Info. for SCHSAC Members and Alternates

SCHSAC Handbook & Resources

► Advisory Committee Member Responsibilities

Take-Home Points

Members and alternates are expected:

  1. To attend Advisory Committee and other assigned meetings.
  2. To serve on work groups, subcommittees and review groups as requested by the chair.
  3. To prepare for active participation in discussion and decision-making by consulting with their Community health boards and CHS staff, and by reviewing meeting materials.
  4. To act as the liaison between the community health board and the Advisory Committee.
  5. To inform the community health board and alternate member on Advisory Committee activities and actions.

TIP: Share SCHSAC Take-Home Points and SCHSAC reports with your CHB and county boards.

► What is SCHSAC?

The State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC, pronounced "shack") was created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1976 as a component of the Local Public Health Act.

The purpose of SCHSAC, as described in the Local Public Health Act, is to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Commissioner of Health on matters relating to the development, funding, and evaluation of community health services in Minnesota.

SCHSAC meets four times per year; an Executive Committee meets more frequently (for more information, visit SCHSAC: Meetings):

  • Agendas and other materials are made available prior to meetings
  • Metings are held in the Twin Cities Metro Area from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • The Commissioner of Health and MDH Executive Office staff attend meetigns whenever possible
  • Members are reimbursed for travel and parking; lunches are provided at meetings
  • SCHSAC develops and annual work plan to focus activities; much of the work plan is accomplished through smaller workgroups (see below)

► Simple Rules for the State-Local Partnership

To promote communications and strong working relationships, the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee adopted a set of “simple rules” developed by a 1999 SCHSAC workgroup. The work group was convened to discuss the meaning of partnership and to explore the complex relationship between the state and local governments.

SCHSAC finds it helpful to keep these rules in mind:

Rule 1: Seek first to understand (ask and listen).

Each partner needs to understand the other. Local agencies must seek to understand how the state works and the state must seek to understand how local agencies work. Seeking to understand requires that each understand the perspective of the other partner by asking clarifying questions, listening without judging, removing personal feelings from the situation, and being objective. This rule requires the communication of differences in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

Rule 2: Make expectations explicit (tell).

In each situation the partners must make their expectations of the other explicit and clear. Each partner should communicate what they hope to achieve, what concerns they have, what they feel the problems are, and how they would like the problem to be solved. Together they should determine how they expect the issue to be addressed.

Rule 3: Think about the part and the whole.

Any decision or action by any one part of the system can significantly impact the whole system. The state and local public health partnership is massively entangled: an action by any part can transform the other parts. The state must consider the impact of its actions on local agencies and citizens, and local agencies must examine the impact of their actions on the state and citizens. If a partner only thinks about one part, their actions can have significant (albeit unintended) consequences for the whole system.

► Minnesota Public Health System History & Context

You can find a brief overview of Minnesota's public health system at Minnesota's Public Health System.

► Who Participates in SCHSAC?


SCHSAC has voting members representing each of the state's Community Health Boards (CHBs). Each CHB selects one person to represent their board on SCHSAC, and one alternate. To see a map of Minnesota's CHBs, visit: Local Public Health Administrative Boundaries in Minnesota

Executive Committee

The 11-member SCHSAC Executive Committee consists of representatives from all regions of the state.

Workgroups and Subcommittees

SCHSAC conducts a majority of its work through workgroups and subcommittees. Each workgroup usually meets for 1 to 3 years, depending on its charge and duties. Learn more about current and past SCHSAC workgroups at SCHSAC: Workgroups

► Expense Reimbursement