The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) is comprised of nationally recognized rural health experts who advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on ways to address health care issues across rural America. Committee members offer first-hand experience dealing with rural issues in fields ranging from medicine, nursing and public health, to law, finance and research. As the only NOSORH member on the committee, it’s New York SORH Director Karen Madden’s job to provide the state office’s unique perspective on rural health care. “My role on the committee is to represent NOSORH and the state offices,” Madden said.

Every year the 21 member committee chooses specific topics to focus on during the year. The Affordable Care Act and rural homelessness are two of the key topics for 2014. By the end of the year the committee will write a report for the secretary with their recommendations on the subjects. The committee also writes white papers on specific policy issues.

“Being on the committee is very different from anything I’ve done before.We focus on policies at a very high level but also have the opportunity to talk with people in rural communities about the impact of those policies,” said Madden. “I have done work on the state and national level before, but this is such a great opportunity to work with and learn from people from so many different backgrounds.”

To read NACRHHS policy briefs, go to


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