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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

Details on agency responses to committee recommendations can be found under the Performance Measures section for each committee in the fields “Agency Feedback” and “Agency Feedback Comment.”

VA - 34739 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee - Agency Authority


Committee NameVeterans' Rural Health Advisory CommitteeAgency NameDepartment of Veterans Affairs
Fiscal Year2022Committee Number34739
Original Establishment Date6/8/2008Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL 
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*12
Current Charter Date3/21/2022Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Designated Federal Officer
Date Of Renewal Charter3/15/2024Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Sheila
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityN/ADesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Robinson
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*38 U.S.C. 7308Designated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 876-8471
Effective Date Of Authority*6/8/2008Designated Federal Officer Fax*(202) 632-8609
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Non Scientific Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The Committee provides advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) on health care issues affecting Veterans residing in rural areas. The Committee evaluates current VA rural health program activities and identifies existing barriers to rural health services. It recommends strategies to improve those services for Veterans, and its reports are delivered directly to the Secretary of VA. The Committee meets twice a year and is served by working groups who meet between meeting and report directly to Committee. We align and support VA Strategic Goal by ensuring: 1) Veterans have easy access, greater choices, and clear information to make informed decisions, 2) Veterans receive timely and integrated care and support that emphasizes their well-being and independence throughout their life journey, 3) Veterans trust VA to be consistently accountable and transparent and 4) VA provide modernize systems and focus resources more efficiently to be competitive and to provide world class capabilities to Veterans and its employees. The Committee also identifies potential barriers that rural Veterans encounter when accessing rural health care in service.

This FY22, the Committees focused on formulating recommendations for the VA Secretary to ensure potential gaps in service are considered when exploring options related to access. In addition, for our rural Veterans we increased the understanding of transportation and broadband infrastructure challenges impeding their access to health care, work to improve telehealth access by prioritizing geographic location during telehealth appointment scheduling and strengthen the VAs ability to serve this population with the best in-persons and virtual care appointments.

To further our commitment to the rural Veterans community, the Committee continues to engage and receive briefings from VA program offices and non-VA partners on VA's progress in addressing new and prior recommendations made by the Committee, as well as understanding the challenges rural Veteran experiences when they utilize VA/VHA services. This will help us optimize the use of technology and build partnership with other Federal, state community health centers to develop enhance access points of care and options for VA rural Veterans.
How is membership balanced?*The Committee's membership includes academic experts in rural health care delivery, state and federal government professionals who focus on rural health issues, Department of Veterans Affairs officials at the state level, and selected Veterans service organization leaders. Committee members range from patient care advocates to medical policy strategists.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The Committee meets at least two times annually. Its meetings focus on evaluating the programs and policies of VA's Office of Rural Health and on recommending ways to improve those programs and policies. While digital communications has advanced virtual meetings and events significantly. However, based on recent studies and feedback from Committee surveys face-to-face meetings are still critical to building strong cultural, developing rapport with members and invited guest and connecting people on a deeper level. There continues to be widespread excitement for Committee meetings and events to return to their traditional format. The Office of Rural Health and the Committee are looking forward returning to face-to-face options as we move into FY23. Based on the committee calendar, the next planned meeting will be in April, 2023.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The Committee's advice is based upon the collective input of members who bring varied perspectives - patient care advocacy, intragovernmental, intergovernmental, academic - to the deliberations. Individuals with those varied perspectives have not been previously assembled in a formal committee setting for the purpose of examining VA health care delivery in rural and highly rural areas of the United States.
Why close or partially close meetings?Meetings are open to the public unless determined otherwise pursuant to FACA and the Sunshine Act. Closed portions of Committee meetings are in order to protect patient privacy in instances where individual Veteran healthcare information is discussed. Closing portions of the meeting are in compliance with requirements of 5 U.S.C. § 552b(c)(6).
Recommendation RemarksThe Committee's has submitted a total of 41 recommendations from FY 2009 to FY 2021. The Committee plans to formulate and submit 3 recommendations from the September 2-14, 2022, Fall meeting. The recommendation package will be submitted later this year.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesNo
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchNoAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionYesAction CommentVA has engaged the VRHAC in the implementation of strategic planning for physician recruitment and retention strategies.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentN/ANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentThe committee provides advice and counsel to the Secretary on implementation of policy and health care services. While there are indirect cost savings from their influence a direct link would be hard to quantify.Grants Review CommentN/A
Number Of Recommendations*41Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThis is the total number of recommendations from FY 2009 to FY 2022. The Committee received the signed FY21 recommendation on May 16, 2022. The Committee plans to submit recommendations formulated from the September 12-14, 2022, meeting later this year.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*85.00%Access Committee WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentIn May of 2011 the VRHAC Committee participated in the 2012 - 2014 ORH Strategic Plan Refresh. In July of 2019 the Committee provided feedback on the ORH 2019 - 2024 Strategic Plan Refresh.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*15.00%Access PublicationsNo
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentThe Committee recommended 1. Recruitment and Retention: Creating a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Integrated Service Network (VISN) rural recruitment and retention system by targeting existing resources and identifying new solutions in order to support rural VA clinicians and their families.

2. Delivery of Care: Veterans have benefited from VA telehealth for many years and its value has been proven. Many community rural healthcare entities also have excellent telehealth networks but connecting them to the VA network has proven difficult because of layered IT approvals in VA medical centers and VISNs.
Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback Comment*Recommendations are tracked though Office of Rural Health and briefed to the committee, and the Committee received a response to the recommendations from Secretary McDonough on May 16, 2022. The committee plans to submit comments to align with FY22, feedback later in the year.Narrative Description*The Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on health care issues affecting Veterans residing in rural and highly rural areas. The Committee evaluates current VA rural health program activities and identify existing barriers to rural health services. It recommends strategies to improve those services for Veterans to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$4,950.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$2,000.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$42,180.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$43,000.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$26,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members* 
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$0.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$6,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY* 
Other Costs$26,952.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$27,952.00
Total Costs$69,132.00Est. Total Next FY*$109,902.00
Date Cost Last Modified11/7/2022 3:03 PMEst. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.25
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.25Est Cost RemarksActual cost increased an estimate $40,677, in FY23, due to the committee traveling for the first time since FY19. The Committee will travel to Anchorage, Alaska in April 2023.
Cost RemarksActual cost were zero due to the
Committee hosting both meetings for
FY22 in the virtual platform again, due to
covid-19 protocol's. Other cost reflected
is for contractor support.
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Computer Technology
Information Technology
Federal Government
State Government
Tribal Government
Health Care
Medical Education
Medical Practitioners
Health and Health Research
Medicine and Dentistry
Rehabilitation and Disability
Veterans and Veterans' Medical Care


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here


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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-039951Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2021
 COM-037769Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2020
 COM-035948Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2019
 COM-033598Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2018
 COM-001844Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2017
 COM-003044Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2016
 COM-003384Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2015
 COM-005193Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2014
 COM-006083Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2013
 COM-006668Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2012
 COM-007596Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2011
 COM-008598Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2010
 COM-009678Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2009
 COM-010769Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee2008