On Thursday, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the White House Rural Council, which will advise the president on various issues affecting rural communities, AHA News reports (AHA News, 6/9).
As one of its key areas for discussion, the council will examine how the expansion of health IT systems could improve access to health care in rural regions.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will chair the council. The council also will include 25 heads of other federal departments and agencies, including HHS (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 6/9).
According to the executive order, the council will coordinate the development of policy recommendations on several issues affecting rural areas, such as:
- Access to health care;
- Broadband access;
- Energy development; and
- Job growth (Bravender, Politico, 6/9).