NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit April 19th, 2018

Reporting to You from the Board of Directors

Dear Colleagues

The most exciting news from last week is that the National AHEC Organization (NAO) was selected to present testimony to the House Appropriations Committee in support of Title VII and AHEC funding for fiscal year 2019. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 am EST on April 26, 2018. This is an opportunity for NAO to advance essential AHEC priorities and provide justification in support of Title VII programmatic activities like the AHEC program. What a great opportunity for our organization!

In late March we received the resignation of Cathy Whaley, NAO Treasurer. I want to express my appreciation as well as that of the Board of Directors, for Cathy’s contribution to NAO. Not only did Cathy serve as treasurer, on the Executive Committee, chair of the Finance Committee, and the Board of Directors. She also served as a vice chair of the Center Director Constituency Group Leadership Team, and as a member of the Communications Committee. Northeast Indiana AHEC will also miss her leadership as their center director. Thank you, Cathy, for your service to Northeast Indiana and NAO. We wish you well!

Recognizing that the NAO treasurer position is not one we can leave vacant, the NAO Governance Committee met and began identifying candidates for this position. At the April 12 meeting of the Board of Directors, Julie Bazan was selected as to fill the unexpired term as treasurer. Julie is the Executive Director of the Area Health Education Center of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area in Texas and a member of the CDCG Leadership Team. She will also assume a CDCG seat on the Board of Directors. Congratulations, Julie.

The Board of Directors also saw the latest draft of the AHEC Scholars Logo. We are working through a few more edits and hope to have it ready for use by the end of April. Stay tuned.

Working together

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center

The changing role of dentists
Did you know that dentists can screen for HPV-related head and neck cancers? Another way you can integrate the HPV project into your AHEC work is by adding this piece into your health career education programs. Let students know that being a dentist isn’t only about filling cavities! Watch Sandy Wexler explain how a routine visit to her dentist saved her life!

Dental groups are also taking notice of HPV vaccination! The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors released a position paper endorsing promotion of the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer, saying “A cost-effective approach to promoting overall health in evidence-based state and community practice interventions is to incorporate HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer awareness strategies into oral health promotion efforts and healthcare professional academic curricula.” We couldn’t agree more!

More than 800 registered for our next webinar – there’s room for more!
More than 800 people have already registered for our next webinar and there’s room for more! Please promote this to healthcare professionals in your area as well as health professions students:

HPV-associated Oropharyngeal Cancer and Survivors’ Experiences of Treatment-Related Toxicity
Wednesday, April 25, Noon ET

Register Now

Presented by: Jonas Johnson, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC; Marci Nilsen, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing; and Lynne Williams, MD, PhD, Executive Director of Southwest Pennsylvania AHEC and Physician at Hilltop Community Health Center

Join us for an important look into HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer, survivor outcomes and the importance of the HPV vaccine.

  • Epidemiology, prevalence and treatment of oropharyngeal cancer
  • Patient-reported outcomes reflecting treatment related toxicities
  • Safety, efficacy, and importance of the HPV vaccine in cancer prevention.

2018 Conference News

Please remember to register. Important to note: Early Registration cutoff is May 15, 2018.

Also, please remember to reserve your room. The rate is guaranteed until June 8, 2018.

Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities

Hotel Key Card Sponsor
Sponsor the hotel room key cards of attendees staying at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel and communicate your company message and logo each time attendees enter their rooms, the gym, or visit the M Club Lounge. For more information, please view the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus or contact Becky Schlevensky at

Exhibitor Opportunities
The 2018 NAO Conference Exhibition offers 20 hours of designated exhibit time within the exhibit hall over two and a half days. Booth and table options vary and start at $495. For more information, please view the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus or contact Becky Schlevensky at

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

Will You Help to Make a Difference in NAO Membership?

The NAO Membership Committee is seeking new members to help us reach our goals for this next year. Center Directors and Program Directors are needed. 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, April 24, 12:30 PST, 1:30p MST, 2:30p CST, and 3:30p 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.

Legislative Update


The National AHEC Organization (NAO) was selected to present testimony to the House Appropriations Committee in support of Title VII and AHEC funding for fiscal year 2019. The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 am EST on April 26, 2018. This is an opportunity for NAO to advance essential AHEC priorities and provide justification in support of Title VII programmatic activities like the AHEC program. The Subcommittee will broadcast this hearing live from their webpage and you may view it here.


Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) was appointed to the chair of the full Senate Appropriations Committee this week, filling the seat of recently-retired Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). He is the first Alabama senator to chair the committee. Senator Shelby will also chair the committee’s Defense Subcommittee. [The Hill]

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), appointed by the Governor of Mississippi to fill Sen. Cochran’s seat in the Senate, was sworn in on Monday as the first woman to represent the state. She was appointed to the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Labor-HHS Subcommittee. [Washington Post]

The White House is said to be moving forward with a plan to recommend the rescission (or claw back) of billions of dollars in spending from the recently-passed FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill. The White House has not yet revealed which programs they will recommend for cuts, but it is expected that their proposed rescissions will include foreign aid and non-defense, domestic programs. The rescission process requires a written proposal from the Administration, and approval by both houses of Congress—an unlikely outcome. [New York Magazine]

On the heels of the massive un-paid-for tax cut and two-year budget deal that added significantly to the federal deficit, the House of Representatives last night rejected a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The measure fell short by a vote of 233-184. The amendment required a two-thirds majority for passage. Notwithstanding the irony, the vote on the amendment gave conservatives something to point to as a sign of fiscal austerity.


On April 9th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 final rule, which is “intended to advance the Administration’s goals for increasing flexibility, improving affordability, strengthening program integrity, empowering consumers, promoting stability, and reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens in the individual and small group health insurance markets.”

The final rule includes the following components related to Essential Health Benefits (EHBs):

  • States will be allowed to choose from one of 50 plans used by other states for the 2017 plan year;
  • Replace one or more of the ten required EHB categories with the same categories of benefits from another state’s plan;
  • Or otherwise select a set of benefits to become its EHB-benchmark plan as long as it meets the scope of benefits requirements.

The rule also allows Exchanges increased flexibility in staffing, including removing the requirement that each Exchange have two Navigators and that one of these Navigators must be a community- and consumer-focused nonprofit group, as well as that each Navigator maintain a physical presence.

Patient-based organizations are sharing their concerns over the rule’s potential to lower standards for essential health benefits, to reduce value of coverage, and to reduce access to education and enrollment assistance.

For more information, please see this fact sheet from


The Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) met this week with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), Dr. Luis Padilla, and his staff. The BHW team is enthusiastic about the increases to Title VII programs in fiscal year (FY) 2018. With less than six months left in FY 2018, the BHW administrative team is relying upon input from their stakeholders to inform their decisions on what best practices to adhere to for the recent increased appropriations. Dr. Padilla concluded his time with the HPNEC working group by affirming his interests in being more engaged with the health professions and nursing stakeholders that utilize the Title VII and VIII resources as Congress begins the FY 2019 budget process.


On Wednesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) announced he will not be seeking re-election and will retire at the end of this year. His departure leaves open the question of if he will remain a lame-duck speaker through the end of his term, or if another party leader will be selected.

We will continue to keep you updated on new developments.

Job Opportunities

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

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Email Contact: Kayla White

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