education. This group meets on 3rd Mondays, bi-monthly and we hope you will join us. We use a video-conferencing/tele-conferencing for our meetings.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap: 14157629988,3034818686# or 16465687788,3034818686#
Or Telephone: Dial: +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll) Meeting ID: 303 481 8686

Interested members are asked to sign up here to be added to the group distribution list.

Contact Lin Browning, Central Colorado AHEC for more info. | 303.923.3734

Center Directors

Are you aware that nearly 100% of network volunteer leadership keeps our organization working through the NAO committees?

Join NAO Committee Chairs/Co-Chairs as they describe the roles that shape the mission of NAO through their standing operating committees.

Committee membership helps us develop our NAO network strength. Join us to learn more about our organization and meet our committed colleagues from across the country.

Please attend the NAO Committee Chairs Update!

Center Director Constituency Group Call – for all members!

Wednesday, April 12
12 noon CST (1 p.m. EST)
Passcode: 33402919

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: Samantha Danner

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