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HHS in the 21st Century: Charting a New Course for a Healthier America
For those outside the department, the systemshould
be accessible, transparent, timely, and reliable,and
provideuseful, privacy-protected informationregarding department activities.
The department shoulddemonstrate accountabilitythrough continuous critical assessment of program efficiency, equity, impact on health, andcost-effectiveness, and through corrective actionfor underperforming programs.
The secretary, in collaboration with the surgeongeneral, should present Congress and the publicwith an annual “State of the Nation’s Health” report that describes progress toward achieving thevision for the nation’s health and the department’s key health goals.
Congress should establisha new, strategic initiative fundto enable the secretary to support cross-agency and cross-departmental activities that exhibit innovation in responding to twenty-firstcentury challenges, and to respond quickly tonew, unforeseen, or expanding public healththreats.
ENSURING A SMOOTH TRANSITIONTO A NEW SECRETARY
Recognizing how important the transition period is to a new secretary and to the department, the committee provides informal advice for achieving a successful transition. It organized the preceding recommendations into a timetable, indicating what should be done in the first 90 days, the first year in office, and throughout the secretary’s term (see Chapter 7). The committee has also translated some of its general thinking—about vision and goals, alignment and accountability, workforce, and its other recommendations—into specific suggestions for action.