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for people with

chronic diseases and disabilities

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To be eligible for membership in the National Health Council, all organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • The organization is national in scope.
  • The organization has been in operation for no less than three years.


In addition, the following criteria apply to specific membership categories.

Patient Advocacy Organizations

Also known as voluntary health agencies (VHAs), these groups are 501(c)(3) organizations composed of individuals, both lay and professional, voluntarily and democratically organized. Their mission is to combat a particular disease, disability, or group of diseases and disabilities, or to improve and protect the health of a particular group of people. They receive a substantial amount of financial support from voluntary contributions from the public at large. They engage in programs, such as research, education, advocacy, and service to individuals and communities.


Patient advocacy groups must meet the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence to be eligible for membership.


Patient advocacy organization members are also invited to attend the annual Voluntary Health Leadership Conference,  an exclusive gathering that brings together their CEOs and senior volunteer leaders  to learn about  the latest in medical research and health care policy and to share organizational best  practices.


Professional and Membership Associations

Professional associations are health-related organizations consisting primarily of individuals, or of state and local groups of individuals, meeting stated qualifications of training or experience. Other membership associations are health-related associations of individuals or institutions, including alliances and coalitions. Members of this category are expected to demonstrate a broad base of funding either from many individuals or multiple institutions.


Nonprofit organizations with an Interest in Health

Nonprofit Organizations with an Interest in Health are organizations engaged in or concerned with health issues that support the mission of the National Health Council.


Business and Industry

Business and Industry members are for-profit companies engaged in the sale of health-related products or services, such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. This category includes any subsidiaries or related entities, such as foundations, affiliated with an organization that would otherwise be classified as a Business and Industry member.


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Membership Benefits

Membership in the National Health Council offers many benefits, including:


  • Policy development - harnessing the collective power of the health community to confront the systemic health care issues that affect all patients.

  • Advocacy - speaking with a united voice to effect meaningful change in such areas as support for health research, medical innovation and safety, and effective and affordable health care.

  • Alliance development - providing opportunities to partner with other member organizations to find cures, advance treatments, and increase understanding of specific chronic conditions.

  • Relationship Building - offering exclusive opportunities to interact with high-level national policy makers through an annual series of members-only policy briefings.

  • Networking and visibility - providing exposure for your organization and its executives to a broad cross-section of the health community.

  • Initiatives - paving the way for an improved health care system and a more educated, engaged population by promoting patient-focused care and developing evidence-based research on cutting edge issues such as biosimilars and comparative effectiveness.

  • Publications - offering conference reports, evidence-based research papers, newsletters, and informational brochures that inform and educate on a variety of health-related topics.

  • Educational programs - providing opportunities to attend conferences, briefings, and roundtables to share information and stay current on key issues.

  • Free, discounted and members-only events and publications

  • Discounted BoardSource membership - as much as 40% off the standard membership fee for this valued resource (see for details).

  • Enhanced organizational development for patient advocacy organizations through participation in special conferences, technical assistance, and increased recognition as organizations meeting the highest standards of accountability and ethical practice.


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Membership Applications

Patient Advocacy Organization Application Patient Advocacy Organization Membership Application (PDF)

Professional and Membership Associations Application Professional and Membership Associations Membership Application (PDF)

Nonprofit Organizations Application Nonprofit Organizations with an Interest in Health Membership Application (PDF)

Business and Industry Application Business and Industry Membership Application (PDF)

Business and Industry Associate Member Application Business and Industry Associate Membership Application (PDF)


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Member Dues

NHC Member Dues Schedule 2011 National Health Council Member Dues Schedule (PDF)


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