NAO UPDATE | Provided as a Member Benefit May 2nd, 2018

Reporting to You from the Board of Directors

Wow, I had an amazing experience last week testifying on behalf of AHEC programs and centers and our National AHEC Organization to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

Please let me express our appreciation to Dale Dirks and Joshua Lewis of Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington. Dale submitted the nomination to present, as he does every year, on our behalf. This year, we were one of 21 organizations selected for this once a year public witness hearing. I also was to express my appreciation to Dale and Joshua for preparing me well for the testimony (view the video here or below). As we sat through the 21 testimonies, it was apparent that there are many great organizations working on behalf of the health of our American citizens. Most impressive to me were the comments made by Chairman Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. They had positive and appreciative comments for every organization following the presentation. Michael French noted that the comments from the chair and ranking member of the subcommittee following the testimony seem to bode well for AHEC in this subcommittee. The chair calls the AHEC program "invaluable" (meaning extremely valuable, indispensable).

Paula Overfelt and Chairman Tom Cole of Oklahoma

It was a pleasure to represent NAO. Sometimes the work as president is difficult and very time-consuming, but it is always an honor. This week it was a complete pleasure – thank you for your confidence and support of me in this role.

Mindy Bateman, President Elect, attended the hearing along with Dale Dirks and Joshua Lewis. We had hoped for a meeting with HRSA while we were there, but the short timeframe of our availability and their schedule did not allow that meeting to happen. We will get a call scheduled with them. The Board of Directors is encouraging HRSA to provide an equal distribution of the $8 million and would like to discuss that with them. We will report on that as it happens.

Paula Overfelt, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, of Connecticut, and Mindy Bateman, President Elect

Conference Updates:
It is hard to believe it is May—two months until the conference!

Important dates:
Early Bird Registration closes May 15! Please take a few minutes to get you and your staff registered!

New program and center directors – New Directors Orientation is for YOU! Please register for that session being held on Sunday, July 8. I learned in 2016 that there are directors that attend this session every conference because the information is so valuable! If you are a new director, do not miss this session!

We are extremely pleased to report that many of you who have registered are indicating you’ll be there for the Hill visits on July 11. We are very excited about that – we are currently scheduled to gather in 216 Hart Building at 9 am with recognition of several Congressional supporters.

There are many more planning details in preparation for the conference. We will be adding information to the conference site soon!

04.16.18 NAO House Testimony FY19 LHHS Approps
4.23.18 - NAO Oral House Testimony FY19 LHHS Approps
Letter to Secys on STLDPs Sign On

Working together

Paula Overfelt
President, NAO Board of Directors

National Training Center

Funding announcement: HPV special projects
We are very pleased to announce a funding opportunity through the HPV Project! This opportunity is open to any NAO member AHEC Program or Center to receive funds to develop and carry out a limited number of demonstration projects to support efforts to increase HPV vaccinations.

These special projects will focus on:

  • Activities and programs that the AHECs may provide in their local areas, regions, states or multi-state regions to increase HPV awareness, knowledge and/or skills of providers
  • Provide special training to heath professional students and practitioners
  • Change practices of health professionals
  • Assess the impact of their efforts to improve HPV vaccination rates

Please read through the Request for Applications document carefully and come prepared with questions to a special informational session set for 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 3. Register Now.

Webinar attendance reaches 360!
Thanks to all of you for making our webinar last week on oropharyngeal cancer a great success! More than 360 attended. Missed it? There will also be an archived version of the webinar available that you can promote. Stay tuned!

And … here’s the next webinar to promote:

You Are the Key: Best Practices for HPV Cancer Prevention
2 p.m., Tuesday, June 12
Register Now
Presented by: Betty Lo, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics; Director of Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Continuing education credits pending

Low HPV vaccination rates are leaving boys and girls vulnerable to devastating HPV cancers. Have you been making an effective HPV vaccination recommendation for kids 11 and 12 years old? This presentation will provide up-to-date information on HPV infection/disease, the HPV vaccine, ACIP recommendations, and ways to successfully communicate with patients and their parents about HPV vaccination. Find out how to reduce missed opportunities by recommending HPV vaccine the same way and same day you recommend other routinely recommended adolescent vaccines. Learn best practices from other medical offices across the nation that are making HPV vaccination a priority.

Kentucky integrates HPV education into health career program
How can the HPV project be integrated into health career programming? Find out how Southern Kentucky AHEC worked with their local HOSA chapter to bring HPV awareness to the forefront in our latest success story. Great work! Want your HPV work to be featured in the next success story? Start by filling out this form or contact Corryn Celmer at

2018 Conference News

Please remember to register. Important to note: Early Registration cutoff is May 15, 2018.

Also, please remember to reserve your room. The rate is guaranteed until June 8, 2018.

Sunday, July 8: New Directors Orientation
Pre-Conference Activity

Sarah Catalanotto (Suwanee River AHEC, FL) and Petra Clark-Dufner (CT AHEC), co-chairs of the 2018 AHEC New Directors Orientation (NDO) invite all new AHEC Center and Program Office directors to attend this customized half-day program, Sunday, July 8th from noon-4 p.m. at the conference hotel, the Marriott Crystal Gateway. This pre-conference event is provided once every two years, in order to facilitate AHEC leadership support across the national network. This NDO session seeks to enhance AHEC directors’ capabilities through this additional and unique opportunity to come together and extend their reach, while working with the NAO activities on the Hill.

The New Directors Orientation programming is designed to support providing the education and resources necessary for the future work of the busy director in mind. The NDO speakers represent a variety of AHEC programs, geographic areas, along with core HRSA-mandated training programs. The purpose of the NDO is to provide newer directors with a brief immersion in key topics critical for successful AHEC leadership.

The NDO program topics will include:

  • The background history, mission and leadership opportunities within NAO
  • Understanding the role of AHEC and NAO advocacy and leadership
  • Creating the program foundation for financial stability
  • Community and university partnerships development and sustainability measures.
  • Resources and guidance to facilitate program directors identification of mentorship and administrative best practices.

The NDO session begins with the NAO Board of Directors joining you for lunch. The meeting focus is to provide a welcoming and nurturing environment to integrate novices and expert NAO leadership, who can share their more extensive years of experience. Previous NDO attendees describe the training as, “Invaluable”…

Aileen Harris, MSA, Executive Director, Capital AHEC (CapAHEC),
NAO Chair, Center Directors Constituency Group, describes her past NDO experience:

“I remember being at the New Director's Orientation around five years aog, where Mike gave a rich history of AHEC. So, as a new AHEC director, I not only learned about NAO and how rich it was with resources to me as a new center - it made me feel like I wouldn't have to do everything completely on my own (that I had access to resources). I got to meet my fellow centers and made great connections. So, my transition into this AHEC world was easier and smooth.”

Please plan on joining your peers and making new connections to expand the work of your local AHEC Program Office or Center. Consider registering soon, in order to catch the early bird rate before May 15, so you can include the New Directors Orientation in your conference activity plans: register here.

Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities

WIFI Sponsor
Be the Official 2018 NAO Conference Wireless Sponsor! Make a splash and obtain the thanks of all attendees! Your company logo and/or name will run as attendees login to the Internet from the meeting area. The Conference WI-FI Sponsor also receives the benefits of Gold Sponsorship. For more information, please view the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus or contact Becky Schlevensky at

Exhibitor Opportunities
The 2018 NAO Conference Exhibition offers 20 hours of designated exhibit time within the exhibit hall over two and a half days. Booth and table options vary and start at $495. For more information, please view the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus or contact Becky Schlevensky at

Legislative Update


The House FY 19 L-HHS outside witness testimony was held this week. The National AHEC Organization was selected to testify during this hearing earlier in April. Paula Overfelt, President, and Mindy Bateman, President Elect, were in Washington on behalf of the NAO and represented the organization well. Additionally, the NAO delegation gave Congressman Butterfield (D-NC), Congressman Burgess (R-TX), Senator Reed (D-RI), and Senator Blunt (R-MO) their invitations to the NAO’s 2018 NAO Biennial Conference in July!


Congress continued to demonstrate support for medical research funding this week. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and VA marked up its FY 2019 bill and provided $732.3 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Research Program, an increase of $10 million over FY 2018. The Mil-Con/VA appropriations bill subcommittee mark-up signals a fast start to the FY 2019 process—even before subcommittee allocations are made.


Patient-based organizations submitted the attached letter of official comments to the CMS docket and to Secretaries Azar, Acosta, and Mnuchin regarding short-term, limited-duration health plans (STLDPs). The letter expresses concerns about the impact that the proposed rule regarding STDLPs (CMS-9924-P) will have both on the health insurance marketplaces and the consumers. While short term plans can offer less expensive coverage, they are not required to adhere to important standards, including the ten essential health benefit categories, guaranteed issue, out-of-pocket maximums, and many other consumer protections. These policies are also allowed to charge higher premiums, deny coverage altogether for consumers who cannot meet medical underwriting standards, and impose lifetime and annual limits on services. If the proposed rule put forward by the various departments is finalized in its current form, it will limit access to quality and affordable health insurance coverage. The patient groups urged the agencies to withdraw this proposed rule until it can be rewritten to adequately protect consumers.


The administration continues to struggle with the successful nomination for a new VA Secretary following the firing of Dr. David Shulkin. The White House’s nominee for VA Secretary, Dr. Ronny Jackson (the White House Physician) withdrew his name from consideration this week when allegations of misconduct surfaced. Leading Veterans advocates are worried about the chaos and risks ahead for the agency that serves 9 million military veterans and employs 350,000 workers. “Veterans are losing six different ways right now, from all directions, and it’s discouragingly unclear why this keeps happening or what might make it stop,” said Joe Chenelly, national executive director for AMVETS. CONGRESS RESPONDING TO THE OPIOID CRISIS

Key Senate and House panels advanced an assortment of bills this week to combat opioid addiction and public health issues stemming from the opioid epidemic. All of the measures that advanced have bipartisan support, but some legislators and public health advocates raise concern that the measures are not likely to bring about significant changes because they exclude a key component: a continuous stream of funding dedicated to the opioid crisis. (Morning Consult). However, appropriators have shown a willingness to support emerging and established programs addressing the opioid epidemic on an annual basis.

Job Opportunities

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Email Contact: Kayla White

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