Performance Improvement 2009. Introduction


This report fulfills a statutory obligation of the Department of Health and Human Services. Section 241 of the Public Health Service Act directs the Secretary to inform Congress annually concerning findings from evaluations conducted by the Department. As required, the report is submitted to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Performance Improvement 2009 is the fifteenth annual report in this series. These reports, and the database from which they are drawn, can be found through This report cites the most recent evaluations completed during the year ended September 30, 2008.

Summarizing 173 evaluations, the report provides an easy way for Congress and the public to find the latest information about the functioning and impact of departmental programs.

This report was prepared by staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation based on study summaries submitted by project officers and departmental staff.

Organization of the Report

Chapter I describes some of the ways program performance is assessed, measured, monitored and evaluated in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Chapter II provides full abstracts for recently completed studies, categorized under the Department’s four Goals and their corresponding Objectives (found at Appendix B). Each entry comprises:

  • The Key Question the study sought to address;
  • A Summary describing the research and highlighting important findings; and
  • Tracking Information, including the sponsoring agency; Federal contact (for questions or copies of reports not available online), and the name of the organization or contractor which performed the work.

Appendices provide a variety of useful supplemental reference information such as a list all the federal domestic assistance programs administered by the Department (Appendix A) and explanations of common acronyms and a glossary of terms in the report (Appendix D).

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