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HHS Secretary Sebelius Discusses Agency’s Global Health Strategy At KFF/HHS Briefing

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explore the department’s role in global health and its new Global Health Strategy (.pdf), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the agency’s first global health strategy in a keynote address, CQ HealthBeat reports. “The strategy identifies 10 major objectives but does not include metrics for gauging success,” the news service writes, adding Sebelius “said the plan ‘does not represent a radical new direction but seeks to provide a focus’ to ongoing efforts” (Adams, 1/6). “Though the United States was always involved in international health work, it was ‘seen as fundamentally separate’ from HHS’s core mission, she said,” Politico Pro writes. “Today that world has changed very dramatically. We can no longer separate America’s health from global health,” Sebelius said, the news service reports (Feder, 1/5).

Sebelius’ opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion moderated by KFF Executive Vice President Diane Rowland. Panelists included Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Affairs at HHS; Ariel Pablos-Méndez, assistant administrator for Global Health at USAID; Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of state for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA; Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine; and Jen Kates, vice president and director of Global Health and HIV Policy at KFF. A webcast and podcast of the briefing are available online (1/5).