NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit March 6, 2017

From the President's Office

Good Afternoon

On behalf of the NAO Board of Directors and Leadership Transition Team, I am pleased to announce that the official search for the next AHEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is underway. Please click this link JOB ANNOUNCEMENT to view the job description.

I wish to thank members of the Board and the Leadership Transition Team for the hard work and countless number of hours they spent on revamping the full CEO position description and then designing and launching the search process.

These are exciting times for our Organization. We look forward to you and others identifying excellent applicants for the position who are currently working at AHEC program offices and centers around the country as well as applicants from related agencies.



National Training Center

Next national webinar – start promoting now!

"HPV Vaccination: A Pinch of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure" – a national webinar for dental professionals, medical professionals, health professions students and medical office staff – is set for 2 p.m. ET, Thursday, April 6. Speakers are Dr. Lori Racha, assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Robert Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and Dr. Damon Silverman, associate professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the Robert Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. HPV is one topic that both primary care and oral health professionals have in common. Dr. Racha is concerned that not enough pre-teens are getting the HPV vaccination while Dr. Silverman is seeing a growing number of life-threatening HPV diseases of the head and neck in his practice. Register Now

Please promote this continuing education offering to dental professionals, medical professionals, health professions students and medical office staff in your regions! Continuing education credits are pending for this event.

HPV part of NJ Vaccine Symposium

Garden AHEC in New Jersey, in conjunction with the Inspira Health Network Continuing Medical Education department, trained more than 100 health professionals at the 2017 Vaccine Symposium: Immunization – Pediatrics to Adults last week. Attendees included physicians, residents, nurses and school nurses. The program focused on updates to evidence-based guidelines for immunization of infants, children, adolescents, and adults that are necessary for healthcare professionals who care for people of all ages. HPV education was a component of the symposium which included a review of the updated vaccine schedule. Along with providing the continuing education, Garden AHEC also hosted a vendor table to disseminate information about the NAO HPV Project. More than 500 resources were disseminated! Way to go, New Jersey!

Communication Trends

A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by University of Florida health literacy researchers has found the use of metaphors such as "like the flip of a coin" to describe randomization, increases patient comprehension of some subjects more than the use of plain language. Plain language is a communication approach using shorter sentence structure and nontechnical language, and is widely used in patient communication materials. Read more about the study here.

Health Literacy Special Interest Group Update

We have a new date and time for the new year! If you would like to be involved in an AHEC focused, national discussion of health literacy programs and issues, join in for Fourth Friday conference calls:

When: Fourth Friday, March 24, @ 2pm EST
Call: 712-770-4010
Code: 665-323#

SOWEGA-AHEC Supports ACR's 38-County Lupus Awareness Outreach in Southwest Georgia

In 2016, the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center continued its partnership with the American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) The Lupus Initiative (TLI) to expand the ACR's lupus awareness work in Southwest Georgia through funding from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects people of color, especially women of color, more than any other demographic group. This effort aimed to increase people's understanding of lupus and connection to lupus resources. The ACR and SOWEGA-AHEC successfully surveyed more than 500 people about their level of lupus awareness, informing the intervention in which over 11,000 TLI materials were disseminated across 71 locations in the 38-county region, and traditional, print, and social media were engaged to increase awareness about lupus' signs, symptoms, and health disparate nature. Detailed final results from the intervention will be available on in March 2017.


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. 

Please join us on Tuesday, March 21, from 2-3 p.m. EST for an educational webinar and learn how to access and benefit from this NAO resource.

Register online at:

Other News

Harness the Power of AmeriCorps to Address Mental Health Challenges in Your Community

The Mental Health First Aid Corps is accepting applications from agencies interested in hosting a full-time AmeriCorps member for the 2017 program year.

Application deadline - March 31, 2017
Notice of Acceptance – April 14, 2017
AmeriCorps Member Service Year Start Date – Sept/Oct 2017

Click here to complete our simplified host site application

The Mental Health First Aid Corps is an innovative AmeriCorps Program that supports implementation of MHFA in communities across the nation. AmeriCorps members, trained as MHFA instructors, are placed at host sites focusing their service year implementing MHFA.

Since its inception, MHFA Corps AmeriCorps members have had tremendous impact at their host site agencies. Click here for impact information

Benefits of Hosting an AmeriCorps Member

An AmeriCorps member improves your organization's capacity to address mental health needs in your community through service. A full-time AmeriCorps member serving 40 hours per week for 10 months at your agency will:

  1. implement MHFA certification classes;
  2. build capacity to address community mental health care needs; and
  3. raise funds to support mental health focused service activities.

How Health360 Fits In

Health360 leads the MHFA Corps in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Health360 handles all administrative requirements for your AmeriCorps member so you can focus on building effective programs that improve people's lives.

Informational Conference Call

To learn more please join one of the following conference calls:

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern
  • Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 11 to 12 p.m. Eastern
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern

Call in Number: 712-775-7031

Meeting ID: 468 634 766

Or, you can contact Tricia directly at: or 203-758-1110 x11

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: Paul Rossmann

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