NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit August 3rd, 2018


Reporting to You from the Board of Directors

Colleagues

I’ve taken time to review the evaluations from many aspects of the conference and I want you to know that I appreciate the time you took to provide this feedback.  Unfortunately, less than 40 of the more than 400 of you completed the evaluations. So, one more week, let me ask that you go to the mobile app at:

https://eventmobi.com/2018nao/

and complete evaluations, especially the overall event survey. Each of you who attended taking time to respond will help the work of NAO leadership and the Conference Planning Committee.

At the conference, we got a quick glimpse of the new website. You may have noticed the map which will be interactive. Something that will be helpful with both the interactive map and the AHEC directory, is your help to keep this information updated on the NAO website.

Program and center directors should have received a renewal notice for the coming year (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019). Please review the renewal notice and make any changes at this time. A problem that we have with renewals is when center or program directors resign, and the names are not changed — it’s very difficult to know to whom to send the renewals and often a center who has been a member for years is no longer a member. Since all membership correspondence is electronic, a wrong email stops the process. If you can help keep names and emails updated, it will improve our ability to meet our membership goals. You all know that our NAO budget is built from membership dues. The more programs and centers that are members, the more NAO, your professional organization, can accomplish for its members. If you have not received a renewal notice or if you have other membership or benefit concerns they may be sent to me or to customercare@nationalahec.org and you will be contacted.

Missouri AHEC is meeting this week with AHEC Scholars as a primary agenda item — I’m certain that is going on in all your states, programs and centers. Comments were made on the survey about wanting more time to discuss AHEC Scholars. I wish we had more time to discuss AHEC Scholars at the conference also. Please remember we have a website where you can go to post questions or your plans and documents — we all want to know what everyone else is doing. To be able to know what others are doing, we need to share our plans also! Let’s use this site to network on AHEC Scholars. We didn’t get to my questions about what you would like to have NAO help with AHEC Scholars in the coming year. Please feel free to post those questions on the AHEC Scholars site at http://ahecscholars.nationalahec.org/.

Since this will likely come out on Friday, let me wish you a great weekend!

Respectfully,

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center


Preparing for Year 5
As part of our plans for Year 5, the NAO HPV Project will be engaging more AHECs in those states and regions with low HPV vaccination rates. What type of work is needed in your region? How would you like to engage health professionals and/or students on this topic? We’d love your feedback as we formulate our plans! Drop a note to info@ntc.nationalahec.org.

Connections lead to partnerships… Partnerships lead to success!
All it took was one contact — to reconnect with a former AHEC colleague — that led to much success for the Three Rivers AHEC in Georgia in their HPV Project work. Kathy English, Three Rivers AHEC Director, reached out to a former AHEC employee now working at the North Georgia Cancer Coalition in 2016 to share information about the National AHEC Organization HPV project webinars and materials. The North Georgia Cancer Coalition shared HPV immunization materials with English as well. It was just the start to a fruitful partnership. Learn more in our latest success story!

National campaign to increase HPV awareness 
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has launched a new HPV (human papillomavirus) awareness campaign (The Talk) in collaboration with DoSomething.org, the largest not-for-profit exclusively for young people and social change with a digital platform reaching more than 6 million adolescents. Through “The Talk” campaign, NFID and DoSomething.org hope to make conversations about HPV prevention easier. The campaign website (www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/the-talk) encourages young people to create personalized cards with a keyword and give the cards to their parents/guardians to start a conversation about HPV. By texting the keyword, participants receive information about HPV and the importance of vaccination. Scheduled to run until Sept. 17, the campaign includes an opportunity for participants to win a $3,000 scholarship. Consider providing this information to your health career pipeline students for their participation!

Webinars

Save the Date!
AHEC Program TA Webinar Series:
Strategic Partnerships: Working Together to Make a Difference in Rural and Underserved Communities
August 8, 2018 
1:30-3:00 PM ET
Dial-in: 888-240-4148
Pass Code: 836580

Click Here

Purpose: 
This webinar will provide information on how effective and meaningful partnerships further the goals and mission of the AHEC Program. The HRSA program office will clarify the strategic partnerships requirements of the AHEC cooperative agreement. The presenters will provide insight into the implementation of HRSA’s vision at the federal and community-level with a robust, dynamic discussion about challenges, barriers, and opportunities for success.

Objectives:
Define the purpose of strategic partnerships and the requirements relative to the AHEC program. 
Provide examples of how partnerships at the federal and community-level strengthen HRSA’s investments.
Discuss challenges/barriers/opportunities in establishing and sustaining strategic partnerships.
Learn strategies to develop and implement successful partnerships.

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

NAO Membership Committee Is Seeking Your Input
The NAO Membership Committee will be discussing how to implement the feedback and input from the recent Membership Survey. Improving the member experience and developing future goals will be the focus of the next meeting. Will you join this committee and be a part of shaping the future?

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 28th, 12:30p PST, 1:30p MST, 2:30p CST, and 3:30p EST.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://ucdenver.zoom.us/j/3034818686
Or Telephone: Dial: +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll) or +1 646 568 7788 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 3034818686

Those interested should email linbrowning@centralcoahec.org or call 303-923-3734.

Legislative Update

Congress continued to grind out work this week. The House passed a number of health-related bills to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Senate took up a four-bill FY 2019 appropriations minibus. The House adjourns for its traditional August recess at the end of this week and return after Labor Day. The Senate plans to be in session next week, recess for the week of August 6th, and then return for a two-week session the week of August 13th. Despite this timeline, the Senate plan could change. This is your end of the week update.

TITLE VII REAUTHORIZATION
Earlier this week the House passed H.R. 3728, the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) Act of 2018. This legislation is a straight reauthorization of the Title VII health workforce training programs, like the Area Health Education Centers program, of the Public Health Service Act.

BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
The House Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2019 Homeland Security bill, marking the final of 12 annual funding measures to be approved by the committee this year. House Homeland Security Info. More progress on House funding bills will wait until September.

The Senate began deliberation on its 4-bill minibus appropriations measure that contains its versions of FY 2019 appropriations for: 1) Interior & Environment; 2) Financial Services & General Government; 3) Transportation & Housing; 4) Agriculture, Rural Development, & Food and Drug Administration.  All four of the bills were passed by the full committee with unanimous support. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) hopes to pass the bill this week, but debate on the minibus could spill over into next week. Health advocates are monitoring deliberations for attempts at policy-rider amendments that could weaken public health programs. Chairman Shelby Statement on Minibus.

Although the Senate’s August schedule looks a little murky--if the upper body can pass the above-mentioned four-bill minibus soon--there is increasing talk in the Senate about coupling its versions of the Labor-HHS and the Defense bills into the next minibus and utilizing the weeks of August 13th and 20th to debate and pass those measures.

UPDATES ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA)

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule to restart the risk-adjustment program under the ACA, which pays billions of dollars to insurers that enroll higher-risk patients, citing insurers' concerns about going bankrupt or having to withdraw from the ACA markets. Patient-based organizations applauded the move by CMS. See attached statement from CMS.

  • The American Lung Association released a new policy brief detailing how access to care in the Medicaid population is being undermined by the administration and states through Medicaid 1115 waivers. These waivers and their impact on patients could create insurmountable barriers to healthcare for people living with serious and chronic illnesses, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, and result in hundreds of thousands of people losing healthcare coverage. Here are the press release and full brief.

  • The House passed H.R.184, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2018 which would permanently repeal the ACA’s medical device tax. The bill has bipartisan support with 57 Democrats voting with Republicans to pass the bill. Chairman Brady W&M statement. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has urged the Senate to quickly act on repealing the tax, but there is no indication that the Senate will take up the measure soon. Donnelly Statement.

  • The House passed H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018 which modifies the definition of a qualified health plan for health insurance premium tax credits to allow individuals purchasing health insurance in the individual market to buy a lower-premium copper plan. Energy and Commerce Press Release HR 6311.

  • The House passed H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2018 that allows patients to use their Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and other similar tax-preferred health accounts to access over-the-counter medications. Currently patients must first obtain a prescription from their doctor to be reimbursed under their HSA. Chairman Brady HSA statement.

OTHER WASHINGTON UPDATES
Nominee for VA Secretary Confirmed: On Monday, the Senate voted 86-9 to confirm Robert Wilkie to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. During his confirmation hearing, Wilkie, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs in the George W. Bush administration and as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Trump Administration, pledged not to privatize VA health care, and indicated that if confirmed he would not shy away from disagreeing with the president. Wilkie takes over the second-largest federal agency--which has incurred significant management and operational challenges.

Thank you for viewing. As always, we will work diligently to keep you informed.

Job Opportunities

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Email Contact: Denise Harris

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