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About Us

The Public Health System, Finance and Quality program is an organizational center to synergistically connect Federal agencies and system partners on public health system-level issues of shared interest and mutual benefit. The overarching goals of the program are to:

  • Identify, advise, and focus national attention on high priority system-level issues.
  • Assist in mainstreaming quality promoting concepts to assure a robust and financially sustainable public health system.

In 1988, the Institute of Medicine proclaimed governmental public health as the organizational center of public health activities. It further recognized the public health knowledge base as the nucleus of what the Federal government should promote to ensure an effective system. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) is critical to promoting the transfer, integration, and application of knowledge among system partners.

The PHSFQ program advances ASH-wide strategic goals for:

  • Promoting a systems approach to addressing problems.
  • Ensuring system-wide effectiveness.
  • Leveraging resources to strengthen science and knowledge especially when addressing the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
  • Promoting leadership and coordination of public health research activities.

Public Health Quality Forum

In March 2008, a Public Health Quality Forum (PHQF) was established in response to a need for system-wide attention to quality in public health. Members of the PHQF include directors or designees of HHS operating and staff divisions and major external stakeholder organizations along with members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. The charge given to the PHQF by the Assistant Secretary for Health was to develop:

  • A set of aims for improvement of quality in public health
  • A framework to guide and standardize quality improvement efforts
  • Priority areas for quality improvement in the public health system
  • A core set of quality indicators in each of the priority areas

The charge to the PHQF was driven by recommendations in the 1998 Report Quality First: Better Health Care for All Americans’ made by the President’s Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. Work of the PHQF to fulfill this charge was coordinated through the Public Health Systems, Finance, and Quality Program. External stakeholders representing organizations critical to achieving the public health mission were included in the PHQF discussions when appropriate. 

Key Personnel

If you have questions about the program or information to share, please contact:

Peggy Honoré, DHA
Public Health System, Finance, and Quality Program
200 Independence Ave, SW
Room 730E
Washington, DC 20201