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HHS Keeps President’s Promise of Transparency

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Screen shot 2009-12-15 at 4.23.59 PMThree ideas from the Department of Health and Human Services are results of the accessible federal decision making process. In a press released dated this week, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Information Streaming, IdeaLab and YouTube “What To Do About the Flu and Prevention PSA Contest” have been made using the presidents memorandum for open and transparent government.

The open government initiate has been changing the way Americans interact with their government and the way the government interacts with its citizens.

Information Streaming of HHS biomedical research innovation is part of the National Assets for High-Tech Growth commitment and uses new technology to provide better information. This product is available for the public and made public through the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. It helps open up data.gov and makes the website more accessible.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said, “By using the latest information technologies available, the NIH Intramural Research Program provides instantaneous access to information about opportunities to license NIH inventions or to partner with NIH scientists. “

IdeaLab is a web based peer-to-peer program for employees at the CDC. The program is completely open where an employee can post and idea or question and peers can review or reply. It does not however allow for anonymous posting.

“IdeaLab helps CDC better leverage its brainpower to generate and incubate ideas, solve problems, encourage collaboration, and promote broad adoption of the best solutions by tapping into the knowledge, skills, and creativity of our staff regardless of where someone actually works, ” said Joanne Andreadis, Ph.D., CDC Office of Strategy and Innovation Team Leader.

Lastly, the YouTube contest encouraged the public to create a PSA about helping stop the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. More than 250 videos were submitted and the winning PSA was featured on national television.

“Our PSA Contest tapped the creativity and energy that thrives on YouTube,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Jenny Backus.  “We engaged people and they in turn engaged each other.  Our important messages about how to prevent the flu reached a new audience of people at increased risk from the H1N1 virus.”

These initiatives were in response to the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government issued by the President his first day in office.HHS

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