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Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA)

Program Overview:
Organizationally located in the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), the mission of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) is to facilitate and coordinate HRSA’s programmatic interaction with organizations that represent units of State and local government.

A Federal Register Notice (Volume 71, Number 220) was released on November 15, 2006 officially outlining ORHP’s role in coordinating HRSA’s intergovernmental affairs initiatives.

The purpose of HRSA’s Intergovernmental Affairs is to:

  • Provide the HRSA Administrator with a single point of contact on all activities related to important State and local governmental, stakeholder association and interest group activities.
  • Coordinate Agency cross-Bureau cooperative agreements and activities with organizations representing units of State and local governments, including but not limited to the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH).
  • Interact with health-focused Federal Commissions such as the Delta Regional Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission, Denali Commission and United States-Mexico Border Health Commission.
  • Serve as primary liaison to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

HRSA IGA is also tasked with facilitating and staffing the HHS Rural Task Force established in 2001 under Secretary Tommy Thompson. Its charge is to conduct a department-wide examination of how HHS programs can be strengthened to better serve rural communities. Representatives from each Agency and Office of the Secretary Staff Divisions participate in this effort. In fulfilling this goal, the Task Force identified five goals to improve the provision of health and human services in rural communities:

  • To improve rural communities’ access to health and social services
  • To strengthen rural families
  • To strengthen rural communities and support economic development
  • To improve coordination with local, State and Tribal governments
  • To improve decision-making and consultation

The HHS Rural Task Force continues to conduct department-wide quarterly meetings to encourage collaboration and partnership among HHS agencies on topics that affect rural communities. In the past year the HHS Rural Task Force meetings have focused on a number of issues critical to rural communities and the services we provide. Topics have included health information technology, value driven health care and human services.

For additional information please contact:

Kathryn Umali, MPH, CHES
Public Health Analyst
HRSA, Office of Rural Health Policy
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-42
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone: (301) 443-7444
Fax: (301) 443-2803

LCDR Karen Beckham, M.A.
Senior Public Health Analyst
HRSA, Office of Rural Health Policy
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-42
Rockville, MD 20857
301.443.0502 Phone
Fax: (301) 443-2803


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