Goal 3: Advance the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of the American People
Over the past few decades, the Nation has made substantial advancements in ensuring the public health, safety, and well-being of the American people. But there is still more to be done.
Poverty, teen pregnancy, family disruptions, violence, limited health literacy, and trauma continue to be pervasive, harmful, and costly public health problems in the United States. Trauma has been shown to be a serious, underlying risk factor for chronic physical diseases and mental and substance use disorders. Substance abuse and mental illness contribute to many of the Nation’s social and economic problems, as well as other health concerns. Naturally occurring and manmade disasters seriously threaten Americans’ health, safety, and well-being.
As the U.S. population ages, there are increasing numbers of older adults to serve—adults who are experiencing more extended periods of frailty, affecting their ability to stay active and healthy. Economic downturns can increase the demand for services from safety net providers—at the same time that services are in short supply due to shrinking state and local budgets. In addition, protecting public health requires global cooperation on a host of issues, including ensuring the safety of imported products.
In response to these challenges, HHS is working to implement evidence-based strategies to strengthen families and to improve outcomes for children, adults, and communities. Underlying each objective and strategy is a focus on prevention. For example, with rare exceptions, breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for infants and is an important public health strategy for promoting the health of infants and mothers. Early childhood programs support healthy child development, foster school readiness, and support working parents struggling to make ends meet. Youth development strategies not only prevent and reduce risky behaviors but also build skills and assets. HHS programs are addressing the unique needs of vulnerable populations through improved program coordination, policy development, evidence-based practice, and research.
Prevention is a cornerstone of our response to emergencies. Healthy, informed communities with strong social networks and robust health systems are much better equipped than communities without these advantages to withstand and recover from adversity.
Ongoing and future evaluation efforts will help HHS to understand program impacts on health, safety, and well-being. These activities include an evaluation of methods to prevent falls among older people, an extensive examination of the Recovery Act–funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative that focuses on tobacco prevention and physical activity and on nutrition improvement efforts, continuing work to monitor the effectiveness of the Early Head Start Program, and an assessment of states’ progress and effectiveness in using evidence-based programs, policies, and practices to prevent substance abuse and mental illness. HHS has a number of evaluations in progress on employment retention and advancement, including welfare-to-work efforts, which will provide information to help reduce child poverty and advance family economic security.
The evidence base for public health preparedness, however, is limited. Thus, HHS will set priorities for research, evaluation, and quality improvement to improve emergency management and response.
HHS seeks to advance Americans’ health, safety, and well-being through the coordinated effort of several HHS agencies and offices, including ACF, AoA, ASPR, CDC, CMS, FDA, HRSA, IHS, NIH, OASH, and SAMHSA, as well as collaborative efforts with other federal departments and agencies.
Children and youth depend on the adults in their lives to keep them safe and to help them achieve their full potential. Yet too many of our young people—our Nation’s future workforce, parents, and civic leaders—are at risk of poor outcomes, including low educational attainment, teen pregnancy, ill health, violence, lack of labor market success, and premature death.
HHS partners with state, local, tribal, urban Indian, and other service providers to sustain an essential safety net of services that protect children and youth, promote their emotional health and resilience in the face of adversity, and ensure their healthy development from birth through the transition to adulthood. Health and early intervention services ensure children get off to a good start from infancy. Early childhood programs, including Head Start, enhance the school readiness of preschool children. Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, a historic partnership with the Department of Education, will enable more children from low-income or disadvantaged families to have access to high-quality early learning programs and services.
Child welfare services, including child abuse prevention activities, foster care, adoption, and new assisted guardianship programs, target those families in which there are safety or neglect concerns. Services for mental and substance use disorders provide support for those with behavioral healthcare needs. In each of these service sectors, incorporation of trauma-informed care is essential in order to achieve positive outcomes for these children and families. Several programs across agencies also promote positive youth development and seek to prevent risky behaviors in youth.
Vital research funded by agencies across HHS seeks to understand the risks to children’s safety, health, and well-being and to build evidence about effective interventions to mitigate these risks. CDC tracks data on injuries and violent deaths among children and youth. This agency has recently conducted a meta-analysis of the current research literature on parent training programs to identify components associated with effective models. Four agencies—ACF, CDC, NIH, and SAMHSA—have collaborated to fund efficacy and effectiveness trials of child abuse and neglect interventions. Several agencies concerned with youth have collaborated on a review of the evidence base on teen pregnancy prevention. These agencies have identified a range of curriculum-based and youth development program models that reduce teen pregnancy or associated behavioral risk factors. HHS is working with the Departments of Education and Agriculture to foster effective government coordination that will support children’s health, nutrition, and safety in schools.
The Secretary has identified early childhood development as a Strategic Initiative.
A wide range of HHS agencies support these activities, including ACF, CDC, CMS, HRSA, IHS, NIH, OASH, and SAMHSA. HHS agencies will employ the following key strategies to ensure the safety, well-being, and healthy development of children and youth.
- Enhance young children’s healthy growth, development, and identity formation through high-quality early care and education and through evidence-based home visitation programs;
- Promote school readiness and healthy child development through high-quality early education programs that utilize the best evidence-based practice and workforce development strategies. Encourage healthy behaviors and reduce risky behaviors among children and youth;
- Implement evidence-based strategies and test innovative approaches to reduce teen pregnancy, decrease rates of sexually transmitted infections, reduce underage drinking and drug use, and impact sexual risk behaviors;
- Support parents, extended families, and communities to provide children with safe and stable homes;
- Ensure the safety, well-being, and healthy development of children and youth, including children with disabilities, children experiencing homelessness, and children who have been maltreated;
- Help find permanent families for children whose birth parents cannot care for them safely;
- Advance the science and continue to build an evidence base for effective prevention and intervention strategies with children and youth through the innovation and evaluation of innovative, promising strategies; and
- Implement evidence-based strategies to reduce the exposure to, build resilience to, and lessen the negative impact of violence and trauma on children, families, and communities.
Strong individuals, families, and communities are the building blocks for a strong America. Unfortunately, many face challenges that affect their economic and social well-being. Vulnerable families need a path of opportunity to help them enter the middle class, and communities need to be revitalized to become engines for economic growth and opportunity.
Many vulnerable Americans live in poverty, lack the skills needed to obtain good jobs, need supportive services to get or retain jobs, experience unstable family situations, or live in unsafe, unhealthy communities. Distressed communities and poverty can reduce the social ties of residents and can lead to a lack of accountability of, and trust in, public institutions like those dedicated to public safety and education. Lack of employment opportunities and low levels of academic achievement can lead to juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and criminal activity that are major drivers of community violence and family disruption. Unstable couple relationships, lack of involvement by fathers, and disconnection from strong supportive social networks increase the vulnerability of both adults and children and weaken communities.
Promoting economic and social well-being requires attention to a complex set of factors, through the collaborative efforts of agencies, policymakers, researchers, and providers. HHS agencies work together and collaborate across Federal departments to maximize the potential benefits of various programs, services, and policies designed to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Many HHS agencies fund essential human services to those who are least able to help themselves, often through the Department’s state, local, and tribal partners.
ACF is the principal agency responsible for promoting the economic and social well-being of families, children, and youth through income support, financial education and asset-based strategies, job training and work activities, child support and paternity establishment, relationship skill-building for couples and co-parents, and assistance in paying for child care. State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs provide critical income assistance to some of the Nation’s poorest families, while helping mothers and fathers prepare for and secure employment. Child support programs ensure that non-custodial parents meet their financial obligations to their children, and provide a substantial share of resources for families that receive it. OCR works to ensure that each state program is accessible to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, or disability. SAMHSA and HRSA also provide essential supportive services to particularly vulnerable individuals and families.
HHS collaborates with other Federal departments to support the economic and social well-being of individuals, families, and communities. HHS is involved in several White House–led interdepartmental efforts, including workgroups on urban policy and youth violence. In addition, HHS is working closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to integrate the Nation’s housing, health, and human service delivery system, with particular emphasis on homelessness, community living, and livable homes and communities. HHS is collaborating with HUD and the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor in efforts to end homelessness among veterans.
HHS is coordinating efforts with the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Justice to improve outcomes for ex-offenders and their families, including specialized approaches for fathers and veterans. About 7.4 million children have a parent in prison, in jail, or under correctional supervision. HHS and the U.S. Department of Labor are developing strategies to integrate and enhance skills development opportunities to help low-income individuals enter and succeed in the workforce. HHS is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand access to nutritional supports for low-income youth and families. HHS also chairs the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, which brings together twelve Federal departments and agencies to improve the coordination, effectiveness, and efficiency of youth-serving programs and to promote effective community-based efforts to reduce the factors that put youth at risk.
Within HHS, agencies including ACF, HRSA, IHS, and SAMHSA will employ the following key strategies to promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families, and communities.
- Advance individual and family economic security to reduce poverty;
- Promote access to quality jobs that provide a livable wage for all individuals and families, and to training and educational opportunities that promote success in those jobs;
- Provide supportive services, such as health and behavioral health, and wraparound services like employment, housing, and peer recovery supports, to reduce and eliminate barriers for vulnerable populations, including individuals with disabilities and individuals at risk for homelessness;
- Identify and address substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma history early to reduce the likelihood of more severe future problems;
- Help economically distressed communities to access Federal programs and resources to address behavioral health needs;
- Build and strengthen partnerships with federal, state, local, tribal, urban Indian organizations and other nongovernmental stakeholders to promote culturally appropriate individual, family, and community well-being for vulnerable populations;
- Encourage responsible fatherhood, healthy relationships, parental responsibility, and family stability; and
- Foster community partnerships to improve opportunities and delivery of services.
HHS programs and initiatives have special significance for older adults and people of all ages who experience disabilities. Older adults and individuals with disabilities may need services and supports to assist them in performing routine activities of daily living such as eating and dressing. Improving access to, and the quality of, supports and services for older adults and people with disabilities is an HHS policy priority.
Over the past decade, a number of policy reforms and initiatives have improved the effectiveness of efforts to promote home and community-based services (HCBS) and to decrease unnecessary reliance on institutional care. The Supreme Court’s landmark 1999 Olmstead ruling requires states to place qualified individuals with disabilities in community settings—whenever such placements are appropriate, the person does not oppose such placement, and the state can reasonably accommodate the placement. CMS’ Real Choice Systems Change grants assist states and tribal grantees in improving community-based support systems that enable people with disabilities to participate fully in community life.
AoA provides a number of services to older adults and persons with disabilities, including supportive services, nutrition services, preventive health services, supportive services to family caregivers, senior rights protection services, nutrition and supportive services to American Indians and Alaska Natives, and a national toll-free telephone service that helps callers find senior services in their communities throughout the country. AoA also funds aging and disability resource centers—a single point- of- entry into the array of services available in the long- term care system—to improve access to long-term care services and nursing home diversion programs to give consumers a greater role in determining the types of services and the manner in which they receive them.
IHS works with tribes to meet the elder care needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives as well as services to people with disabilities through grants, contracts, compacts, technical assistance, and shared services. The agency also provides competitive grants for tribes and tribal organizations to conduct long- term care planning for their communities and to develop community-based services, using innovative types of personnel such as the Community Health Representative. CMS supports American Indians and Alaska Natives long- term care data and policy analysis projects. IHS and CDC collaborate on community approaches to elder fall prevention.
Through grants, technical assistance, and information-sharing, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) within ACF works with the ADD network of state entities (State Developmental Disabilities Councils, Protection and Advocacy Systems, University Centers on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have access to culturally competent services and supports that promote independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in the community. These supports include child care, education, transitional services, health care, employment, transportation, and housing. ADD also funds various programs and projects to help individuals with disabilities live self-determined lives and to assist family caregivers.
OCR investigates and resolves complaints alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) “integration regulation,” which requires that individuals with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead. OCR also collaborates with the Department of Justice to advance civil rights enforcement of the ADA and the Olmstead decision.
Other recent developments include providing consumers who receive publicly funded long-term services and supports with the option to manage those services for themselves at home. Authorization of the Money Follows the Person Grant Program contributes federal funds to states to transition Medicaid-covered nursing home residents to the community. Another promising new development integrates acute and long-term care services to enable HCBS to be more effective at preventing and delaying the need for institutionalization.
An efficient long-term care system cannot exist without a workforce to care for the population in need. There is significant demand for a direct care labor force that is well-trained to address the needs of older adults and persons with disabilities. Under the Affordable Care Act, HHS is improving direct care worker training and competencies and encouraging career pathways for the existing workers. The Affordable Care Act also provides numerous opportunities for direct care workers to access more affordable health care.
Residential care (services and supports provided outside nursing homes or an individual’s home) is an important and growing option. Understanding how residential care fits into the range of long-term care options is important because the aging of the population is likely to increase the demand for these services. HHS is systematically examining residential care models to understand the changing dynamics of publicly financed long-term care.
Housing is consistently ranked as the primary barrier to community living for those with declining health and limited mobility. The most frequently cited problems are lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing; rental subsidies; and ways to link these to individuals who need them in a timely fashion. HHS and HUD are working together to reduce barriers to affordable and accessible housing.
Among the agencies and offices contributing to the achievement of this objective are ACF, AHRQ, AoA, ASPE, CMS, CDC, HRSA, IHS, OCR, OD, and SAMHSA. HHS will employ the following key strategies to improve supportive services for individuals with disabilities.
- Across the life span, collaborate across systems to streamline access for individuals with disabilities to a full complement of inclusive, integrated services and supports (early education, child care, education, transitional services, health care, employment, transportation, and housing);
- Build partnerships that leverage public and private resources to enhance home- and community-based services and supports for older individuals, and for persons with disabilities and their caregivers, as well as supports for elder justice systems for the protection of vulnerable individuals’ rights;
- Work closely with states, territories, tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and other programs to achieve more flexibility in the Medicaid program through the Money Follows the Person Grant Program and in Medicaid through the Medicaid Home & Community First Choice Option, Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services State Plan Option, State Balancing Incentive Payments Program, other grant programs, other Medicaid programmatic and funding mechanisms and policy changes;
- Assist State, tribal, and local programs in designing and implementing improvements to community-based support systems that enable people with disabilities and long-term illnesses to live and participate in the community;
- Expand access to supports for family caregivers to maximize the health and well-being of the caregivers and the people for whom they provide care;
- Improve the coordination of long-term care services with physical and behavioral health services by fostering innovative approaches to delivering integrated care;
- Enforce Federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability that require individuals with disabilities to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead;
- Improve services for individuals with chronic conditions and functional impairments by enhancing coordination of Medicare and Medicaid, because many of these individuals are dually eligible;
- Improve the delivery of community living services in a more uniform, efficient way by increasing the number of single-entry point and “no wrong door” systems and the quality and scope of existing systems that serve people with disabilities and older adults;
- Improve coordination between HHS and HUD regarding Olmstead matters;
- Develop options for housing combined with services to enhance aging in place for older adults; and
- Promote the coordination of housing assistance, health care, and supportive services to assist chronically homeless individuals and families with special needs.
HHS works to promote prevention and wellness across its programs and agencies. As the Nation’s principal prevention agency, CDC has primary responsibility for addressing chronic diseases through population and community health activities; working to support state, local, and tribal public health agencies; promoting health through education; and conducting outreach to vulnerable populations. Historic new investments, such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund and the creation of the National Prevention Strategy from the Affordable Care Act, allows HHS to do more to create healthy communities; raise awareness about, and increases adoption of, prevention strategies; promotes services for pregnant women; and strengthens our Nation’s public health infrastructure to support these efforts.
Over the next several years, HHS’s focus will align with the National Prevention Strategy, which will create environments that promote healthy behaviors to address chronic diseases and health conditions—tobacco use, overweight and obesity, and mental and substance use disorders—that result in the most deaths, disability, and costs.
The Secretary has identified prevention and wellness, helping Americans achieve and maintain healthy weight, prevention and reduction of tobacco use, and putting children and youth on the path for successful futures as Strategic Initiatives.
Across HHS, agencies and offices, including ACF, AoA, CDC, FDA, HRSA, IHS, NIH, OCIIO, OASH, and SAMHSA, contribute to its efforts to promote health and wellness. These programs will engage in the following key strategies to realize this objective.
- Implement comprehensive, sustained, and evidence-based efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use;
- Help American children and adults achieve and maintain healthy weight, focusing on where they live, work, learn, and play;
- Encourage insurance providers to cover preventive services and offer certain rewards or incentives for healthy living;
- Support breastfeeding and remove barriers that hinder women who choose to breastfeed, working with family members, communities, clinicians, healthcare systems, and employers;
- Prevent substance abuse, underage drinking, illegal drug use, and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications, using evidence-based strategies, including community-level interventions;
- Implement evidence-based program models in attempt to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, or other associated sexual risk behaviors, while testing innovative approaches in order to expand the evidence base and identify new ways to address this issue;
- Increase access and coverage for important evidence-based preventive services, including well-woman visits, human papillomavirus DNA testing for women 30 years and older, sexually-transmitted infection counseling, HIV screening and counseling, and FDA-approved contraception and contraceptive counseling; Prevent mental illness and foster community resilience, with a special focus on at-risk populations;
- Increase access of families and communities to injury prevention information, model programs, and other resources;
- Leverage the Communities Transformation Grants to jump start community-based prevention and wellness efforts and increase HHS’s knowledge about what works;
- Explore the use of rewards or employee incentives for participating in employee wellness programs and assess the effectiveness and impact of wellness programs, policies, and priorities in worksite settings;
- Implement prevention policies, programming, and interventions to prevent and respond to individuals, families, and communities impacted by domestic violence, suicide, and other forms of violence and trauma;
- Expand and sustain investments in prevention and public health through the Prevention and Public Health Fund;
- Educate and empower individuals and families to lead healthy lifestyles and adopt behaviors that can prevent or delay chronic disease, disability, and secondary conditions, thereby increasing quality of life and reducing the need for more costly medical interventions; and
- Launch Healthy People 2020, the Nation’s health objectives for the next decade, and leverage the objectives through networks of federal, state, local, and tribal partners.
Because microbes continually evolve, adapt, and develop resistance to drugs over time, infectious diseases continue to be a significant health threat in the United States and around the world. Rapid global travel, importation of foods, and changing demographics have increased the ability of these infectious agents to spread quickly. The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic exemplifies the speed at which an infectious agent can spread from one location to nearly every corner of the globe.
Addressing infectious diseases is a priority for HHS. Infectious diseases include vaccine-preventable diseases, foodborne illnesses; HIV and AIDS and associated STIs; hepatitis A and B; tuberculosis; infections acquired in healthcare settings, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); novel influenza viruses; and infections transmitted by animals and insects.
HHS coordinates and ensures collaboration among the many federal agencies involved in vaccine and immunization activities. CDC has primary responsibility for reducing the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases in the U.S. population. CDC provides significant support to state and local governments; works to strengthen infectious disease surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment; and collaborates with federal and international partners to reduce the burden of infectious diseases throughout the world. The National Vaccine Plan provides a framework for pursuing the prevention of infectious diseases through immunizations.
FDA and CDC work together to prevent and control foodborne illness outbreaks, and FDA works with international drug regulatory authorities to expedite the review of generic antiretroviral drugs under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). NIH conducts basic and applied research that enables understanding and development of control measures against a wide array of infectious agents. SAMHSA and IHS support programs to reduce HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases associated with injection drug use. ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) coordinates interagency efforts to define and rank requirements for public health medical emergency countermeasures, research, and product development and procurement related to infectious disease threats.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions, exact a significant toll on human life. The prevention and reduction of HAIs is a top priority for HHS; together, AHRQ, CDC, CMS, FDA, OASH, and other HHS experts are collaborating to implement strategies to prevent and reduce HAIs.
The Secretary has identified food safety and support for the national HIV/AIDS strategy as Strategic Initiatives.
Within HHS, agencies such as CDC, FDA, and NIH have primary responsibility for reducing the occurrence of infectious diseases. Other HHS agencies and offices that contribute to efforts to combat infectious diseases include ASPR, CMS, HRSA, IHS, OASH, and SAMHSA. HHS will implement the following key strategies to realize this objective.
- Aligning with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, prevent the spread of HIV infection, and increase efforts to make people aware of their status and to enable them to access HIV care and treatment, using innovative, culturally appropriate means;
- Conduct an outreach campaign, accessible to all populations, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases;
- Modernize and implement a twenty-first century food safety system that is flexible and responsive to current and emerging threats;
- Support state and tribal infectious disease and epidemiology capacity-building programs to prevent, investigate, and control healthcare-associated infections, disease outbreaks, and other healthcare threats;
- Identify, disseminate information, and encourage utilization of best practices to prevent healthcare-associated infections;
- Remove financial and other barriers to routine immunizations for children, adolescents, and adults; and
- Work with federal and global partners to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis A and B, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases in developing nations, under the U.S. Global Health Initiative.
Over the past decade, our Nation has renewed its efforts to address large-scale incidents that have threatened human health, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and terrorism. Working with its federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners, HHS has supported capacity-building efforts and strengthened linkages between government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. HHS has improved and exercised response capabilities and developed plans for medical countermeasures. HHS has also made ensuring the safety and well-being of the nation’s children in the wake of disasters and public health emergencies a priority. However, HHS must do more to ensure the health and safety of Americans in the face of unexpected and emerging threats.
To guide its work, HHS developed the first National Health Security Strategy, a comprehensive framework for how the entire Nation must work together to protect people’s health in the case of an emergency. The strategy lays out current challenges and gaps, and articulates a systems approach for preparedness and response, including identifying responsibilities for all levels of government, communities, families, and individuals. HHS will use this strategy as a guide for determining what should be done at the Federal level to improve Federal efforts and best integrate with and support state, local, and tribal efforts. Over the next 5 years, HHS will work with its federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners to achieve two goals of the National Health Security Strategy—that is, building community resilience and strengthening and sustaining health and emergency response systems. This includes strengthening the federal medical and public health response capability. Resilient communities and robust systems are important not just for emergencies but for daily use. This objective is intricately linked with other objectives to modernize and improve the access, safety, and quality of health care. Similarly, strategies that focus on prevention, integrated systems, and equitable practices will support both preparedness and routine use objectives.
The Secretary has identified protecting the health and safety of Americans in emergencies and fostering resilience as one of her Strategic Initiatives.
Within HHS, improving health security is a shared responsibility. ASPR serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. ASPR also coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other federal partners, and state, local, and tribal officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population in emergencies. Working toward this objective, ASPR, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other federal departments and agencies, is addressing the requirements of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD 8) - National Preparedness. The goal of PPD 8 is to strengthen the security and resilience of the U.S. through systematic preparation for threats at all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens so that everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm.
OCR plays a key role in protecting the civil rights of persons with Limited English Proficiency, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from diverse cultural origins in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Agencies and offices across HHS, including ACF, CDC, FDA, NIH, and OASH, will employ an array of key strategies to advance this objective.
- Strengthen the capability of hospitals and healthcare systems to plan for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made emergency events;
- Strengthen the capability of human service systems to plan for, respond to, and recover from natural and manmade emergency events;
- Modernize the medical countermeasure enterprise with more promising discoveries, advanced development, robust manufacturing, better stockpiling, and advanced distribution practices in the United States and abroad;
- Strengthen the federal medical and public health response and recovery capability and to improve integration with health and emergency response systems;
- Upgrade state, local, and tribal human services and public health preparedness, response, and recovery capacity;
- Develop systems to evaluate progress and learn from experiences;
- Develop a research agenda, evaluation framework, and quality improvement methods for systematically ensuring that exemplary practices are used efficiently and effectively;
- Enhance accessible communication strategies to ensure that appropriate messages are received by, and from, the public to facilitate community resilience in response to emergencies; and
- Ensure that the needs of vulnerable populations, including children, individuals with Limited English Proficiency, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with diverse cultural origins, are met in emergencies, through their effective integration into planning, response, and recovery efforts.
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