NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit October 30th, 2017

From the CEO's Office

As the fall season progresses, many of us are in continuous motion with our schedules and to- do lists for the programs we currently have in motion. I would like to pause and reflect on the mission of AHEC and NAO. We come together with the shared purpose of increasing the capacity of the healthcare workforce in rural and underserved areas. We come together to provide opportunities and support for young professionals who may not make it otherwise through their education programs.. In some cases, we realize that some career students may not have chosen a health career if they had not experienced attending an AHEC program.

For NAO members, the proof of our work is in the student outcomes - in the pictures and messages we receive as they share the success of their dreams. Many of us receive messages long after students are in practice and have moved into their professional lives. So why is this important to stop and consider today?

The mission of NAO is to be the professional organization for the work of the AHEC network across the country. Our job is to translate these amazing experiences that are happening in our centers and programs to those who can help support our work. To do this, we need your AHEC success stories. We need to pull together the innovation that you all put into this mission on a daily basis. Do you have a great strategy for data collection on a “shoestring” budget”? Have you discovered a great way to build a better website easily? Please share your story with us.

It is through our ability to translate our story as we meet with key strategic partners in Congress, federal agencies, foundations, and philanthropic donors, that we can grow and develop more effectively as a National Network and sustain continued longevity for generations to come.

In service,


Reporting to you from the Board of Directors

Update from the NAO Board of Directors’ Meeting October 12

As you have read in Jack’s past CEO updates, AHEC representatives from across the country volunteered to serve on an ad hoc committee to make recommendations for the reauthorization of the AHEC program under Title VII. Although we began these discussions with the expectation that a bill would be introduced around January 2018, our group had to fast-track the review process when a Title VII reauthorization bill was introduced by Congressman Michael Burgess to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health four months earlier than expected. Since the reauthorization amount recommended in this bill was reduced from $125 million to our most recent funding amount of $30.25 million, the focus of the committee turned to a discussion of the amount we would like to have included and the justification for that amount. That said, we have come up with a recommendation and funding amount of $67 million, as that amount as outlined in the one-page document approved by the NAO Board of Directors.

The Public Policy Committee will be sending an Action Alert in the near future, which we hope you will act on with the Congressional members in your state. Members of NAO leadership will be going to Washington, DC mid-November to advocate on behalf of the AHEC network around this reauthorization language/funding and appropriations.

I hope you participated in meetings on October 11, of either the Center Directors Constituency Group (CDCG) or the Program Directors Constituency Group (PDCG). The discussion topic for CDCG was AHEC Scholars, The PDCG meeting included reports from several collaborative groups that were formed during or since the writing of the response to the FOA. The NAO Board, NAO Communications Committee, and association management support team, Association Executive Group (AEG) are working together to develop a webpage for sharing of information on AHEC Scholars and core topics. Watch the NAO Weekly Update for more information.

Mindy Bateman, who has served most effectively as our organization’s treasurer for the past two and a half years, was recently elected to the office of NAO president-elect, effective October 1, 2017. This left NAO with a vacancy for the treasurer position. I am very pleased to announce that Cathy Whaley, executive director, Northeast Indiana AHEC, was elected to fill Mindy’s unexpired term at the last Board meeting. Congratulations and thank you, Mindy and Cathy!

These role transitions now leave your NAO Board with a vacant At- Large position. According to the NAO Bylaws, the criteria for Board members is to have served on an NAO committee, or served on the leadership team of the CDCG or PDCG. We will be seeking nominations for this At-Large Board seat soon. If you have an interest in NAO leadership and are not a member of a committee, please find a committee that fits your interests!

I thank you all for your support as I step into this new role. You all know I have big shoes to fill in following two years of leadership by Jacqueline Wynn. Please feel free to contact me when you have questions or concerns. We are all working through the planning and implementation of our new grant together, and we want to provide opportunities to collaborate.

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center

Year 4 application materials!

Thanks to everyone who joined us last week for our HPV Project: Year 4 Kickoff webinar. Missed it? Here’s the webinar recording. Due to the format of the application materials (fillable Word document and Excel spreadsheet), please request access to the documents by emailing Project Manager Trisha Schulz at

Sharing numbers vs. sharing impact

Are we sharing the real story behind the work that we do in AHEC or just sharing numbers? For example, a small presentation to a group of 30 practitioners in Wyoming doesn’t sound like much. But did you realize that most of those practitioners were the only practitioner in their community?! Can you say that your program has impacted all of the practitioners in your community? It’s all about perspective! Your HPV educational programs are more than just the number of bodies filling seats! As we continue to foster our relationships with CDC and other strategic partners in Year 4, we plan to share more about our impact and demonstrate our unique niche for providing quality educational programming for health professionals, especially those who serve in frontier, rural and underserved areas.

Provider Education Funding Announcement
See the year 3 ACR/NAO small group provider training session notice of funding available here. For questions please contact Robin Campbell at

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

Name of NAO Committee: Diversity Committee

The NAO’s “youngest” standing committee was approved by the Board three years ago (September 2014). The members immediately worked to create a charter and the NAO Diversity Statement, which continues to be made visible on NAO marketing and media communications materials in order to serve towards NAO’s mission statement.

The NAO Diversity Statement

The National AHEC Organization welcomes and accepts diversity in the broadest context to recognize, value, and learn from all people of varying cultural backgrounds regardless and inclusive of age, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, and geographic region.

For the 2017–2018 fiscal year, the committee is working towards the following goals:

  1. Establish a formal process for engaging external groups and organizations
  2. Develop a diversity profile for the NAO Program Offices and Centers
  3. Create a plenary session panel for the 2018 NAO Biennial Conference involving diverse student representation

Diversity Committee activity has currently resulted in relationship development work with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), the National Association of Medical Minority Educators (NAMME), and the Rural Health Association. We look forward to continuing to reach out to organizations as recommended by the committee and other NAO members. The process for establishing initial organizational orientation and collaboration for NAO strategic partners has been to invite the leadership of identified groups to the committee’s monthly conference call meeting for introductory purposes, leading to appropriate relationship development follow-up based on the discussions.

The diversity profiling for AHEC program offices and centers is just getting underway. We would eagerly invite participation on the Diversity Committee as we work on this goal.

Currently, the priority work plan activity for the committee is the planning and coordination for the Student Panel Plenary Session at the upcoming NAO 2018 Conference. With the Board’s approval, for the first time ever, we will bring students front and center to inform and discuss how AHEC Centers can better support the educational experience of undergraduate, graduate and health profession students across the country.

The Diversity Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. EST. For more information on how you may become involved, please contact Mary Mitchell – or Aileen Harris -

Other News

Center Directors

Center Director Constituency Group


All Center Directors

Please Join Us!

Wednesday, November 8
Core Training Topic: Interprofessional Education and Practice
1 p.m. EST
Passcode: 33402919
Please note: the topic has changed and there is no Adobe connect this month.

Job Opportunities

Please remember to check out the Employment section of the NAO website for current job listings.

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Email Contact: Mark Hamley

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