The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) is a 21-member citizens' panel of nationally recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Chartered in 1987, the Committee advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on ways to address health care problems in rural America. It was expanded to 21 members in 2002 and charged with focusing on both health and human service issues in rural areas.
Former Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, MD, chairs the Committee. The Committee's private and public-sector members reflect wide-ranging, first-hand experience with rural issues – in medicine, nursing, administration, finance, law, research, business, public health, aging, welfare and human service issues.
The Committee is currently composed of 21 members, including the chairman, who serve overlapping four-year terms. The members represent expertise in the delivery, financing, research, development, and administration of health and human services in rural areas. Several members are involved in training rural health professionals. Others are representatives of state government, provider associations and other rural interest groups.
Each year, the Committee selects one or more topics upon which to focus during the year. Staff and contractors then prepare background documents for the Committee to help inform members on the issue. By the end of the year, the Committee produces a report with recommendations on that issue for the Secretary.
In addition to the report, the Committee may also produce white papers on select policy issues. The Committee also sends letters to the Secretary after each meeting. The letters serve as a vehicle for the Committee to raise other issues with the Secretary separate and apart from the report process.