Performance Improvement 2001. Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS)


MISSION: To provide advice on public health and science to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to provide executive direction to program offices within the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS), and, at the direction of the Secretary, to coordinate crosscutting public health and science initiatives in the Department.

Evaluation Program

The Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) provides advice, policy and program coordination, and leadership in the implementation, management, and development of activities related to public health and science, as directed by the Secretary. OPHS helps HHS conduct broad-based public health assessments to better define public health problems and solutions. It assists other components of HHS in anticipating future public health issues and problems and helps ensure that HHS designs and implements appropriate approaches, interventions, and evaluations that will maintain, sustain, and improve the health of the Nation. OPHS provides leadership and policy recommendations on population-based public health and science and, at the Secretary's direction, leads or coordinates initiatives that cut across agencies and operating divisions. In addition, OPHS communicates and interacts, on behalf of the Secretary, with national and international professional and constituency organizations on matters of public health and science. Finally, OPHS's unique role allows it to use its resources to link important HHS programs or fill gaps in areas needing better policy formulation and coordination.

The FY 1999 OPHS evaluation strategy focuses on public health and science issues that cut across multiple interests of the operating divisions and requires a coordinated approach to achieve the most effective results. OPHS evaluations support the Surgeon General and the Assistant Secretary for Health in the respective roles as the Nation’s top doctor and senior advisor for public health and science to the Secretary. OPHS also conducts evaluations specific to the needs of the programs operated from the offices located within OPHS, such as Women’s Health, Minority Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Research Integrity, and Emergency Preparedness. Some evaluation funds are made available to the ten HHS Regional Health Administrators. In keeping with its role within the Department, OPHS does not undertake evaluations more appropriately and effectively undertaken by operating divisions of HHS or by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).