Doing Business With The Department of Health and Human Services
General Infomation about HHS<@VM>CIO files: Melissa Chapman
- By Evamarie C. Socha
- Jun 19, 2003
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20201
April. 11, 1953 as Department of Health, Education and Welfare; became HHS May 4, 1980 Secretary:
65,500What it does:
Health and Human Services protects public health and provides essential human services, especially for those in need. It oversees more than 300 programs that cover a variety of issues, including medical research, substance abuse prevention, food and drug safety and financial help for low-income families. Many services that HHS funds are provided by state, county or tribal agencies or through private-sector grantees.Major subagencies:
There are seven public health service agencies, which include the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration; and seven other agencies, which include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Administration on Children and Families and the Administration on Aging. HHS divides the United States into 10 regions, with offices in each.The Web site:
HHS recently revamped its Web site, and I must say it's one of the best ones I've used. CIO Michelle Chapman said the site was made with the consumer in mind. All agencies divisions and topics are listed right on the homepage for easy access. For business opportunities, just click on "Grants and Funding," and it will lead you to what's available from each agency division.Number crunching2004 budget request:
$539 billion2003 budget:
$502 billionThe fiscal 2004
proposed budget slates $400 billion over 10 years for improvements and modernization of Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and Welfare programs. It also marks $3.6 billion for bioterrorism-related issues, including continued medical research and state and local preparedness funding, and for investments to protect the food supply. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is to get $50 million to help health networks implement and evaluate hospital-based IT investments designed to enhance patient safety, with an emphasis on small community and rural hospitals. In helping to create a business case for adopting proven technologies, AHRQ will use these demonstrations to disseminate these technologies across the health care system.The fiscal 2004 budget
information on HHS' Web site states the budget "includes savings from ongoing information technology consolidations and ensures that funds are invested in the highest priority IT projects."
Deputy assistant secretary for information resources management, and chief information officerTook the job:
June 23, 2002Hometown:
Front Royal, Va.Home now:
Front Royal, Va. (The commute is one hour, 50 minutes when she and her husband drive in together.)Family:
Married; a son, Paul, 6Hobbies:
Considers herself a true aficionado of film and movies. Favorite film is a tie between "Casablanca" and "Gone With the Wind." Currently reading:
"The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren WeisbergerAlma mater:
Bachelor of science in aerospace and ocean engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute. "I love Virginia Tech. I wouldn't be sitting here right now if I hadn't gone to Virginia Tech." WT: The news release about your appointment said IT infrastructure and e-government would be your priorities. Is that still the case?
Chapman: That is definitely still the case. We've made a lot of progress detailing those initiatives and priorities. WT: You've revamped your Web site since you have been in office.
Chapman: Yes. We've had tremendous feedback on the Web site. It's just been terrific. In particular with the Web site, we've done a great job, and now we have to do an even better job because the demand has increased so much for even more information. ? WT: What was the biggest challenge?
Chapman: We thought it was very important to present our information by categories that would be familiar to anyone, rather than having to be intimate with the organizational structure. So we think that approach has done a lot of good. You practically had to work here to find the information before. WT: Are there other IT projects that will be getting more attention?
Chapman: Under IT consolidation, we have multiple internal efforts ? things like help desk, acquisition and deployment of desk ops, e-mail, troubleshooting the network, etc. So the larger [operating components] will consolidate internally those unified organizations.
The smaller ones will all be serviced by a new unified service center. So we will go from about 50 distinct infrastructure organizations down to six.
It has been not just a tremendous technical change, but even more so a cultural change for our department. There has been a lot of concern and a lot of good questions from the operating component. I don't think they're resistant at all, they support what the secretary wants to accomplish. But it's their job, also, as a department to ask the important questions, because they are much closer to the mission, they're doing that work every single day and technology is definitely an important part of improving our productivity.
For more of the interview with Melissa Chapman, including her plans for a new e-gov project called Federal Health Architecture, go to www.washingtontechnology.com
and type in 107 in the Quickfind box.