NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit August 23rd, 2018

Reporting to You from the President


Christina Mathis, Shawn Houck and I have been meeting with Denise Harris and Stephanie Hazen of our association management company on the new NAO website. It looks great! We are still on time for a mid-September launch. On the AHEC Scholars Resource page, we have requested a section where resources on Opioid Use Disorder and Substance Use Disorder can be uploaded. You’ll receive information on how to get these updated as soon as I know the best way.

I am pleased to announce that 28 programs have requested the AHEC Scholars customized logo! Program directors, if you would like those for your state, please email me for the survey link ( Survey completion is required.

As mentioned in the first Weekly Update following the July conference, the Strategic Plan was updated and extended until September 30, 2019 with minor revisions.  The strategic priority is listed below with a summary of its current state. If you have questions, please contact me.

Strategic Priority 1: Ensure that NAO’s governance structure and processes maximize organizational effectiveness and support NAO’s strategic vision. Responsible Committee: Governance Committee. The governance policies, updated committee charters, board evaluation tool, board recruitment matrix, and pathway to leadership are all part of SP1. Much of this work had been completed or was in process. Items which had not been addressed are being addressed now or will be in the next fiscal year.

Strategic Priority 2: Develop new revenue streams that capitalize on its network and financially benefit both NAO and its members. Responsible Committee: Executive Committee. The Board agreed some objectives within this strategic priority needs some renewed focus while other areas are in place and ongoing. This strategic priority will be a priority for the next CEO.

Strategic Priority 3: Develop a comprehensive communications and marketing plan that keeps stakeholders informed and supports business development activities. Responsible Committee: Communications Committee. This committee has worked diligently with Public Policy Committee to provide us with materials for advocacy. The new website will launch in mid-September and at the same time, a new format for the Weekly Update. The consultant helping us with our social media resigned about a year ago and our social media presence has been limited to CDC HPV project. Social media presence will receive focus this coming year, as well as ongoing communications efforts.

Strategic Priority 4: Create a culture of advocacy that: 1) engages al NAO members; 2) ensures annual inclusion of the AHEC program in the federal budget; 3) grows federal AHEC funding over time Responsible Committee: Public Policy Committee.  The March announcement of an $8 million increase this year demonstrates that our advocacy efforts are working, but this area requirements continuous review and ongoing work. If you have not submitted your annual data for the Core Data, please submit it as soon as possible – having this annual data with 100% of our programs reporting is very important for our legislative efforts.

Strategic Priority 5: Grow the capacity of NAO’s human capital to achieve its strategic vision. Responsible Committee: Executive Committee. The NAO Board is hopeful this will improve in the future.

AHEC family, I know this month is incredibly busy for all of us – reporting, supplemental funding, budgets for year 2, AHEC Scholars implementation and much more.  Most of us are sitting at our desks as if we are glued to our chairs – set yourself a timer to get up and move every 30 minutes or so and take a deep breath – we’ll all be glad we did! Have a great week!


Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

CORE needs your data for 2017-2018 NAO One Pager!

Data is key to demonstrating the impact of AHEC programming and it is essential that NAO leadership continue to have current data to tell our story. We cannot tell you how beneficial it is for NAO to be able to report current numbers which means every year, the data needs to be updated. 
The good news is that our streamlined NAO Committee on Research, Outcomes, and Evaluations (CORE) data collection form and process make reporting easier than ever. There is only one online form and essentially all of the questions can be answered using data included in your federal report. Please help us gather the total numbers for 2017-2018 by completing the NAO CORE Data Collection Form no later than August 31, 2018. All data should be submitted via the survey on or
Your continued participation in CORE's data collection effort will provide us with the means to not only produce updated annual legislative flyers but help us determine trends and inform decision making. We look forward to receiving your data! Thank You! 
Questions? Contact CORE co-chairs  Detra Brown at or Jennifer Taylor at

National Training Center

Total reach at 1.7 million!
As part of our HPV Project, State Entities disseminate a number of handouts and other educational materials quarterly because we know at many healthcare practices there’s not one person sitting at a desk, looking for information on HPV! We need to bring it to them! And we have definitely accomplished that! 

So far, in Year 4 (from October through the end of July), our total potential reach is 1.7 million!

State Entities have disseminated information in a variety of ways: 

  • in-person programs

  • on their websites

  • on their partners’ websites

  • via social media

  • via email newsletter!

Way to go!

How to overcome vaccine hesitancy through motivational interviewing = next webinar
How much of a problem is vaccine hesitancy? It’s complicated and there’s no easy solution! Find out how motivational interviewing can improve response to vaccination in our next webinar, “Evidence-Based Communication Strategies for Improving Child and Adolescent Vaccine Uptake,” set for 2 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 19. Please promote to health professionals and health professions students in your AHEC region by using this registration link:

This webinar fits the practice transformation HRSA core topic. What a great way to fulfill a HRSA requirement while also providing relevant hot-topic education to students. We can share information with you on who attended from your state!

National Immunization Awareness Month continues! 
August in National Immunization Awareness Month (#NIAM18) and we are highlighting the importance of the HPV vaccine as Cancer Prevention! This campaign is designed to share a wealth of information with your followers/friends/partners through quick and easy to read messages! Not only does the campaign spread awareness of our cause, it connects us to partners and more people are added to our social media outreach! Please consider sharing this message and photo this week:

August is National Immunization Awareness Month! Getting HPV vaccine for your child now is better than treating an HPV cancer later in life. #HPV #vaccination can help prevent these cancers from ever developing. #AHEChpv




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:
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 Senate held a brief session this week, convening on Wednesday evening and adjourning early on Thursday with just three recorded votes. Action and debate on the Senate version of the DOD/Labor-HHS combined Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill was mostly put off until next week. Many members of the Senate were absent this week. The Hill Coverage of This Week's Senate Session


The Senate on Wednesday evening formally began debate on its FY 2019 combined DOD/Labor-HHS appropriations bill, HR 6157. Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) predicts that the Senate will clear the package on the floor by Labor Day. Most action and debate on the combined appropriations package will take place next week when the Senate reconvenes on Monday. Here is a Senate summary of the latest on the bill.Senate Summary of Action on DOD/L-HHS


  • This week, HHS Secretary Alex Azar penned a Washington Post Op Ed in which he defended the administration’s final rule on the expansion of the availability of short-term, limited-duration health plans. Secretary Azar makes the case that too many Americans were paying for insurance coverage that they can’t afford, do not want, or need and that premiums for individuals keeping ACA plans would not increase dramatically.

  • Patient and provider organizations are raising concerns about an announcement from CMS allowing step therapy requirements for physician-administered and other Part B drugs in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Based on their experience in states and with non-Medicare third-party-payers, patient and provider groups view the implementation of step therapy as a way to limit patient access to needed treatments and diminish the role of clinical judgment as well as the patient-provider decision-making relationship. Although the CMS guidance says it allows for a quick appeals process, stakeholder groups are skeptical and are preparing to weigh in with CMS. Several of these groups met with HHS Secretary Azar earlier this week to voice these concerns. CMS Memo on MA Plans and Step Therapy.

  • Two prominent House members, who are physicians, have distributed a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter (attached) asking their contemporaries to sign a letter to the CMS administrator Seema Verma. The letter to the administrator requests a review of how Medicare Advantage utilizes prior authorization and asks that CMS provide guidance to MA plans regarding the use of prior authorization to ensure that these requirements do not create inappropriate barriers to care for Medicare patients.


Advisory Committee on Interdiscplinary Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL): Yesterday, member of the ACICBL convened to discuss preparing the current and future workforce to practice in age-friendly health systems. The ACICBL provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services concerning policy and program development, and other significant matters related to activities under Part D, Title VII of the PHS Act including the Area Health Education Centers.

HHS recognizes August as National Breastfeeding Month: For further information, guidance and resources, such as the It's Only Natural campaign for African American women, please visit the HHS Office on Women's Health (OWH).  

National Immunization Awareness Month (CDC): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new interactive guide during National Immunization Awareness Month. The digital tool helps families navigate information about recommended vaccines from birth through adulthood. Click here to learn more about the vaccine guide. 

Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program: This program provides NIH funding for clinical research for up to 10 years, and supports clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers to promote their development to fully independent positions. The deadline this year for new applicants is August 31. Click here to learn more.

Office of Minority Health Clinical HIV/AIDS Regional Training: This one-day training is for doctors, nurses, case managers, community health workers and other health care professionals working in tribal agencies and clinics that deliver HIV prevention services. It seeks to increase providers' knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment with presentation topics on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV/HCV integration, and HIV & opioids. The training is free to attend and limited to 30 providers serving American Indians and/or Alaska Natives. For further information, please contact Elton Naswood.

SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit:  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) toolkit offers strategies to health care providers, communities, and local governments for developing practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Click here for the Spanish version or here for the English version of the toolkit.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) is Recruiting:  OASH is looking for a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Medicine. If interested, use this link to apply. The deadline is August 24 to submit application materials.

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

Legislative update provided by Dale Dirks from Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington

Job Opportunities

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

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Email Contact: Denise Harris

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