NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit August 24, 2017

From the CEO's Office

NAO Colleagues:

September 1 is coming soon and now that the official awards have been made, I know that the real work begins. Our constituency groups are interested in providing opportunities for program offices and centers across the country to have discussions about planning, sharing and learning from each other. Watch the Weekly Updates for dates and plans. If you have suggestions or would like to be part of the presentations, please contact me, Michael French, PDCG chair or Paula Overfelt, CDCG chair.

As reported last week, our colleagues at the Health & Medicine Counsel of Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives have passed a Labor HHS appropriations bill through both sub-committee and full committee, with level funding for the AHECs in this bill. We are not expecting the U.S. Senate to move on its appropriations process until they return from August recess However, given all the “goings on” in Washington right now we may see the House approval get rolled into an omnibus spending bill (or maybe a continuing resolution). We continue to monitor the appropriations process as they unfold in Congress. Please remember, we continue to ask for $40 million in the final funding vehicle for FY 18, and urge you to continue to stay connected to your Congressional delegation so that they have a direct relationship to their local AHEC center and/or state program office.

While we are working on FY18 appropriations we are also developing strategies around reauthorization of the AHEC program, as our authorization expired in 2015. That said, the NAO Board approved the establishment of a workgroup of constituents from all parts of NAO to assist our NAO Public Policy Committee and colleagues at Health & Medicine Counsel in a strategy for AHEC reauthorization to present to the NAO Board for the November 2017 meeting.

This week I head to Missouri and Nebraska to be with our colleagues there and to visit with our National Training Center members as well to gain a deeper understanding of their work and how we can continue to grow it to benefit the AHEC community.

When I first joined NAO as your CEO I posed a few questions to our members. I would like to do so again with the following question:

If funding & resources were no object, what would be one goal you would like to see the AHEC community accomplish in the next three years?

Please feel free to respond directly to me at

In service,


National Training Center

Project Specialist position – deadline next week!

The HPV project is seeking to fill a vacancy on its leadership team. Applications are now being accepted for the position of Project Specialist – AHEC Integration until Monday, Aug. 28. This position will work closely with three other Project Specialists who focus on continuing education, marketing/public relations and partnerships; all key aspects of the project. The AHEC Integration focus area works closely with participating centers and programs to ensure that the CDC HPV project activities enhance, support and integrate with core AHEC activities when possible. For more details about the position and information about how to apply, click here.

National Immunization Awareness Month

Did you know that August is National Immunization Awareness Month? The month highlights the value of vaccines for people of all ages! Through the HPV project, AHECs are promoting the month through a variety of ways including posting messages on their social media channels. Here are some sample messages that you can copy to help support the cause:

  • The AAFP urges physicians to strongly recommend the #HPVvax to patients to increase protection against #HPV #cancers
  • DYK: #HPV vaccination increases 5-fold in August at the peak of back to school appointments? Talk to your clinician about the series now!
  • Clinicians: Are you interested in how to attain & maintain high #HPVvax rates? Check out this top 10 list #VaxSuccess
  • Unsure if your child needs 2 or 3 doses of #HPVvax ? Follow our decision tree to help determine their series
  • HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, & long-lasting protection against HPV cancers. Are your kids protected? #NIAM17

Looking for even more content? Our partners at the American Cancer Society have prepared a week's worth of content for National Immunization Awareness Months' Pre-teen and Adolescent Vaccine Week Aug. 21-27. Download the communications package.

Year 2 Wrap-Up

National AHEC Organization’s partnership with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is designed to support ACR’s goal of raising awareness of lupus and to support the AHEC network in such work. Two ways that ACR raises awareness of lupus is with their online awareness campaign for individuals, and with small group provider trainings, in which NAO participates. Lupus is a devastating and underdiagnosed disease affecting women and ethnic/racial minorities at a disproportionate rate. As such, NAO’s small group provider trainings attempt to reach providers who serve these minority populations who are at higher risk for lupus. In mid-September, the year three notice of funds available will be distributed via the weekly update newsletter. Stay tuned for the funding announcement and another opportunity to make an impact in the lives of people affected by lupus.

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

Name of NAO Committee: Public Policy Committee

Committee Chair: Chair, Kristina Fjeld-Sparks, MPH, Director, NH AHEC, Dartmouth College
:, 303.923.3734

Committee Focus of Work: NAO Public Policy

Responsible for advising the Board and membership on federal legislative and policy issues, ensuring that the views and perspectives of the AHEC community are heard in all appropriate federal legislative and regulatory venues, and ensuring that the membership possesses the knowledge and skills to advocate on behalf of AHEC. This is partly achieved through work on developing the one-pager template and resource page updates on the NAO website, found here at: Countdown to Capitol.

Subcommittees include: Work with the NAO Communications and Conference Planning Committees for consulting and coordination. Also, committee members work closely with Health & Medicine Council of Washington and the NAO Public Policy Committee state liaisons.

Recent Successes to Share:

  • 2017 U. S. Congressional budget appropriations for $30.25 million for AHEC Programs.
  • 2016 NAO Biennial Conference – 470 people representing AHEC met with legislators/staff in Washington with advocacy packages and education support provided
  • Ongoing NAO membership training

New Member Opportunities: Seeking a new committee co-chair and new members overall.

Meeting Schedule/Call Information: Conference call meetings are weekly every Monday at 3 pm EST. If interested in attending calls or joining the committee, contact Kristina Fjeld-Sparks at the e-mail listed above.

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Email Contact: Mark Hamley

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