In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the updates for its Strategic Plan. All operating and staff divisions within the HHS and input from Congress, Tribes, Tribal, and Urban Indian Organizations, the Office of Management and Budget, and the public sector contributed to its development. For FY 2022 – 2026, HHS addresses and tracks five broad strategic goals via Web document, which reflect the FY 2023 – 2026 Evidence-Building Plan and the FY 2023 Evaluation Plan. HHS is required to update its Strategic Plan every four years.
The five goals are indicated as follows:
- Protect and Strengthen Equitable Access to High Quality and Affordable Health Care
- Safeguard and Improve National and Global Health Conditions and Outcomes
- Strengthen Social Well-being, Equity, and Economic Resilience
- Restore Trust and Accelerate Advancements in Science and Research for All
- Advance Strategic Management to Build Trust, Transparency, and Accountability.
Current national, complex, multifaceted, and evolving health and human services issues involve behavioral health, human services, research and evidence, and management. The Plan’s focus is to expand access, reduce disparities in health care, public health, and human services outcomes, and ensure the Department’s programs reach underserved communities.1
Each goal, objective, strategy, and list of correlating legislation align with Administration priorities and terminology derived from Executive Orders, White House Action Plans, Directives, and Memoranda. The strategic goals and associated objectives focus on the four primary functions of HHS by providing effective health and human services, fostering medical advancements, public health via safety and security initiatives, and social services.
Under the umbrella of each strategic goal are several objectives. In addition to reducing costs, improving the quality of healthcare services, and ensuring access to safe medical devices and drugs under the first goal, HHS is working to increase consumer choice, affordability, and enrollment in high-quality healthcare coverage. Moreover, HHS is working on expanding equitable access to comprehensive, community-based, innovative, and culturally competent healthcare services while addressing social determinants of health. Lastly, under the first goal, HHS is focused on driving the integration of behavioral health into the healthcare system by expanding access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery services for individuals and families while bolstering healthcare workforce numbers.2
Under the guise of the second goal, HHS is on a mission to improve capabilities surrounding disasters, public health, medical emergencies, and threats across the nation and globe by providing readily available treatments, diagnostics, therapeutics, and more to protect individuals, families, and communities from infectious communicable and non-communicable diseases through equitable and innovative means.3 In addition, HHS is focusing its efforts on enhancing the promotion of healthy behaviors to reduce occurrences of and disparities in preventable injuries, illnesses, and deaths while promoting healthy environmental habits to mitigate adverse impacts on climate change and health outcomes.
Under the guise of the third goal, HHS is working to provide effective and innovative pathways leading to equitable economic success, expanding opportunities, and expanding high-quality services and resources for all, including children, youth, adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. In addition, HHS will increase safeguards to empower families and communities to prevent and respond to neglect, abuse, and violence, while supporting those who have experienced trauma.4
The objectives housed in the fourth goal address HHS’ dedication to improving the design, delivery, and outcomes of HHS programs by prioritizing science, evidence, and inclusion. Furthermore, HHS intends to invest in the scientific workforce and research enterprise to maintain innovation leadership regarding understanding disease, healthcare, public health, and human services resulting in more effective interventions, treatments, and programs. Additionally, HHS is working to strengthen surveillance, epidemiology, and laboratory capacity to better address diseases and conditions equitably.5 Improving data collection, use, and evaluation, to increase evidence-based knowledge will lead to better health outcomes, reduce health disparities, and improve social well-being, equity, and economic resilience.6
Lastly, the objectives housed in the fifth goal are designed for HHS’ dedication to promoting effective enterprise governance to ensure goals are met equitably across management practices while remaining financially prudent regarding the use of resources, accountability, and public trust. HHS works to uphold effective and innovative, diverse, competent, and engaged human capital resource management.7 The Department also ensures the security of HHS facilities, technology, data, and information, while advancing environment-friendly practices.8
Details about the complete Strategic Plan are available on the HHS website at: https://www.hhs.gov/about/strategic-plan/2022-2026/index.html
The Strategic Plan Web document functions as a real-time, essential, living document that is tracked and updated frequently, providing priorities, progress, and next steps serving a management leadership purpose rather than a set of static performance measures that you discard once outdated.
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