HHS News
Monday, Aug. 30, 1999
Contact: Anita Greene
(301) 496-1712

HHS Secretary Appoints Members to New Advisory Council on Complementary and
Alternative Medicine

HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced the appointment of 17 members to the new National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The council will provide advice to the director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in carrying out the new center's congressional mandate, core programs and activities.

Nearly half of the Council's membership include practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine licensed in one or more of the major fields of study in which the Center focuses its research. Approximately one-fourth of the members will serve as consumer representatives. Council members will serve overlapping terms of two to four years.

"The charter members of this new council represent a diverse group of medical specialties," said Secretary Shalala. "I am pleased that these experts have agreed to devote their time and expertise to helping the NIH's newest center stimulate research in this very important field."

Congressional language contained in a section of 1999 Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act elevated the former NIH Office of Alternative Medicine to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and mandated that an advisory group be formed with a membership representing key constituencies with mutual interest in complementary and alternative medicine research.

Joining the NCCAM advisory council are:

"The composition of this council bring together people with exceptional scientific knowledge, clinical expertise, and diverse skills," said William R. Harlan, M.D., acting director of the NCCAM. "While broad perspectives and public input are essential attributes of their deliberations, they share a common stake in wanting to advance the center's ability to conduct rigorous research, and provide reliable information in this emergent area of health."

The first council meeting will be held August 31 through September 1, 1999 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. Future meetings will be held three times per year, and operate under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (as amended) guidelines and procedures.

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