This announcement solicits applications for the National Forum for State and Territorial Chief Executives (hereinafter referred to as the National Forum) which serves as a national health policy body for the states and territories.
Such a forum facilitates communication among policy makers
on current and emerging strategies to address common priorities, public policy and governance issues affecting states and territories.
This National Forum enables the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to better leverage limited resources by improving planning and program design to complement other public and private sector initiatives serving the needs of the same populations, and to implement new programs based on legislative requirements.
This competition will focus on sustaining and building upon previous projects funded through the National Forum and addressing gaps in access to health care and health care systems that continue to exist post-Affordable Care Act implementation. Within that context, the overall goals of the National Forum are to:
(1) strengthen the health workforce, (2) strengthen health care delivery systems; and (3) improve access to healthcare for underserved and vulnerable populations.
The National Forum cooperative agreement is multi-faceted and includes opportunities for state and territorial decision-makers to carry out initiatives that support the development and implementation of strategies related to health workforce issues, health systems, and access to healthcare. The National Forum program will address the three core functions related to the program goals and expectations:
(1) facilitate collaboration among states, territories, Federal partners and other key stakeholders to achieve common goals; (2) encourage integration of public health practice, primary care delivery systems and public health infrastructures; and (3) identify and disseminate best practices and lessons learned to other states and territories.  §2(f) of the Public Health Service Act defines ¿state¿ to include, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.