biostatisticians, and epidemiologists. The difficulty of attracting young people to these vital fields begins at the earliest grade levels, with poor math and science skills, and extends throughout the education pipeline.

Recommendation 4

The secretary should place a high priority on developing a strategy and tools for workforce improvement (1) in HHS, (2) in the public health and health care professions nationwide, and (3) in the biosciences.

  1. The secretary should immediately strengthen workforce planning in the department and develop a comprehensive strategy to recruit highly qualified public- and private-sector individuals in order to offset the large number of experienced staff expected to retire soon.

  2. Congress should authorize the department, in cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management, to assemble a package of current and innovative programs and benefits designed to encourage talented, experienced individuals to transition back and forth between government and private-sector service, thereby identifying ways to leverage the best of both.

  3. Congress should provide the secretary with additional authority to reward performance, innovation, and the achievement of results, through bonuses, merit-based pay, recognition awards, or other mechanisms of proven effectiveness.

  4. The secretary, in concert with other public and private partners, should develop a comprehensive national strategy to assess and address current and projected gaps in the number, professional mix, geographic distribution, and diversity of the U.S. public health and health care workforces.

  5. To help close projected gaps, the department should evaluate existing health care professional training programs, continued education programs, and graduate medical education funding

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