TO: OPDIV/STAFFDIV Heads
FROM: The Secretary
SUBJECT: Next Steps on Research Initiative
Following our meeting of October 11, 1995, Peter Edelman consulted with you or members of your senior staff about how we should work together on a research strategy to understand the major transformations that are taking place across the nation with respect to health and human services -- including changes in many of the Department's programs. Based on those consultations, he has recommended an approach that will enable us to identify issues of common concern to involved parties, both public and private, and to define the Department's roles in relation to those issues -- especially our own priorities for investment and our opportunities for collaboration within the Department and with outside organizations.
The approach recommended is for a very fast-paced Department-wide effort that will identify the key research questions that need to be addressed, examine existing data bases, inventory the principal relevant work that is under way or contemplated, and report back to all of you and ultimately to me on recommended next steps. The first step in the process will be the convening of a senior staff-level working group to address these issues and report to all of you before the end of January 1996. Bill Raub, who recently joined ASPE as Senior Science Advisor, will convene the working group.
I ask you to identify an experienced senior staff person to serve on that group. The individual identified should be both aware of the critical policy questions that should be raised and conversant with the research and data activities that are germane to the effort. Bill will call you within the next few days to learn the name of the participant from your organization and to receive whatever preliminary guidance you may wish to offer regarding this task.
Thank you for your assistance. Helping all major stakeholders achieve solid understanding of the multi-faceted system of health and human services that will emerge in the wake of ongoing and prospective policy changes at both national and state levels is one of the most important goals the Department can pursue.
Donna E. Shalala