Office on Women's Health Blog

HHS Issues Challenges to Find Best Practices in Maternal Health

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announced two challenges to improve maternal health. The first challenge will address care for women with hypertension who are pregnant and/or postpartum, while the second challenge will address breastfeeding initiation and continuation disparities among breastfeeding mothers. The partnership will bridge data gaps in maternal health outcomes across the country.

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HHS Awards Contract to Improve Maternal Health Data Collection and Drive Clinical Quality Improvement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announced an $8 million nationwide contract with Premier, Inc. to improve maternal health data and create a network of at least 200 hospitals to deploy clinical, evidence-based best practices in maternity care. This announcement builds upon HHS's Improving Maternal Health in America Initiative as outlined in the President's FY 2021 Budget. This vital data will inform policy and validate evidence-based practice to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.

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Surgeon General Releases Call to Action on Hypertension Control

Today, Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., issued a Call to Action urging Americans to recognize and address hypertension control as a national, public health priority. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension provides strategies for those on the frontlines of health care and public health to address this costly, dangerous and far too common chronic health condition.

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Trump Administration Deploys Abbott BinaxNOW Tests to States

The Trump Administration today detailed the national distribution plan for the Abbott BinaxNOW Ag Card rapid test to assist Governors’ efforts to continue to safely reopen their states.

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Trump Administration Takes Action to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Today, under the leadership of President Trump, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Assistant Secretary for Health, issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available. This guidance authorizes state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer, and state-licensed or registered pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of the qualified pharmacist to administer, COVID-19 vaccinations to persons ages 3 or older, subject to certain requirements. Read more

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HHS Extends Coverage For COVID-19 Screening Tests at Congregate Facilities during the Pandemic

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Assistant Secretary for Health, extended coverage under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to licensed healthcare practitioners prescribing or administering point-of-care COVID-19 tests, using anterior nares specimen collection or self-collection, for screening in congregate facilities across the Nation. Enhancing the safety of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, long-term-care facilities, and other facilities where people congregate to receive care or education or to work is critical for our Nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using COVID-19 tests to screen for infections, including in asymptomatic individuals, is a key part of that effort. Read more

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Trump Administration Will Deploy 150 Million Rapid Tests in 2020

Major Investment made to scale up rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests for vulnerable and schools Today, as part of an historic initiative led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of and Defense (DOD), the Administration awarded a contract for $760 million to Abbott for delivery of 150 million rapid, Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care (POC) SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests to expand strategic, evidence-based testing in the United States.  Testing will be potentially deployed to schools and to assist with serving other special needs populations. Read more

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Catch Up to Get Ahead: The Role of Healthcare Providers in Getting Children Up-to-Date on Vaccines

RADM Felicia Collins M.D., MPH, FAAP, Dorothy Fink, M.D.

Vaccinations are more important than ever this year because of the disrupting impact that COVID-19 has had on the nation’s routinely recommended vaccination schedule. As we recognize National Immunization Awareness Month in August, protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) is vital to keeping children healthy, preventing VPD outbreaks, and reducing the burden of infectious diseases.

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HHS Expands Access to Childhood Vaccines during COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a third amendment to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to increase access to lifesaving childhood vaccines and decrease the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks as children across the United States return to daycare, preschool and school.

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HHS Details Multiple COVID-19 Testing Statistics as National Test Volume Surges

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that more than 59 million COVID-19 tests have now been completed nationally – averaging over 810,000 per day over the past seven days. Over the past month, the percentage of lab tests that were completed within three days was 45; over the last seven days, it was over 56.

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