Advocacy Alert: 9/08/2008
CFS Advisory Committee Charter Renewed
One of a very few disease-specific federal advisory committees to the Secretary of Health is the Department of Health and Human Services Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC). Created in response to advocates led by the CFIDS Association of America, the committee has existed since 1996, although it was renamed, its membership was expanded and its structure was formalized in 2003. Renewal of the CFSAC was announced on Friday, September 5, the prior expiration date of the committee's charter. The CFSAC will now be continued through 2010.
The Association believed it was important to maintain this forum for advocates, policy-makers and agency officials to exchange information and make research and education program recommendations to the Secretary of Health. This summer, as it has done in the past, the Association and the Sheridan Group sought help from Congress to ensure the renewal of the committee's charter. A letter from 16 members of the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9) and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC-9) was sent to Secretary Leavitt on July 15 asking him to continue its work. Thanks to advocates who helped to secure their representatives' signatures on the letter, we accomplished this goal! You can view the letter by clicking on a link located at http://www.cfids.org/advocacy/2008/gac_071508.asp.
The CFSAC will meet next on October 28-29 in Washington, D.C. More information about committee can be found on the DHHS site at http://www.hhs.gov/advcomcfs/ and the Association's site at http://www.cfids.org/advocacy/CFSAC.asp We'll keep you posted as more details about the October meeting are released by DHHS.