U.S. mapThe National Advisory Committee
on Rural Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



The 2008 Report to the Secretary: Rural Health and Human Service Issues

April 2008

 printer-friendly 2008 Report to the Secretary (PDF, 728 KB)


The 2008 Report to the Secretary culminates a year of collective work by the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. I would like to thank all of the Committee members for their dedication, particularly the subcommittee chairs: Tom Hoyer, Health; Larry Otis, Human Services; and Tom Ricketts, Building Rural Communities. I would also like to draw special attention to the hard work of Andrea Halverson, Thomas Pack, Judy Herbstman, and Nina Meigs, Truman Fellows, who assisted the Committee in drafting key chapters and prepared the report for publication. Jeff Human, Jennifer Roberts, and Jake Culp, consultants with McKing Consulting Corporation and the Nakamoto Group, managed the logistics for each of the Committee meetings.

In preparing this year’s 20 year retrospective on rural health and human services, the Committee relied heavily on materials provided by the Rural Health Research Centers. I would like to acknowledge and thank the authors of the two retrospective chapters in the 2008 report: David Hartley, Andrew Coburn, John Gale, and Erika Ziller from the Maine Rural Health Research Center; Julie Schoenman and Michael Meit from the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis; Daniel Patterson, Andrea Radford, Randy Randolph, Indira Richardson, and Rebecca Slifkin from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center; Keith Mueller, Jocelyn Richgels, and Susan Nardie from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis; and, finally, Michelle Casey from the Upper Midwest Rural Health Research Center. Daniel Patterson, Nels Sanddal, Chris Tilden, Denny Berens, Drew Dawson, Tami Lichtenberg, Gary Wingrove, and Terry Hill also assisted with the section on rural emergency medical services. Staff from the Rural Assistance Center helped with background research. The Committee is deeply indebted to these individuals for researching, analyzing, and preparing such valuable data.

The report benefited from the assistance of Federal staff, including Marcia Brand, Tom Morris, Carrie Cochran, Erica Molliver, Michele Pray-Gibson, and April Ward of HRSA’s ORHP; and Dennis Dudley of the HHS Administration on Aging. Crucial expertise was provided by Robert Gibbs and John Cromartie from the Economic Research Service, as well as Brian Dabson and Bruce Weber from the RUPRI Center. Finally, I would particularly like to thank Jennifer Chang for her work as NACRHHS’ Executive Secretary.

The Committee also benefited from the hospitality and rich information provided by various individuals connected with the Committee’s two 2007 site visits. In June, the Committee visited Fort Collins, Colorado and heard testimony from several health and human services providers in the surrounding communities. In September, the Committee visited Madison and Sauk City, Wisconsin. I applaud the hard work of Sue Birch and Tim Size, who served as hosts and organizers for the two site visits. Also contributing to the visits’ success were Lou Ann Wilroy, Executive Director of the Colorado SORH; Denise Denton, former Executive Director of the Colorado SORH; and John Eich, Director of the Wisconsin SORH. The number of people involved is far too many to list here, but I want to acknowledge the help of everyone involved with the Committee visits. The opportunity to get into the field and learn about rural health and human services delivery from those who are actually providing these services was critical in informing this report and the recommendations that are included.



The Honorable David M. Beasley, Chair

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