ERIC Number: ED469138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
One Department Serving Rural America: HHS Rural Task Force Report to the Secretary.
Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.
In 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a rural task force to develop strategies to improve HHS services in rural communities. Fifteen HHS agencies have programs serving rural communities; child- and education-related programs provide child welfare services, Head Start, health promotion and prevention services, training for rural health care providers, and prevention and rehabilitation services for substance abuse and mental illness. More than 450 individuals and organizations submitted comments in response to a notice in the Federal Register. Three findings emerged: HHS lacks a common definition of "rural"; lack of coordination has resulted in inconsistent application, implementation, and evaluation requirements in the more than 225 HHS programs serving rural communities; and the HHS policy development process does not consistently consider rural concerns. Task force recommendations include creating a formal structure within HHS for coordinating rural policy initiatives among HHS agencies as well as with external partners; creating an interagency workgroup to follow up on proposed strategies; ensuring that HHS processes include a specific focus on serving rural America; and developing a common methodology for determining HHS investment in specific communities and populations. The task force set five goals to improve provision of health care and human services in rural areas: 1) improve rural communities' access to quality health and human services; 2) strengthen rural families; 3) strengthen rural communities and support economic development; 4) partner with state, local, and tribal governments to support rural communities; and 5) support rural policy and decision making, and ensure rural voice in the consultative process. (Contains 41 notes.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.