Early in 1995, federal leaders requested the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM) lead an industry-wide roundtable exploration of blood safety and availability in the United States. By late 1996, the IOM deliberations produced three related reports, including, “HIV and the Blood Supply: An Analysis of Crisis Decision-making.” These IOM reports provided a list of recommendations for the blood industry to consider, including several potential actions for improved HHS-wide coordination of blood safety and availability efforts.
In response to the IOM findings, HHS implemented specific Department-wide coordination efforts of federal interests in blood products in early 1997 with the establishment of an HHS Blood Safety Director (the Assistant Secretary for Health), the federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety & Availability (ACBSA), and an internal Department-wide executive-level Blood Safety Council (BSC). Following the IOM recommendations, the BSC and ACBSA were uniquely chartered to provide a broad array of public health advice, covering the areas of science, policy/law, bioethics, consumer concerns and socioeconomics.
The BSC and ACBSA were located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). In 2012, HHS re-chartered the BSC into the HHS Blood, Organ, and Tissue Senior Executive Council (BOTSEC) and re-chartered the ABCSA into the federal Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability (ACBTSA). These two expansions added the purview to explore and coordinate public health issues related to tissue products and donor derived infectious disease complications of transplantation in organs and blood stem cells. To facilitate these additions, OASH placed the council, committee and staff into the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OASH/OHAIDP). In OHAIDP, staff members identify nationally significant topics for committee and council deliberations and explore policy and programmatic solutions to the recommendations provided to the Secretary and the ASH.