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A Glance Back at 2015

As we embark on 2016, here is a glimpse back at some of our incredible work from this year.

I always say that the people who work at HHS are some of the most dedicated and selfless public servants around. Throughout 2015, like every year before, our colleagues throughout the Department proved that right.

Together, we responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and helped our hospitals prepare at home. We helped states around the country fight the rise in opioid use and deaths by overdose. We continued our work to make sure millions of Americans have access to affordable, quality health coverage. Across the Department, we did the daily business of grant-making, contract writing, correspondence and more. In so many ways, the talented employees here at HHS have demonstrated their passion and dedication to the American people.

So, as we embark on 2016, here is a glimpse back at some of our incredible work from this year.

Secretary Burwell poses with the “Here to Help” sign for 2016 Open Enrollment during a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.
From Open Enrollment’s start on November 1 through December 19, more than 8.2 million people signed up for affordable, high-quality coverage through or had their coverage renewed, thanks to work from HHS employees and our partners throughout the country.

Happy anniversary! 50 years ago today, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
We came together to mark the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, and the many Americans who have been helped by these programs.

HHS staff rushed to respond to the West African Ebola Epidemic. Thanks to their work and the work of countless public health professionals from around the world, we are on the road to zero Ebola cases!

President Obama speaks at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging on July, 13, 2015.
Our colleagues helped organize the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, an event 10 years in the making, to discuss ways we can support healthy aging.

50. May 18, 1965. #HeadStart50. National Head Start Association.
We celebrated the 50th anniversary of Head Start, an anniversary that brought back some fond memories for me from my own Head Start class in my hometown of Hinton.

Secretary Burwell visits the Flathead Reservation near Pablo, Montana.
Every quarter, I meet with the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, but I was especially fortunate to visit some of these communities firsthand. Our initiatives in Indian Country have helped these communities as they make enormous progress, but we still have work to do.

Secretary Burwell with Ambassador to China Max Baucus and more than 70 staff HHS staff who work in Beijing.
We know that global health challenges need a global response, so we worked from Beijing to Berlin, from Seoul to Sierra Leone, to engage with our global health partners. Here I am with our team in Beijing!

We collaborated with state partners to host the 50 State Convening to Prevent Opioid Overdose and Addiction, and left with specific regional strategies to respond to the crisis of opioid abuse.

Secretary Burwell meets with staff and partners who work on making our health care system work smarter.
We made historic progress in shaping a health care system that delivers better care, spends our health care dollars in smarter ways, and puts patients in the center of their care to keep them healthy. We announced new goals to move Medicare toward a system that pays for the value, not the volume, of care. We even unveiled a new way to pay for hip and knee replacements to promote high-quality care. And this year, a report from our Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that national patient safety efforts saved 87,000 lives and nearly $20 billion in health care costs between 2010 and 2014.

Secretary Burwell meets with Don Dean, front right, at the National Institutes of Health. Don Dean is a patient at the NIH who has benefitted from the work of precision medicine.
Our nation is at the cusp of major breakthroughs in the way we combine science and technology to make medical care even better. Through the Precision Medicine Initiative, we will put essential health information into the hands of patients like Don Dean, who I met at the National Institutes of Health, and improve the health of our country.


These are just a few highlights of the hard work that the Department has put into serving the American people in 2015. But we know that our work doesn’t end here. I look forward to the strides we’ll make every day throughout 2016.

.@SecBurwell takes a glance back at the year 2015 at @HHSgov → #2015atHHS


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