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1. From the Executive Director's Office
I'm sure next week will be very quiet, so I will take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and a Happy New Year. I hope you get a chance for some well-deserved downtime!
Federal Budget Update
The House passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal 332-94 on Thursday December 12, reducing the likelihood of another government shutdown next year.
The agreement, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), sets discretionary spending at more than $1 trillion for the next two fiscal years and replaces sequester cuts slated to take effect in January. It doesn't extend emergency unemployment benefits or address the debt ceiling.
The Senate is expected to approve the budget this week and President Barack Obama has indicated he will sign the bill into law.House and Senate negotiators on the budget announced a modest proposal to reduce the sequestration cuts scheduled for 2014 and set top line numbers for discretionary spending to fund government programs for the rest of this fiscal year. The budget conference agreement was to be voted on by the House last Friday (12/13/13), which was anxious to adjourn that day. The Senate will then take up the measure and plans to adjourn for the year on December 20th.
Assuming the package is passed by both chambers, the budget would serve as the basis for the House and Senate to work to finish all 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2014, either as individual products or perhaps rolled into an omnibus measure that contains several or all of the bills—or some combination of the aforementioned. The current continuing resolution funding all federal agencies expires January 15th, and we expect negotiations on the appropriations bills to begin in earnest once the agreement passes.
Here are some of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) relevant documents in one convenient location:
The House Rules Committee meeting was held on Wednesday 12/11/13 on the budget deal. It was offered as an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.J. Res. 59. This is the original FY 2014 CR that passed the House but was never finalized. For those interested, rules will also consider as a second amendment to the CR a short term Medicare doc fix: Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013.
NAO CHW Initiative Funded for Phase II
This will most certainly be the last year of support from the Amgen Foundation for the CHW Initiative, and, given their organizational transitions, I think we can be quite satisfied at the level of funding awarded. According to our project officer, she is "quite proud of the level of support the board provided, given the transition of funding focus areas occurring at Amgen." She mentioned being very pleased with the project and is happy to help in any way to leverage other external support for project continuity. She clearly understands the importance of our work and we will work together to look for ways in which to leverage Amgen support for other external funding support. Leslie Hargrove, executive director in the Texas AHEC East region, who largely conceived of and has ably spearheaded this initiative, will continue to take the lead. I'm very excited to see how this initiative evolves over the course of the year.
NAO Data Collection
Collecting this data internally is so important; I know you've seen this message already for the past 3 weeks. We need this data to continue demonstrating our national effectiveness. Thank you SO MUCH for making the time to submit your data to CORE.
NAO Social Media
Have a great week and stay warm!
2. A-TrACC Marketplace Project Webinars
Marketplace Project Orientation, Sessions A&B led by the A-TrACC team. This webinar will orient AHEC staff to the project and how to participate. The incentive is at least $1,500 for your center in exchange for providing training for at least 50 health care providers and/or staff. This project may fit in with training AHECs are already providing on the health insurance marketplaces. Two sessions are being offered, with the same content included in each. Attend on the day/time that works best for you.
3. Take Note: NAO Conference Takes Place July 7-11, 2014
4. Online Call for Presentations
Proposals are to be submitted online this year. Please read all of the directions carefully to ensure that all submission requirements are met.
Please click on the following link to access the online submission system: http://www.nationalahec.org/conferenceSubmission.taf.
Note: The due date for final submissions is Monday, January 20, 2014.5. Message Regarding Leadership Changes in the School of Medicine
We're pleased to announce two leadership changes in the School of Medicine related to the Springfield campus and our ongoing efforts to address the shortage of physicians in rural areas of the state.
Effective immediately, Weldon Webb, who previously served as associate dean for rural health, has assumed the role of associate dean for the Springfield clinical campus implementation. In this capacity, he will take the lead in all of the initiatives required to make our vision of a Springfield-MU School of Medicine campus a reality during the next two to three years. Webb has served the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care in leadership positions for more than 40 years, including associate vice chancellor for health affairs (1999-2002), executive vice president of the Medical School Foundation (1985-2000), and MU Health Care public relations director (1994-2000).
Also effective immediately, Kathleen Quinn, PhD, will be serving as the acting associate dean for rural health. She will also continue to serve as director of rural health programs for the School of Medicine. Dr. Quinn, who received her PhD degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri, has been involved in rural health programs at the MU School of Medicine since 2000. Since 2009, she has served as adjunct assistant teaching professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and adjunct assistant professor in the MU Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
In their new positions, both Quinn and Webb will report to the senior associate dean for education. We are conducting a national search to identify a permanent associate dean for rural health, as well as a permanent associate dean for the Springfield clinical campus. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming and supporting Kathleen and Weldon in their new positions.
Leslie W. Hall, MD
6. CME Dinner Meetings on the Topic of Asthma
Click here for details.
Mission Statement: Our vision is that the AHEC network is the national leader in developing a highly competent and diverse health care workforce for underserved populations.
To submit an item, please click here. Deadline: Thursdays, noon CST.