The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC) provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services via the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These include factors affecting access and care for persons with CFS; the science and definition of CFS; and broader public health, clinical, research and educational issues related to CFS. The CFSAC is one of relatively few disease-specific advisory committees to the Secretary of Health; it is operated under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a written charter renewed every two years by the Secretary of Health and committee bylaws.
The CFSAC meets twice each year in person and its meetings are open to the public. Eleven members of the public are appointed by the Secretary to serve as voting members of the CFSAC. Representatives from six agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services and one representative of the Social Security Administration serve as ex-officio members of the CFSAC. Meeting agendas are structured by the Department in consultation with the appointed chairman and chairman of subcommittees that meet more frequently throughout the year by conference call.
Recommendations made at the most recent meeting, held May 10-11, 2011, were recently posted to the CFSAC website at http://www.hhs.gov/advcomcfs/recommendations/05112011.html.
A notice appearing in the Federal Register on July 18, 2011 provides the opportunity for any member of the public, organization or institution to submit nominations for three appointed positions on the CFSAC that will occur in April 2012. Expertise in these two areas is sought:
- scientists with demonstrated expertise in biomedical research applicable to CFS
- demonstrated expertise in health care delivery, private health care services or insurers, or voluntary organizations concerned with the problems of individuals with CFS
The three individuals whose terms end in April 2012 are among the most expert currently serving: Dr. Christopher Snell (University of Pacific), who serves as CFSAC chairman; Dr. Leonard Jason (DePaul University); and Dr. Nancy Klimas (University of Miami). It is important that the Department of Health and Human Services receive nominations of well-qualified individuals to replace these outgoing experts. Nominations are due on August 17, 2011. More details can be found in the Federal Register notice, reposted at http://www.cfids.org/advocacy/2011/cfsac-federal-reg-nominations.pdf. The CFIDS Association will submit several nominations, as it has done for every one of the opportunities since the CFSAC was chartered in 2002. We will post a link to the nomination package cover letter that includes the names of our nominees.
Nominations are required to include the following:
- A letter of nomination that clearly states the name and affiliation of the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., specific attributes which qualify the nominee for being considered for appointment to the Committee), and a statement that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the Committee;
- the nominator’s name, address, and daytime telephone number, and contact information (specifically, home and/or work address, telephone number and e-mail address) for the nominated individual; and
- a current copy of the nominated individual’s curriculum vitae or resume.
Nominations submitted in response to earlier openings do not carry over for consideration; new packages must be submitted for each set of vacancies. Federal employees are not eligible to serve on federal advisory committees. There do not appear to be restrictions on the citizenship of appointees to federal advisory committees.