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Committee Detail



Committee NameVeterans' Rural Health Advisory CommitteeAgency NameDepartment of Veterans Affairs
Fiscal Year2019Committee 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 Date5/21/2018Designated Fed Officer Position Title*Designated Federal Officer
Date Of Renewal Charter4/17/2019Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date4/18/2019Designated Federal Officer First Name*Thomas
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityN/ADesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Klobucar
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*38 U.S.C. 7308Designated Federal Officer Phone*(202) 632-8581
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 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 Veterans Affairs. The Committee meets twice a year, and the Committee's working group meets in-between formal meetings, to move forward with its rural health agenda and brief to the Secretary. The Committee's recommendations align with and support VA Strategic Goals: Veterans choose VA for easy access, greater choices, and clear information to make informed decisions, Veterans receive timely and integrated care and support that emphasizes their well-being and independence throughout their life journey, Veterans trust VA to be consistently accountable and transparent and VA will modernize systems and focus resources more efficiently to be competitive and to provide world class capabilities to Veterans and it's employees. Additionally, the committee continues to identify potential barriers that rural Veterans encounter when accessing rural health care as well as identifying gaps in workforce. The Committees focus on formulating recommendations to ensure potential gaps in service are considered when exploring options related to access to rural health care and workforce issues. OnJune 26, the Committee received briefings from VA, VHA and non-VA partners on VA's progress in addressing prior recommendations made by the committee, as well as obtaining information regarding initiatives that are relevant to serving the needs of rural Veterans. The committee also conducts annual site visits, to gain an understanding of how VA policy is implemented in the field. The meetings, and site visit and Veterans panels provided a forum for committee members to liste, to gain an understanding of how VA policy is implemented in the field and to understand the perspective of what the rural Veteran experiences when they utilize various VA services and benefit programs, thus assisting committee members in determining appropriate recommendations that address rural Veteran issues with the highest priority.
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.
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 subitted a total of 35 recommendations from FY 2009 to FY 2019.


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 rural health care strategic planning process. Their involvement will continue into the future.
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*35Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThis is the total number of recommendations from FY 2009 to FY 2019.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 CommentRecommendations are tracked though Office of Rural Health Strategic Plan and briefed to the committee, and the Committee received a response to the recommendations from Secretary Wilkie on April 16, 2019.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.
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Payments to Non-Federal Members*$13,750.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$9,000.00
Payments to Federal Members*$2,494.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$2,541.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$40,969.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$41,748.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$50,543.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$32,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$1,600.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$23,979.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$18,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$56,130.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$37,027.00
Total Costs$187,865.00Est. Total Next FY*$141,916.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.30Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.30
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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 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