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Highlights of HHS Recovery Act Activities

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Recovery Act funds are continuing to have a significant impact on the lives of individuals and communities across the country affected by the economic crisis, as well as investing in the future.

HHS has made more than $150 billion available to States, Tribes, local communities and other entities to help them cope with the effects of the economic downturn and to support important investments in the future growth of the American economy. Of those funds, more than $20 billion will be available in the coming years to encourage the transition to electronic health records (EHR).

The following are highlights of HHS Recovery Act programs:


72,000 jobs created or retained in the fourth quarter of FY 2010, the highest number of jobs reported by States, universities, health centers and other recipients.

Health Information Technology

Nearly 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 doctors have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments through the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs, as of January 2012. It is estimated that more than $20 billion in incentive payments will be made in the years ahead to ensure that doctors and hospitals take advantage of health information technology to the benefit of patients and the nation’s health care system.  

State Medicaid Services

HHS has provided nearly $98 billion in fiscal relief to States and to maintain State Medicaid services as the number of people eligible for Medicaid grew significantly during the economic downturn.

Scientific Research

More than 20,000 grants for scientific research, with progress and results already being reported, were awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

The Cancer Genome Atlas, for example, is significantly accelerating the pace of research that will lead to evidence-based targeted diagnosis and treatment of over 20 types of cancers, including ovarian and brain cancers.

Early Childhood Care and Education

Approximately 338,000 children received child care subsidies through the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Nearly 59,700 children and families benefited from early childhood development services provided by Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Employment Assistance

260,000* jobs were subsidized in 39 States, the District of Columbia, two Territories, and eight Tribes by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Contingency Fund. This program supports employment programs, including full-time jobs, summer jobs for low-income youth, and work programs for individuals with disabilities. 
*Reported by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Health Care Services

4.4 million new patients, many of whom are uninsured, in underserved communities received affordable, quality primary health care Community Health Centers.

4,000 primary care clinicians provided immediate services to underserved populations through the National Health Service Corps.

The Indian Health Service is continuing to increase access to quality health care through construction and facility improvements for American Indians and Alaska Natives living in rural and hard-to-reach communities.

  • 9,000 American Indians will be served by the new Cheyenne River Health Center in rural Eagle Butte, S.D., which was completed in 2011.
  • A new hospital in Nome, Alaska, is expected to be finished by the end of 2012.

Healthy Living

44 communities, reaching more than 50 million people, are reducing obesity by improving access to nutritional food and increasing physical activity, and reducing tobacco use by implementing evidence-based prevention and wellness strategies. For example:

  • Approximately 650,000 people have greater access to healthy foods as a result of Seattle/King County, Washington Department of Public Health’s work with corner stores in “food deserts” to introduce healthy food options.
  • The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools’ new tobacco-free campus policy is protecting 40,000 students and 2,500 staff from secondhand smoke in more than 100 Catholic schools.

More than 50,000 elderly Americans completed training by the Administration on Aging’s chronic disease self-management programs in 48 States and Territories, allowing them to better take control of their own health.

More than 7.2 million doses of vaccine were made available for children, adolescents and adults.

To learn more, see Department of Health and Human Services’ Recovery Act programs and our stories of those helped by this funding.