Burr Praises Appointment Of North Carolinian To Veterans’ Rural Health Committee

Panel will advise VA on rural health care

U.S. Senator Richard Burr today praised the appointment of Dr. Thomas C. Ricketts, III to the Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Ricketts is the director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research in Chapel Hill. The committee will advise VA Secretary James Peake on rural health care issues.

"I am pleased Dr. Peake has chosen Dr. Tom Ricketts to advise VA on rural health matters," Senator Burr said. "Dr. Ricketts has years of experience in the rural health field and he will make an excellent addition to the committee. I look forward to working with Dr. Ricketts and the committee on improving health care for veterans in rural areas of our country, including North Carolina."

VA's Office of Rural Health oversees a host of rural health programs. For example, VA is implementing a mobile system that would provide medical care and services to veterans in rural areas. Veterans can also be referred to local health providers through a VA program if they do not have access to VA health care.

Dr. Ricketts is Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and School of Medicine and co-director of the American College of Surgeons Institute for Health Policy Research. He is the founding director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research Center, which he led from 1988 until 2000. In 2003 he began work as the director of the Southeastern Regional Center for Health Workforce Studies. Dr. Ricketts works actively in health workforce policy making and research. He is the editor of a standard text on rural health, Rural Health in the United States (Oxford, 2000).

Dr. Ricketts earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He also received a Masters in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration from UNC.