Nominate a New U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Member
What Is the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force?
Under Title IX of the Public Health Service Act, AHRQ is charged with enhancing the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of health care services and access to such services. See 42 U.S.C. 299(b).
AHRQ is authorized to convene the USPSTF and to provide ongoing research, technical, administrative, and dissemination support for the USPSTF's operation. See 42 U.S.C. 299b-4(a)(1). The USPSTF, an independent body of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about the effectiveness of clinical preventive services and health promotion.
The recommendations made by the USPSTF address clinical preventive services for adults and children, and include screening tests, counseling services, and preventive medications. The Task Force makes its recommendations based on comprehensive, systematic reviews and careful assessment of the available medical evidence. Current recommendations and procedures of the USPSTF may be found at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.
Who Can Nominate a USPSTF Member?
Interested individuals can self nominate. Organizations and individuals may nominate one or more persons qualified for membership on the USPSTF. Individuals nominated prior to March 15 of the previous year who continue to have interest in serving should be renominated for consideration in the future.
How Long Does USPSTF Membership Last?
The USPSTF is composed of members appointed by the director of AHRQ to serve 4-year terms. New members are selected each year to replace those members who are completing their appointments.
What Are USPSTF Member Responsibilities?
USPSTF members meet three times a year for 2 days in the Washington, DC area. A significant portion of the USPSTF's work occurs between meetings during conference calls and via email discussions. Member duties include prioritizing topics, designing research plans, reviewing and commenting on systematic evidence reviews, discussing and making recommendations on preventive services, reviewing stakeholder comments, drafting final recommendation documents, and participating in workgroups on specific topics and methods. Members can expect frequent emails, to participate in multiple conference calls each month, and periodic interactions with stakeholders. AHRQ estimates that members devote approximately 200 hours a year outside of in-person meetings to their USPSTF duties. The members are all volunteers.
What Qualifications Does a USPSTF Candidate Need?
Qualified applicants and nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate knowledge, expertise, and national leadership in the following areas:
- The critical evaluation of research published in peer reviewed literature and in the methods of evidence review.
- Clinical prevention, health promotion, and primary health care.
- Implementation of evidence-based recommendations in clinical practice, including at the clinician-patient level, practice level, and health system level.
Some USPSTF members without primary health care clinical experience may be selected based on their expertise in methodological issues, such as meta-analysis, analytic modeling, or clinical epidemiology. For individuals with clinical expertise in primary health care, additional qualifications in methodology would enhance their candidacy.
Additionally, the Task Force benefits from members with expertise in the following areas:
- Behavioral medicine/clinical health psychology.
- Public health.
- Health equity and the reduction of health disparities.
- Application of science to health policy.
- Dissemination and implementation.
- Communication of scientific findings to multiple audiences, including health care professionals, policymakers, and the general public.
Candidates with experience and skills in any of these areas should highlight them in their nomination materials.
Applicants must have no substantial conflicts of interest, whether financial, professional, or intellectual, that would impair the scientific integrity of the work of the USPSTF, and must be willing to complete regular conflict of interest disclosures.
Applicants must have the ability to work collaboratively with a team of diverse professionals who support the mission of the USPSTF. Applicants must have adequate time to contribute substantively to the work products of the USPSTF.
What Must a Nomination Include?
Nominations may be submitted in writing or electronically, but must include:
- The applicant's current curriculum vitae.
- The applicant's contact information, including mailing address, and email address.
- A letter explaining how this individual meets the qualification requirements and how he or she would contribute to the USPSTF. The letter should also attest to the nominee's willingness to serve as a member of the USPSTF.
AHRQ will later ask persons under serious consideration for membership to provide detailed information that will permit evaluation of possible significant conflicts of interest. Such information will concern matters such as financial holdings, consultancies, and research grants or contracts.
What Are the Deadlines for Submitting Nominations?
All nominations submitted in writing or electronically will be considered for appointment to the USPSTF. Nominations must be received by April 9 of a given year to be considered for an appointment that will begin in January of the following year.
Nominated individuals will be selected for the USPSTF on the basis of their qualifications (in particular, those that address the required qualifications outlined above) and the current expertise needs of the USPSTF. AHRQ will retain and may consider nominations that are received but not selected for future vacancies.
Where Should I Send a Nomination?
Submit your nominations electronically (preferred) at:
Submit your nominations in writing to:
ATTN: USPSTF Nominations
Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Where Can I Go for Further Information?
For further information, contact: USPSTF Coordinator at Coordinator@USPSTF.net.
Arrangement for Public Inspection. Nominations and applications are kept on file at the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement, AHRQ, and are available for review during business hours. AHRQ does not reply to individual nominations, but considers all nominations in selecting members. Information regarded as private and personal, such as a nominee's social security number, home and email addresses, home telephone and fax numbers, or names of family members will not be disclosed to the public. This is in accord with AHRQ confidentiality policies and Department of Health and Human Services regulations (45 CFR 5.67).