NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit September 20th, 2017

From the CEO's Office

This week has been a hectic one for NAO thus far. The House has taken steps to file a bill for reauthorization for the class of programs that includes AHEC. We are monitoring this situation quite closely along with our team on the ground at the Health and Medicine Council of Washington. We have learned that in the House budget there was an increase in funding proposed of $2.5 million. If this passes both chambers of Congress then we would receive $32.5 million. However, this is still in the beginning of the legislative process and we have a long way to go.

We are also continuing to check in on our programs and centers that have been affected by the hurricanes in the southeast and south as well as the fires in the western part of the country. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected. We have had no communication that our centers or programs are in need. If your center or program is different please feel free to contact me.

Our annual conference planning is well underway and we are planning to include a Hill visit. It is important now more than ever that we continue to connect with our Congressional delegations and let them know what is happening in their home communities. If you have programs that are open to the public invite your delegation. The Congress member themselves may not be able to come but their staff will and that is the same as direct access to the member themselves.

Please share your stories with us about the great work and programs you are doing. We would love to see it! I can be reached by email at

In service,


National Training Center

Brand new resource!
The CDC just released a colorful infographic titled “6 Reasons to Get HPV Vaccine for Your Child.” It’s an awesome resource that anyone can use. Check it out.

Partner blog focuses on the real risk of HPV
Our national partner, the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently published a blog on the real risk of HPV. The author, Dr. Kristin Oliver, shares a personal experience regarding a meningococcal death that lead to a flurry of vaccination requests and relates it to the push to vaccinate against HPV cancers. It’s a good read!

Centers: Raise Awareness of the Signs and Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus education is critical. The American College of Rheumatology and the AHEC network are working together to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lupus while building connections with local rheumatologists. For more information, and a call to action, view the Why Lupus Flyer here.

Small Group Provider Lupus Sessions

In a summary review of the year two Lupus Initiative results, session attendees totaled nearly 300, with approximately 42% of the learning audience as diagnosing providers; a fantastic result. The initiative works to link providers to rheumatology specialists with whom they might not normally interact. One of the most successful components of the learning and networking sessions has been the inclusion of a patient perspective alongside the clinical instruction. All sessions included some time for a person with lupus to discuss their medical experiences and symptoms with the providers in attendance. The added “human” input was universally appreciated across sessions.

A funding announcement for year three will be published later in September for AHECs who may be interested in submitting a letter of interest. The ACR’s Lupus Initiative® is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment, and management of lupus in populations disproportionately affected based on race, ethnicity, and gender, and to abating lupus, a devastating and underdiagnosed disease.

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

Name of NAO Committee: Conference Planning Committee

Overview: The NAO Conference Planning Committee is charged to lead the planning for biennial national workshops, including planning theme, content, tracks and solicitation, review and selection of abstracts/proposals for presentation. The Committee shall also assist in planning and development of other NAO conferences as requested by the Board.

Program Activity: Currently the Conference Planning Committee is busy working through the planning details for the July 8-11, 2018 conference in Washington, DC.

Committee Focus of Work: As the Conference Planning Committee began to meet and prepare for the 2018 conference, there was a realization that we needed to grow our committee membership. Approximately 13 new members were recruited to the committee, and every one of them is actively engaged in a subcommittee.

Recent Successes to Share: Jeff Hartz, Executive Director, East Indiana AHEC, has the following comments about his involvement with CPC:

“I joined the Conference Planning Committee with a focus on the presenter and poster sessions part of the process for a couple of reasons. First, I felt like it was important for me as a Center Director to contribute to AHEC programs and NAO at a national level. I see the value of the national conferences in terms of making AHEC staff who are often working solo or in small teams in rural areas feel like they are part of something bigger. Second, I chose the presenter and poster session work specifically because I felt like being involved in that process would help me give better guidance and encouragement to health professions students in my AHEC region as far as submitting their presentations and posters to conferences in their fields of study and help them grow professionally.

Thus far, what I've enjoyed most is the interaction with AHEC staff from so many different parts of the country. It is fun to talk with colleagues from the Carolinas to Hawaii and learn more about not only what we have in common, but what is different about our centers and our work in different states.”

If you would like to be involved with the Conference Planning Committee for 2018, it’s not too late!

New Member Opportunities: Please contact Co-Chairs: Anna Wenders ( and Paula Overfelt (

Meeting Schedule/Call Information: Meetings are the fourth Tuesdays at 2 pm EST; call in 605-475-3220; Participant Code 514905#

Other News

Interested in Making a Difference in NAO Membership?

The NAO Membership Committee is seeking new members to help us plan our goals for this next year. We will also be discussing the forthcoming Annual Membership Survey. Will you be a part of strengthening our organization and improving NAO benefits and services? The Membership Committee plans, oversees, and evaluates membership services and issues in an effort to maintain a diverse, comprehensive membership of program offices, centers, associates, and individuals who pay dues to support NAO activities The committee is responsible for determining membership categories, dues structure, and proposing amendments needed to bylaws that reflect membership structure. The committee also conducts research related to member needs/wants.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 26th, 2:00p PST, 3:00p MST, 4:00p CST, and 5:00p EST.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or Telephone: Dial: +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll) or +1 646 568 7788 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 3034818686

Those interested should email or call 303-923-3734.

A note from the MassAHEC Network:

The founder of AHEC program in Massachusetts and an early leader in national AHEC efforts, Michael (Mick) Huppert passed away at the end of August. Mick was a lifelong advocate for community health and primary care through his many roles, including serving as the first director of the Massachusetts AHEC program in the 1970’s until the 2000’s. He served as the director of several FQHCs prior to and after his service at UMass Medical School and was involved with many other efforts to improve access to care across the state. Feel free to contact the current MassAHEC Network director, Linda Cragin at if you would like more information.

Program Directors and Center Directors

It’s our annual NAO Membership renewal campaign with our dues payable by September 30, 2017.

For your convenience, you can now renew your membership by visiting the NAO website at If you have difficulties connecting, contact CustomerCare by phone at (414) 908-4953 or by email at

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: Mark Hamley

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