NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit June 22nd, 2018

Reporting to You from the Board of Directors


The NAO Board of Directors met on Thursday, June 14. During the meeting we heard reports from Gretchen Forsell at the National Training Center and the seven committee chairs and co-chairs, updates on the conference, and a quick review of some of the NAO Membership Survey results.

After a long career in exemplary national healthcare leadership and advocacy in public health, family medicine and healthcare provider education. Dr. David Garr announced his retirement as the Director the South Carolina AHEC officially effective June 30, 2018 and from the NAO Board of Directors. He has served for on the NAO Board for the past five years and been involved with committees and NAO leadership for the past 12 years. We are very grateful for his service and his contributions to NAO and the AHEC system.

Anticipating his retirement and resignation from the NAO Board, the Program Directors Constituency Group (PDCG) nominated Alaska AHEC Program Director, Gloria Burnett to fill this vacancy. The Governance Committee offered this recommendation to the Board on Thursday and she was elected. Gloria is the program director of the Alaska AHEC Program and has been actively participating as a member of the PDCG for over three years since she became program director. Gloria commented, “I find great value in the collaborative nature of this group. The work of both the PDCG and the Center Director Constituency Group (CDCG) are essential to transparent and mission driven leadership of the NAO Board of Directors.  As a member of the PDCG, I believe it is my responsibility to represent both my experiences and commitment to the AHEC Program as a program director, but also the perspective of my six regional Center Directors. As a former Center Director myself, I understand the importance of seamless collaboration and open communication between program office and center staff. If selected as the PDCG NAO Board representative, I will be committed to bringing this same multifaceted viewpoint to NAO leadership.”  We welcome Gloria to the NAO Board of Directors and look forward to new insights we may gain from the Alaska region through her contributions.

Mary Mitchell, chair of the Diversity Committee, also announced her resignation from the NAO Board of Directors effective at the beginning of our new fiscal year, October 1. She will continue serving on the Diversity Committee. The Center Director Constituency Group will make a recommendation to the Governance Committee to fill this vacancy.

Mary and Dr. Garr are two long term NAO Board Members. This is Mary’s second terms on the NAO Board, having also served as President of the Board in the past. We value their service and look forward to emerging leaders to join the Board. If you are interested in NAO Leadership, it starts with committee membership or constituency group leadership. Please get involved! You’ll have opportunities to learn about committees at the conference and hopefully find on that fits your skills and interests. Attend a constituency group meeting, network, and get to know other AHECS.

The Mobile App is up and ready to use. I’ve downloaded it successfully to my phone and laptop, and desktop, uploaded by photo, and started setting my agenda. Please do so also! The link is: The mobile app user guide is here.

Information on Hill Visits is later in this update and will soon be on the NAO website and on the conference page of the website.

I know that many of you are wondering what I will be writing about after the conference. I’m not sure but please keep reading, there is much going on in NAO!

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Arlington Virginia soon!

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center

Congratulations to those receiving HPV Special Projects funds!
Continuing education programs work
A select group of State Entities applied and were awarded extra funds to be a part of our Evidence-Gathering Special Project. As a part of this special initiative, these State Entities will be contacting health professionals who received "You Are the Key" or similar HPV training and analyzing the impact the training made on HPV immunization rates for his or her patients. This special project and following up with CE participants to see if they have made changes provides evidence that our training works! We experienced great success with this special initiative with just two State Entities participating in Year 3 so we are excited to expand to include five State Entities this year! Congratulations to: 

Greater Valley AHEC (Arizona)
Suwanee River AHEC (Florida)
Crossroads AHEC (Utah)
Southeast Louisiana AHEC
Mid-Rio Grande Border AHEC (Texas)

Next webinar: Just in time for back to school vaccinations!
Many of you already work with schools for your health career programming for AHEC. What a great opportunity to offer the school nurses with a free CE opportunity:

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.

ACS Speakers Bureau
Are you in need of a great speaker for your event?  Do you have a specific HPV subject area you need addressed? There is now a place to get connected to organizations which offer talented expert and survivor speakers.  The National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, in partnership with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, offers a free matching service to the public.  Simply complete a short questionnaire about your needs, and you will receive up to three referrals.  Over 35 organizations are currently listed in the Bureau. Complete a speaker request form or review our FAQs at:  You can also reach out to Joy Taylor, Continuing Education Project Specialist, at

2018 Conference News

AHEC on the Hill, July 11th

In case you missed this information in last week’s Weekly Update, please know, we look forward to seeing AHEC’s representation on Capitol Hill on July 11th during the AHEC on the Hill: Diversity, Distribution, and Practice Transformation Conference, July 8 – 11th, 2018 in Washington, DC.

What to do from now until you arrive in DC.
Please call your Congressional members’ offices to schedule your visits on July 11th. We urge you to schedule visits starting at 10:15 a.m. with your two Senators offices then spend the rest of the day making visits to your Representatives in the House.

Why the late start? We will have a brief awards ceremony in 216 Hart Senate office building from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Senate office information – House office information

We will provide NAO advocacy packets.
NAO will provide legislative packets, a leave-behind pocket folder for each member of Congress.  Each NAO Advocacy Packet for legislators will include an NAO “Ask” One-Pager and National Annual Data Highlights. There will be room in the packets for your business card, your State Data One-Pager for you to insert, and any state or local information you would like to share with your elected officials. We have created instructions on how to use this Excel file and this Word document to create your State Data One-Pager. We urge you to pick up these packets at the registration desk and bring one of these packets to offices in your state as we are hoping to create a unified message.

NAO has the conference goal to leave one of these packets in all 535 Congressional offices! Big goal! How will you help us!?!

Please follow these links to the two documents we will include in the packet so you can become familiar with the messaging:

Document 1: NAO 2016-2017 highlights
Document 2: Title VII: AHEC Background & Recommendations

For your review, below find the roster of Advocacy/Public Policy related activities being held at the conference.

2018 NAO Conference ~ AHEC on the Hill
Advocacy/Public Policy activity roster



Helpful Tips

Sunday, July 7


1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

New Director’s Orientation

Policy Committee Chair will give an overview of the policy priorities during New Director Orientation.

Packets for members of Congress will be available for pick-up

Tuesday, July 9


3:45 – 5:30 p.m.

Plenary Session: AHEC On the Hill


Health and Medicine Council of Washington presentation during plenary session to prepare NOA members with tips/tools and messaging for congressional visits.

Policy committee members will be available in the back of the room at tables with packets for hill visits and to answer questions from 3:30 – 5:45 pm.

Wed, July 11


7 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

Depart for Capitol Hill

Travel to Capitol Hill (Hart Senate Building) on your own. Suggested mode of transportation is the Metro, found directly below the hotel.

8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Arrival at 2116 Hart Senate Office Building


9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

216 Hart Senate Office Building

Congressional Briefing/Awards

10:15 a.m.

Hill visits (scheduled prior to arriving in DC).  

Best to start with Senate visits starting at 10:15 am 

It is ok to bring water and other drinks into the House and Senate buildings.

After visits

Please cab, or take Metro back to hotel/airport. 

No bus scheduled to return to hotel/airport


Survey Monkey to report on visits

Survey can be completed using your smart phone while on the Hill or afterward.

Preparation for your Hill visits
Four webinars were developed for the 2016 NAO conference in Washington, DC. The content of the webinars is still applicable and we would like to suggest that those of you who plan to make Hill Visits for the first time on July 11 review the webinars.

Webinar 1: How Washington Works! Understanding Advocacy: Describes Advocacy and how AHECs can influence legislative decisions, including budgets, by establishing and maintaining relationships with congressional offices.

Webinar 2: Strengthening the Foundation for Advocacy and Relationship Building: Focuses on Congressional Champions and how you can develop Congressional Champions for AHEC and how to use the State Data One-Pager that was developed for you by the NAO CORE.

Webinar 3: The Language of Advocacy: Developing a Strategy for Communication: Discusses the federal Appropriations process, NAO’s legislative priorities and how to schedule office visits during the upcoming AHEC on the Hill: A Capitol Idea! Conference with tips on logistics and planning.

Webinar 4: Follow up, Follow up, Follow up! Monitoring and Evaluating Advocacy Efforts: Summarize the basic tips that have been shared throughout the series. Attendees and will hear about NAO’s plans for the Capitol Hill Rally and Congressional Visits and will learn some key follow-up strategies to ensure ongoing successes with elected officials.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kristina Fjeld-Sparks:

NAO Committee Corner:
Membership Updates & Opportunities

Help Us Grow and Improve NAO Membership!
The NAO Membership Committee is seeking new members to help us reach our goals for this next year. Center Directors and Program Directors are needed. Will you be a part of strengthening our organization and improving NAO benefits and services? The Membership Committee plans, oversees, and evaluates membership services and issues in an effort to maintain a diverse, comprehensive membership of program offices, centers, associates, and individuals who pay dues to support NAO activities The committee is responsible for determining membership categories, dues structure, and proposing amendments needed to bylaws that reflect membership structure. The committee also conducts research related to member needs/wants.

The Membership Committee meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month, 12:30p PST, 1:30p MST, 2:30p CST, and 3:30p EST. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 26th , 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

Congress has been active this week. The House and Senate passed opioid legislation apart of a series of package relief this week and advanced the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bills. This is your end of the week update. 

Budget and Appropriations Update

The House Appropriations Committee held a subcommittee markup of the FY 2019 Labor-HHS bill earlier today. There were no offered amendments to the bill today, however we anticipate that there will be amendments offered during the full Committee markup next week. The bill, as is, was reported favorably on a party line vote of 8 to 5.

We are not sure of all of the funding levels for all of the health professions training programs under the Health Resources and Services Administration, but we do know that the House has level funded the AHEC program.

Specific program funding levels will become available once the Committee Report is issued before the full Committee markup. For now, here are highlights of the bill from Hill sources and the House’s press release:

  • $6.5 billion for the Health Resources & Services Administration, a decrease of $196 million from the FY 2018 enacted level.
    • $372.5 for Title VII Health Professions Training Programs, a decrease of $18.7 million from the FY 2018 enacted level.
      • $23.7 million for the Centers of Excellence, level funded with the FY 2018 enacted level.
      • $0 for the Health Careers Opportunities Program (HCOP), a decrease of $14.2 million from the FY 2018 enacted level.
      • $38.3 million for the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program, level funded with the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $7.6 billion for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, an increase of $427 million above the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $38.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $1.25 billion over the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $5.6 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an increase of $448 million above the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $334 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, level funded with the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • $71 billion for the Department of Education, an increase of $43 million over the FY 2018 enacted level.

We will provide a summary as more information becomes available next week.

Updates on The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The Justice Department Decision to not defend the ACA is Uniting Patient Groups to Take Action in Support of Pre-Existing Condition Coverage. Patient-based organizations are taking action to combat the decision made by the US Justice Department to decline to defend community rating and guaranteed-issue provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) CNN Article. Without these protections, consumers with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage and/or be charged more for health insurance—in direct conflict with the ACA.

Additionally, many member of the health-care community are speaking out to defend the ACA. Yesterday, the major trade groups for health insurers, hospitals and doctors, and numerous patient advocacy groups  filed briefs opposing the Texas lawsuit. Click here to read more. Additionally, You may review others thoughts on this topic by accessing the following social media links: Twitter; Facebook ; Instagram 

Other Washington Updates

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) spoke on the floor of the House to recognize Congresswoman Barbara Lee(D-CA) for 20 years of congressional service. Highlight from his remarks include the following:

“Member of Congress, she has made it a priority to represent some of the most underserved Americans by fighting for justice, equality, and peace. Through that desire, she helped found the Out of Poverty Caucus and the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. She also began serving as chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity in 2013. … She was the only member of the House to vote against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which demonstrated her foresight on the open-ended authorization. To recognize her work on these issues, she was nominated, as part of a group of 1000 women around the world, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 to recognize her dedication to peace and human welfare.”

Congresswoman Lee is a champion for eliminating health disparities, addressing challenges in the health workforce, and training health professionals.

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

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