Working towards the December 9 deadline for submitting its National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) implementation plan to the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services convened the second meeting of its department-wide NHAS Implementation Group yesterday.
Implementation Group chairman, Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, thanked the representatives of 10 operational divisions and more than 13 staff offices from across HHS for attending the meeting and acknowledged the tremendous activity in developing the HHS implementation plan that has taken place across the department since the first meeting of the Implementation Group in mid-August.
During the meeting, participants heard from Deputy Secretary Mr. Bill Corr, who reiterated the Department-wide commitment to the Strategy and encouraged continued collaboration and cooperation as agencies across HHS work to align activities and resources with the goals and action steps detailed in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and accompanying Federal Implementation Plan (PDF 741 KB).
Participants also learned about the format of agency-specific information to be included in the HHS implementation plan and received details for an upcoming day-and-a-half October retreat where the implementation plan will be further refined.
Ms. Caya Lewis, Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, provided information about the agency’s expenditures of $9.8 billion annually on HIV/AIDS care as part of its effort to identify trends, needs and opportunities to collaborate with other HHS operational divisions to better serve people living with HIV/AIDS.
Finally, the group discussed preliminaries of a major cross-agency initiative that will engage the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Service (IHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and other HHS operational divisions and offices in planning for enhanced HIV/AIDS services in several high-burden U.S. cities.