Advancing Patient Involvement: An Update on the NHC’s Strategic Plan Implementation

By: Randall Rutta, Chief Executive Officer

The mission of the National Health Council (NHC) is to provide a united voice for the 160 million people living with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. In January, the NHC began the first year of our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, with four strategic areas of focus and one operational area of focus.

Our team of dedicated professionals is already making great progress in implementing the plan, advancing the goals of the organization and the patient advocacy community. We celebrate that this is truly a joint effort,  with our members as active partners.

The NHC policy team is advancing health ecosystem policy reforms to optimize patient health by actively engaging with members of Congress on the various User Fee Agreements, ensuring patients have input on and access to the treatments they need.

The NHC research, programs, and education team is supporting patient-centricity in decisions affecting patient health by launching the Patient Experience Mapping Toolbox, which helps researchers document and engage patients before, during, and while living with a disease diagnosis.

The entire NHC team is prioritizing health equity across the health ecosystem by issuing two new reports. The first, policy recommendations in our Access, Affordability, and Quality: A Patient-Focused Blueprint for Real Health Equity report is a culmination of 18 months of engagement with leaders in the health and other sectors to confirm with equity gaps exist in the health sector and building consensus on defining the problem and areas of prioritization moving forward.

The second report, Inclusive Workplaces: Building a Representative Workforce, is a tool for NHC members, providing resources and guidance on how they can attract and retain a diverse workforce.

The NHC membership team is working to amplify patient group impact in the health ecosystem by hosting a variety of meetings and events, including our annual Health Leadership Conference, which returned to an in-person event for the first time in two years. More than 125 attendees networked, connected, and learned from each other and leaders in organizational success, health policy, leadership, nonprofit trends, and much more.

Building our capacity to best achieve our mission and vision has been a focus for the entire NHC team. We welcomed several new staff members including Dr. Omar Escontrías as our Vice President of Research, Programs & Education, Racquel Codling as our Director of Meetings & Events, and Breshay Moore as our Coordinator of Digital Media. The NHC also moved to new offices – one floor up from our previous location – with expanded meeting space and technology to allow seamless hybrid meeting options for our team and our membership.

This has all been accomplished in just the first six months of our three-year Strategic Plan. I look forward to leading our team and continued engagement with our members and others in the health ecosystem to build consensus and drive patient-centered, equitable health policies for the millions of Americans with chronic conditions and disabilities and their families.