NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit February 6th, 2018

Reporting to you from the Board of Directors


At the January meeting, the Board of Directors selected Gail Emrick to fill the vacant “at large” seat on the NAO Board of Directors. Gail is the Executive Director of the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC), serving rural, tribal and border communities and health service agencies in southern Arizona and the U.S. Mexico border region. She also serves as Adjunct Faculty of the University of Arizona, College of Public Health, is a member of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Health Council of Ambos Nogales and serves as a council member for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Equity Council, for Region IV.

Gail has served as Executive Director of center since 2008 and has been an active member in NAO. In her nomination, Gail said, “It would be an honor to serve on the Board of this organization, as I consider NAO to be one of the most valuable professional organizations that I have ever belonged to and our organization, SEAHEC, finds all of the trainings, conferences and resources of extreme value to our operations. I currently serve on the Center Directors Constituency Group Leadership Team, and greatly benefit from the knowledge and expertise of other Directors from around the country. I have participated on the CORE Research and Evaluation Committee and contribute actively to the monitoring and evaluation of Arizona AHEC activities. NAO is a very valuable organization to the functioning of our Center and I truly hope I can serve and help other Center’s grow and thrive as well.”

Welcome, Gail!

The addition of Gail provides us with a full slate of board members. As a reminder, your NAO Board of Directors:

Representing the Center Directors:
Aileen Harris, Cathy Whaley, Mary Mitchell, Christina Mathis

Representing the Program Directors:
Sandra Pope, Dr. David Garr, Anna Wenders, Michael French

At Large Members:
Petra Clark-Dufner, Kristina Fjeld-Sparks, Shawn Houck, Gail Emrick

Past President, Jacqueline Wynn; President, Paula Overfelt; President Elect-Mindy Bateman

Please feel free to contact any board member with questions or concerns.

To follow up on last week’s trivia question regarding the 1990 NAO Conference: the location of the conference that year was Charleston, South Carolina. That sounds like a nice place for future conference….. more trivia in the future. If you have something fun to share about a past conference, please send it. If you have a great photo of a past conference to share, send that also!

Working together

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

Legislative Update

  • The current continuing resolution (CR) funding all agencies at their fiscal year 2017 (current) levels runs through next Thursday, February 8th. Although some progress is reported on an agreement to lift budget caps allowing more defense and non-defense discretionary spending, there is no solid deal at this time so it is likely there will be another CR beyond Feb. 8th. Most speculation now has the next CR running through March 22nd in hopes that there can be an agreement on budget caps and perhaps immigration. Next week’s CR may also include a long-term extension of authority and funding for Community Health Centers. More details will emerge next week.

  • The White House budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 has been delayed until Feb. 12th—a week later than it is traditionally transmitted to Congress. Last week there were rumors flying that the budget would recommend dramatic cuts for Public Health Service agencies like CDC, HRSA, NIH, and SAMHSA. The proposals for cuts are still likely, but we may see less detail on February 12th since there is no resolution to FY 2018 at this time and not likely to be by Feb. 12th.

  • Congressional Republicans met for their annual retreat this week and essentially confirmed that they would not seek to advance additional major efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act during this 2nd session of the 115th Congress. The political dynamics don’t exist and it’s not likely there will be a formal FY 2019 budget resolution that would provide the opportunity for a reconciliation bill—the vehicle used by Republicans to advance a measure with a simple majority in the Senate. In the meantime, discussions continue on ways to pass legislation to stabilize individual health insurance markets. More emphasis is now on reinsurance proposals rather than restoring cost sharing reduction payments. obamacare-repeal-republican-status

  • Less than a week after the swearing-in of the new HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, the agency announced the departure of the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald. The abrupt resignation came after it was disclosed that Director Fitzgerald had made questionable stock purchases after becoming CDC director, and was also having a difficult time explaining why she could not divest her financial portfolio to allow her to perform official responsibilities. HHS Secretary Azar promised during confirmation hearings that HHS would run a tight ethics ship under his watch.

National Training Center

NAO to be featured at national vaccine meeting
HPV Project Director Gretchen Forsell will speak at the next National Vaccine Advisory Committee Wednesday for a session on HPV vaccination coverage, current research, case studies, and various updates from partners on HPV implementation activities. She plans to share the three pillars of AHEC with a special focus on training health professions student and providing continuing education, as well as show a map of AHEC’s reach across the country. Information will also be shared about our HPV Project activities as well as our impact on rural and underserved populations. Want to check it out? You can view her session live from 11:30 a.m. to noon ET via this webcast link. Find the entire agenda here.

Promoting our next webinar to health professions students!
With a strong science base, our next HPV webinar is a perfect learning opportunity for health professions students. How can you help spread the word? Here are some ideas!
Send the promotional information below to:

  • Your AHEC board members affiliated with educational institutions
  • College health professions majors (connect with their secretaries or advisors) and ask them to forward to faculty and staff; the major’s listserv; any clubs or pre-professional organizations
  • Clinic/scheduling coordinators for health students
  • Educational institution department chairs and faculty members you’ve connected with in the past
  • Your social media channels and tag the school/university (using the specific department when available) on Facebook and Twitter

“How HPV Causes Cancer and Why it Still Matters”
3 p.m. ET, Thursday, Feb. 15
Register Now
Presented by: Dr. Peter Angeletti, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Center for Virology, School of Biological Sciences

  • The biology of HPV and its infection
  • How the virus replicates and hides from the immune system
  • How HPV causes cancer
  • Evidence of different manifestations of HPV-related dysplasia
  • Rationale for adopting an effective HPV vaccination strategy
  • Efficacy evidence of the current vaccine
  • 2018 Conference News

    Vendor and Exhibitor Opportunities

    Dear Centers and Program Offices

    In an effort to have a STRONG show of vendors and exhibitors at the 2018 National AHEC Conference, we are asking each of you to submit names of companies and organizations you work with in your daily AHEC operations that we can approach as potential sponsors and exhibitors. Even local companies have the ability to market and sell to a larger audience, so we would love to know what who you work with!

    For example, in Missouri, we all do dissection activities with our high school students, so and we mostly all use Carolina Biological for supplies and specimens. This is an online company we could reach out to see if they’re interested in having a booth to directly market to other centers around the nation with similar high school programs. And in Tampa Florida, they’ve used the same local print shop for years and years – we can ask the manager there if she’d sponsor the conference badges, lanyards, or other promotional items. (Don’t worry if a company you work with doesn’t seem like a “fit” -- the Conference Planning Committee can review your suggestions and make those determinations).

    So please submit your ideas to Becky Schlevensky at or 414-908-4953 Ext. 111 right away. Include the company/organization names, brief descriptions of how you work with them, and the names/emails of any contacts you have. Becky will follow up with them directly or reach out to their marketing/sales departments.

    Other News

    Center Directors

    Center Director Constituency Group
    All Center Directors

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018
    1:00 – 2:00 PM EDST
    Passcode: 33402919

    • Updates from Public Policy, Membership, and Conference Planning Committees
    • Learn More: Community Health Workers
    • HRSA Core Training Topic: Cultural Competency

    Watch for announcement of special CDCG webinar in partnership with PDCG in February!

    AHEC Scholars--where are we now and what's next?

    Summer Health Professions Education Program

    Health Careers Collaborative Opportunity for NAO Membership
    with the Association of American Medical Colleges
    Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)


    View the Program PDF Here

    The Summer Health Professions Education Program (formerly SMDEP) sponsored by the AAMC, serves as the free, six-week academic enrichment program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Eligible students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage.

    The NAO membership has been invited to partner with AAMC to share resource information about the SHPEP opportunity links and program brochure in your service regions, to better support and facilitate access to interested health career students who may benefit.

    The AAMC encourages participants to apply and take the opportunity to join this FREE, summer enrichment program that is filled with countless career development opportunities.

    Learn more about the new educational opportunities provided by the program and apply today at

    Students are encouraged to apply early since the application deadline is quickly approaching on February 15, 2018.

    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: Kayla White

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