NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit July 20th, 2018

Reporting to You from the Interim CEO


Wow!  What else can I say?  413 Registrants, 41% first time attendees, 48 US state/territories, over 45 speakers, 24 moderators, HRSA Briefing, New Directors Orientation, Congressional Briefing and Awards Program, Mobile App!  Whew… I am overwhelmed at the response and participation levels of our NAO National Network at last week’s Biennial Conference. I have come away filled with great admiration and respect for each of you and the work that you are accomplishing across the country.  On behalf of the NAO Board and Conference Co-Chairs, Paula Overfelt, Anna Wenders - Thank You!  We are grateful for this time together!

Michelle Boyd, Director of Diversity, Health Careers and Quality at Charlotte AHEC and Conference Program Sub-committee Chair shares, “This conference was definitely one to be remembered.  Participants thoroughly enjoyed the Lack’s Family presentation, more than 30 breakout sessions and “Rockin’ the Boat” on the Odyssey Cruise.  I cannot thank everyone on the program planning sub-committee enough.  Well done!”

First-time participant, Allison J. M. Robinson, Program Analyst, Maryland AHEC said, “I want to compliment you on a great conference!  I learned a lot.  It was my first of what I hope will be many future AHEC conferences..”

We are interested in your thoughts and feedback and ask that you please go to your on your mobile devices or personal computers to please complete the Polling Questions and the Conference Evaluation.   The conference planning committee uses this information as we plan the next 2020 conferences, where we really want to know what is important to you, as our NAO members’ vision for our future journey together.

Congratulations NAO Family! As our conference opening keynote speaker, John Doolittle of Missouri inspired us with ~What an Honor that “We Get To…”

Onward and Forward,


Jacqueline R. Wynn
Interim Chief Executive Officer

National Training Center

Year 5 funding approved!
At last week’s NAO conference, we received word that our continuing application for Year 5 of the HPV Project was approved! Look for more information soon about applying for Year 5 funding.

Webinar next week! Great example of practice transformation!
Many of you already work with schools for your health career programming. Check out our next webinar! What a great opportunity to offer the school nurses you work with a free CE opportunity and integrate the HPV project into your regular AHEC work.

School Nurses’ Role within HPV Vaccine Uptake: A Model for Interprofessional Collaboration
Wednesday, July 25, 3 p.m. ET
Register Now

Presented by: Brittany L. Rosen, PhD, CHES, Assistant Professor in Health Promotion and Education at the University of Cincinnati

This webinar will provide an in-depth review of school nurses’ HPV vaccine knowledge and attitudes, along with their perception of their role as opinion leaders for the HPV vaccine and their professional practice in providing HPV vaccine education and recommendations to parents. In addition, we will identify barriers preventing school nurses from providing HPV vaccine education and recommendations, including time constraints, job requirements, and school policies. Next, we will examine how to address these barriers through implementing a model for interprofessional collaboration offering examples from local (Ohio) school nurses. Last, we will review resources and toolkits school nurses and partners can use to educate and recommend the HPV vaccine to parents.

HPV project featured at NAO conference
A big thanks to Liz Tamor of Southeast Louisiana AHEC and Julie Bazan of Mid-Rio Grande Border (TX) AHEC for co-presenting with Project Director Gretchen Forsell at the NAO Conference this week. The presentation "Practice Transformation: A Case Study Utilizing the HPV Project" included information on the HPV Evidence-Gathering special project in which those participating clinics vaccination data was compared before receiving the "You Are the Key" training and then after. The "You Are the Key" training fits into the practice transformation core topic as set forth by HRSA in many ways - including providing practices scripts on how to interact with patients and their parents, as well as how to bundle the HPV vaccination with other vaccinations due for the child at the visit. 

For more information about how to integrate this project into your regular AHEC work, contact Becky Dawson, AHEC Integration Specialist, at

2018 Conference News

NAO Network Members,

We hope you will continue to stay engaged and connected to our continued progress post-conference, while enjoying these highlights from this summer together:

  • PRESENTATION POWERPOINTS:  Available on the mobile apps at the bottom of each session
  • PHOTOS:  Are being edited and will be available on our website soon
  • SURVEYS (and Legislative Hill Day Feedback) – via mobile app


  • Red Koelling Distinguished Service Award~ 

David Garr, MD, Program Director, South Carolina AHEC

  • Eugene S. Mayer Award Program of Excellence~ WWAMI AHEC 

Suzanne Allen, MD

  • Andy Nichols Award for Social Justice~

Guilford Refugee Health Coalition of the Greensboro AHEC (NC),
Shawn Houck, RN & Jeffrey Walden, MD

  • Diversity Center of Excellence Award~ Alaska AHEC

PATH (Preparing Alaskans for Training in Health Care Academies)

  • Distribution Center of Excellence Award~ Northeast Kentucky AHEC Center

Successfully Training and Educating Pre-Medical Students (STEPS)

  • Past President’s Award~ Mary J. Mitchell, Executive Director, Manhattan Staten Island AHEC
  • President’s Awards~ Jacqueline R. Wynn, NAO Interim CEO, NC AHEC and Mindy Bateman, NAO President-elect, Director, Crossroads Utah AHEC
  • First NAO Lifetime Honorary Membership:  David Garr, MD, SC AHEC


  • Senator Roy Blunt, (R-MO)
  • Representative Michael C. Burgess, (R-TX)
  • Representative GK Butterfield, (D-NC)
  • Senator Jack Reed, (D-RI)


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

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.

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, July 24th, 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

While the NAO held its biennial conference here in Washington, legislators returned to DC following the July 4th recess with a busy agenda. The Senate is gearing up for hearings and a confirmation process to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Battle lines have been drawn on social policy issues, including health care access. The House of Representatives returned this week to continue to grind through appropriations bills and other timely issues.  This is your end of the week update.


Yesterday the House Committee on Energy and Commerce met to consider H.R. 3728, the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency Readiness (EMPOWER) Act. This legislation is a straight reauthorization of the Title VII health professions training programs. While in committee markup, the bill was favorably reported out of committee through a voice vote and is expected to move to the floor in the coming weeks.  


The push to make progress on the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bills continues. Conferees have been appointed for the 3-bill minibus appropriations package for VA, Energy & Water, and Legislative Branch.

The House Appropriations Committee held a 14 hour marathon mark-up of the FY 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill Wednesday at which 18 of 49 amendments were adopted. Most of the adopted amendments were not funding-related and were more focused on separation of families and immigration policy (which is handled in part by the Department of Health and Human Services). Click here for the summary.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced last week that it would suspend risk adjustment payments to health insurers. The payments are intended to help stabilize health insurance markets by compensating insurers that covered sicker, more expensive enrollees. Patient-based organizations weighed in on the topic with the attached statement, raising concerns that the move undermines the ability of people with pre-existing health conditions to enroll in affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage.”

The Department of Health & Human Services announced this week that it is severely reducing funding for patient navigator organizations—grassroots groups that help Americans access health insurance coverage offered through the ACA. For the ACA enrollment period starting in November, the funding will be reduced to $10 million from the previous year’s funding level of $36.8 million. Kaiser Health Network Coverage

Many patient-based organizations are preparing comments or preparing to sign on to comments related to the HHS-released Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. Most patient organizations are highlighting patient access issues rather than focusing on the intricacies of drug prices. If interested, please this federal register notice for more.

For more, the New York Times has tracked the Administration’s changes to the ACA  and Brookings gives a more in depth report on effects of the Administration’s measures. 


The 115th Congress and Opioid Legislation: Both the House & Senate continue to push forward on opioid-related legislation. Although there was no legislative action this week, the Senate is gearing up for consideration of its package that is similar to the House-passed bill, HR 6. Both House & Senate FY 2019 L-HHS appropriations bills include funding for many of the initiatives contained in the pending legislative package, and various agencies are announcing the availability of funding. One for example from SAMHSA may be found  here.

Nominee for VA Secretary: The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee approved the nomination of Robert Wilkie as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The nomination will soon be voted on by the Senate, which is nearly sure to confirm Wilkie as VA Secretary. For more, click here.

The Next Supreme Court Pick:  President Trump on Monday nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court.

Diversifying the Health Workforce for an Equitable Future: This webinar is sponsored by the Office of Minority Health and will highlight strategies to diversify the health workforce. As you know, increasing the diversity of the health workforce can help to improve access to care in underserved communities; increase patient choice, satisfaction, and health outcomes; and enhance healthcare quality for vulnerable populations. For more information and to register click here

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


To download the presentation, click here.

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