Voluntary Health Agencies Map Strategies to Survive Health Industry Change

Commissioned papers and conference on the role of voluntary agencies in community health improvement

The National Health Council (NHC) commissioned papers investigating the future role of voluntary health agencies (VHAs) and a conference for leaders of VHAs.

VHAs are often disease specific (such as the Alzheimer's Association) and provide patient assistance and family support, public and professional education, community services, and patient advocacy.

The NHC is a private, nonprofit association of national organizations founded in 1920 as a clearinghouse and cooperative effort for VHAs.

Key Results

  • The "1998 Voluntary Health Leadership Conference," held in Scottsdale, Ariz., on February 12–15, 1998, drew 63 individuals from 19 voluntary health organizations. Five commissioned papers examined:
    • Changes in health care financing and in the use of specialized care, demographic shifts.
    • Commercial activities of VHAs.
    • Management trends.
    • Public policy developments.
    The papers offered recommendations in the areas of marketing, research, and evaluation of quality of care, management, public policy, and services.

    A subsequent report, The Future of the Voluntary Health Sector, included the papers and was distributed to conference attendees and other VHAs.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $137,669 between March 1997 and December 1998.