NRHA is a member-driven organization. Our members direct staff so that together we are making a difference in the health and health care options of rural Americans. Members tell staff what events they want to attend, what policies they want to enact or change and what resources are needed to improve the health of millions of rural Americans.
All members in the association have the opportunity to take this leadership role and direct the voice of rural health. One only needs to get involved in our leadership structure, boards and committees as outlined below. For more information about any of these boards and committees or to learn how to serve in any of these positions, contact NRHA staff at 816-756-3140 or 202-639-0550.
NRHA leadership structure and development path
The Board of Trustees is made up of officers, constituency group chairs, the chair of the State Association Council, the chair of the State Office Council and the chair of the Rural Health Congress. The officers are elected by the full membership. The chairs are elected by the membership of their respective groups. The Board of Trustees has responsibility for governance, development of policies and the financial well-being of the association.
The Rural Health Congress determines the association's positions regarding public policy. It is comprised of representatives elected from each constituency group – one for every 50 voting members – as well as the Board of Trustees, State Association Council representatives, State Office Council representatives, and the five most recent past presidents of the association (not including the current past president).
The present recommended leadership path to assist nominees in preparation for volunteer leadership is to serve in a committee volunteer position first, then serve as a Rural Health Congress constituency representative or a state representative on either the State Association Council or the State Office Council and, finally, serve as a member of the Board of Trustees (see the nominee qualifications and responsibilities).
This recommended path provides volunteer leaders with an appropriate base of knowledge about the workings of the association and relevant current policies and issues to serve in upper leadership positions.
Positions or representatives on the Board and Congress are elected by members of the association according to the position's requirements during our annual elections each fall.
Board of Trustees has responsibility for the supervision, control and direction of the affairs of the association; determines its policies or changes therein within the limits of the bylaws; actively pursues its purposes; maintains policies for the conduct of its business as deemed advisable; and may, in the execution of the powers granted appoint such agents as it considers necessary.
Rural Health Congress is the policy-making body of the association. With a broad grassroots representation reflecting the concerns of NRHA's membership, it passes the official policy positions of the association.
Journal Editorial Board determines all matters pertaining to content and organization of the Journal of Rural Health and, upon recommendation of the managing publisher or managing editor, determining matters pertaining to layout and design.
The president of NRHA in consultation with the staff selects candidates for standing committees each fall with the appointments becoming active on the first day of the new year. If interested in any of these positions, please contact NRHA staff.
Government Affairs Committee oversees and supports the legislative and regulatory activities of the association. Each constituency group chair is allowed to appoint one committee member. The president of NRHA may add other members.
Membership Committee oversees the recruitment and retention strategies for the association, including periodic review of the membership dues and benefits structure.
Health Equity Council works to ensure proper cultural competency and sensitivity to rural minority populations in NRHA activities, increase minority membership in the association and develop content and planning for the annual Health Equity Conference. Formerly the Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Council, this group to highlight issues related to rural and underserved LGBTQ, veteran and homeless populations in addition to the many cultural minority populations the council has advocated on behalf of for years.
Annual Conference Planning Committee develops and plans NRHA's Annual Conference, including overall purpose and theme, program sessions, key presenters, and overall conference schedule. The committee also assists with identifying and contacting concurrent session topics and presenters.Planning committees for other conferences help plan the several other conferences of interest to our members including the Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic andQuality and Clinical conferences. Interested members can sign up to help plan activities at these events.