The American Indian and Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council (HRAC) supports collaborative approaches between federal and tribal partners to reduce health disparities that affect American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The council works with tribal leaders to set priorities and make recommendations to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leadership that inform effective Native health programs and policies.
HRAC delegates communicate critical information about research findings and health policy activities to their communities. The council is made up of 16 delegates, who are elected or appointed tribal officials representing each of the 12 Indian Health Service (IHS) areas and four national at-large delegates. Nine HHS representatives also support the council. The HHS Office of Minority Health coordinates the activities of the HRAC.
HRAC recommendations focus on addressing health disparities that continue to plague Indian Country, including lack of access to care, high uninsurance rates, under-representation in research, provider competence around traditional practices and diets, and efficacy of health promotion and disease prevention activities.
- Obtain input from tribal leaders on health research priorities and needs of their communities
- Improve coordination of and communication around American Indian and Alaska Native health research activities across HHS
- Disseminate research findings that impact American Indian and Alaska Native health to tribes and the public
HRAC Research Priorities
- Measuring health concerns in Native communities through prospective studies
- Evaluating emerging technology for the provision of care
- Readiness of tribal governments for public health accreditation
- Health care reform impact and effectiveness