NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit July 27th, 2018

Reporting to You from the Board of Directors


In last week’s WU, Jacqueline, our Interim CEO, reported on the conference and how pleased we are about your attendance and the response to the conference. Thank you so much! It was so much fun for me to put faces with names and voices and I know you enjoyed those moments also. I hope you are catching up in your office and ready to implement something you learned from the breakout sessions!

We’ve also been reading comments from the live polling questions and the recent NAO membership survey, and I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors decided during our July 8 meeting to hold the conference in a location other than the Washington DC area in 2020. The Conference Planning Committee is taking a little time off but will begin the planning process for 2020 soon! Keep reading!

Additional information from the July 8 NAO Board of Directors meeting:

  • The Board of Directors reviewed the current three-year strategic plan that should end September 30, 2018. We reviewed each strategic initiative, agreed upon progress to date, added a few items to it, and decided to continue this plan until September 30, 2019. I am making final edits and will make available to members soon.

  • CEO - as you are all aware, Jacqueline Wynn has been serving as our Interim CEO since March 29 with a contract until September 30, 2018, which we can extend monthly. The Board of Directors agreed to proceed with the recruitment of a CEO. You will see more information regarding the recruitment in the month of August. The Board is currently reviewing the job description and a search committee will be appointed soon.

  • We also reviewed results from the NAO survey. If you were unable to attain a copy at the conference, we will post that document on the NAO members only site for your review. The survey provides us with current information from our programs and centers. I have already reviewed the survey with the physician our AHEC reports to and will be reviewing the data with our Northwest Missouri AHEC Advisory Board at our next meeting. I hope you will be doing that also.

A special request! We did not receive the volume of responses on the mobile app for breakout sessions, general sessions, the legislative visits, etc. that we need to help us with evaluations. The mobile app is still available from your laptop or desktop at https://eventmobi/2018nao. If you have ever planned a conference or even a small workshop, you know how important evaluation information is – please respond!

Thank you to those who sat in on committee meetings at the conference – I understand we have several new members which is very exciting. In reviewing responses to the polling questions, I have also found the names of those wishing to join the committees. That information has been shared with the committee chairs. Thank you!

Please continue to learn about our NAO committees and join in – our volunteer leadership team needs additional help to keep NAO operating successfully and to “share the load.” Find your niche! On the way back from the Odyssey trip I sat with a young lady and described one of the committees to her – she had some of the same interests and is planning to join that committee! I wish I could sit with all of you and talk about your interests and help you find a committee to fit your talents/skills and our NAO needs – always feel free to reach out to me to discuss.

This week I realized that schools in our region begin in three weeks – it seems that summer is flying fast – I sincerely hope you can grab some of the remaining summer with your family or friends and relax a bit. I know you all deserve that time.


Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center

Getting the word out about NAO and our project resources! 
The CDC hosted a technical assistance workshop this week for state Comprehensive Cancer Control representatives who have been awarded HPV vaccination funding. As part of that workshop, NAO was able to provide our 1-pager with updated resources to the group. The same materials will be supplied for the same workshop being held in Houston in August. 

CDC resources updated and distributed
The CDC requested the following updated resources be distributed to health professionals across the country and project State Entities are working hard on distributing those. Can you help us with that cause? Can you send these to health professionals in your AHEC network? Can you post one or two of these on your social media channels? Let’s promote HPV vaccine as cancer prevention!

5 Ways to Boost Vaccination Rates

How I Recommend Videos: Dr. Margot Savoy

Top 10 Tips for HPV Vaccination Success

Clinician Tips and Timesavers sheet

“Iceberg” Infographic

“6 Reasons” Listicle

Florida Summit highlights three HPV vaccine champions
Hosting an annual HPV summit can be challenging when it comes to making the conference content fresh each year. This is where leveraging past partners comes in handy! Find out how Suwanee River AHEC in Florida utilized three HPV champions to plan their annual HPV Summit in our latest success story!


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, 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

Washington 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), the Senate took up a four-bill FY 2019 appropriations minibus, and confirmed Robert Wilkie as VA Secretary. The House will adjourn 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. The Senate plan could change.

Budget & Appropriations
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.

Health Reform

  • 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.

Updates on 21st Century Cures
On Wednesday, July 25th, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to receive updates on the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) from leadership at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Committee members received witness testimony from the following:

  • Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health

  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

  • Dr. Stephanie Devaney, Deputy Director, All of Us Research Program

  • Dr. Norman Sharpless, Director, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Gottlieb highlighted a number of provisions within Cures, including the use of real world evidence to improve patient care and ways to increase feedback from patients. Dr. Collins discussed how the FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill provided new resources for the NIH to develop alternatives to opioids for pain management, and explained the work they are doing to prioritize these efforts in the midst of the opioid crisis. For more, click here.

VA Secretary
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