Your Input Is Needed For Next Version of HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan

 
 
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that it will renew the HHS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis for years 2014-2016. This is great news and demonstrates continued leadership at HHS and other federal departments and agencies in addressing the viral hepatitis epidemic.

HHS has also posted a “Request for Information” announcement, asking for public input to help make decisions on changes that should be made to the renewed Plan. You can read this announcement, including a list of questions to consider and where to submit comments here.

NVHR will be submitting comments, focusing on some key priorities, urging the renewed plan to have clear, measurable outcomes, and asking for regular communication and engagement from HHS on the status of implementation and how the community can be involved.

We also strongly encourage you to submit your own public comments so that key HHS officials are hearing from a broad range of viral hepatitis advocates around the country. The renewed plan must reflect the perspective of those on the ground addressing the viral hepatitis epidemic. While the official “Request for Information” process might seem overwhelming, it is quite simple to write and submit your comments. Below are some tips to help. If you need any help crafting your comments, please contact us at info@nvhr.org.

  • The deadline for submitting comments is 5:00 pm Eastern, Friday, July 5th.
  • Comments can be sent via email to Corinna.Dan@hhs.gov
  • Please send NVHR a copy of your comments so we can track responses and learn more about what our members would like to see in the renewed plan. Send to info@nvhr.org.
  • You can read the current version of the HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan here.
  • You can also read the HHS One Year Progress Report here to see what has been achieved and the challenges in meeting all of the goals.
  • In the Request for Information announcement, there is a set of specific questions that HHS has asked to help guide your comments. It is not mandatory to answer every question. There may be one or two questions you would like to focus on, or you may want to simply provide your input on what you would like to see in a renewed plan.
  • Start with a brief description of your organization, the services you provide, and a description of viral hepatitis in your community/geographic area.
  • Some points that you might want to highlight when you make your comments:
  • How has the current version of the plan helped you address the viral hepatitis epidemic in your community? What could be added that would improve your ability to deliver services or provide education and support?
  • What services do you or others provide that should be considered as model programs to highlight in the plan?
  • What would you like to see prioritized in a renewed plan?
  • What kind of status updates would you like to see from HHS during the next phase of the plan? Regular updates via email? Conference calls/webinars? Annual reports
  • What examples of measurable outcomes do you use in your work that could be used as models for inclusion in the plan?

Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!