Yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services convened the first meeting of its HHS National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Group. Comprised of representatives of 10 operational divisions and more than 13 staff offices from across HHS, the Implementation Group is tasked with preparing the agency's operational plan for implementing the Strategy. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh and I are coordinating the agency-wide planning efforts.
In response to the Presidential memo that accompanied the release of the Strategy, the HHS operational plan will assign responsibilities to agency officials, designate reporting structures for actions identified in the Federal Implementation Plan, and identify other appropriate actions to advance the Strategy. The plan will also include steps to strengthen coordination in planning, budgeting for, and evaluating domestic HIV/AIDS programs within and across agencies.
The other Federal agencies also designated by the President as "lead agencies" for implementing the Strategy -- the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration -- are also preparing their respective implementation plans. These plans will all be submitted to the Office of National AIDS Policy and the Office of Management and Budget on December 9.
The HHS National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Group includes a wide range of representatives from across the Department of Health and Human Services including representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as the Office of Public Health and Science, Office on Disability, Office of Health Reform, and Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and many others. See the full membership list at the end of this post.
The process for developing the HHS implementation plan will unfold over the next several months. During that time, we will continue to confer with stakeholders from within and outside HHS as we prepare a plan that helps realize the promise of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
View a list of members (PDF 73 KB) of the HHS National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Group.
Dr. Ron Valdiserri is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.