By: Kelly Garrity, NHC Senior Director, Member Services and Development
The National Health Council (NHC) brings together diverse stakeholders within the health community and has a record of successfully influencing health policy to protect health care quality and access for those with chronic diseases and disabilities. The NHC is made up of more than 120 national health-related organizations, divided into five membership categories:
- Voluntary Health Agencies (also known as patient advocacy organizations) are 501(c)(3) organizations whose 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. In addition, these organizations must meet 38 Standards of Excellence in good governance to maintain membership. For example, the American Heart Association, National Organization for Rare Disorders and Mental Health America.
- Professional and Membership Associations are health-related organizations or associations of individuals or institutions, including alliances and coalitions. For example, the American Nurses Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.
- Nonprofit Organizations with an Interest in Health are organizations engaged in or concerned with health issues that support the mission of the NHC. For example, the Food and Drug Law Institute and FasterCures.
- Business and Industry are for-profit companies engaged in the sale of health-related products or services, such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and insurance companies. For example, Aetna, Pfizer and Edwards Lifesciences.
- Associate Members are organizations that are considered to be primarily vendors. Associate Members have all member privileges, except representation on the NHC's Board of Directors or Nominating Committee and voting at meetings of the entire membership. Examples of NHC Associate Members are Digi.me and IQVIA.
Members of the NHC play an essential role in identifying and tackling complex issues with noteworthy stakeholders in health care. This commitment reinforces the NHC’s position as the indispensable link between the patient advocacy community and the policymakers whose decisions on systematic health issues impact them.
Benefits of NHC membership include:
- Strengthening your voice in Washington on systemic health issues that affect all patients – such as improving access to care, advancing the creation of new treatments, and reducing health care costs.
- Participation in our policy action teams, affinity groups, ad hoc briefings, and conferences (like our upcoming Chief Medical/Scientific Officer Conference)
- Gaining knowledge on current issues facing the nonprofit sector, such as new federal overtime rules, changes in charity rating systems, and methods for communicating impact.
- Access to relevant policy work such as: comment letters, draft working documents on policy positions, and recently released white papers.
Coming soon, we’ll feature NHC members periodically on our blog. For more information on NHC membership, feel free to send me an email.