U.S. Flag

Making a difference in how people find health information, today and into the future.


Digital talk Blog

October 12, 2012

By: Gregory Downing, D.O., Ph.D.Executive Director for Innovation for the Immediate Office of the Secretary at HHS

For the first time ever, the most recent round of HHSinnovates Awards featured a “People’s Choice Award”, in which all six finalists were showcased for public voting.  The results were astronomical; nearly 18,000 votes were cast.

October 9, 2012

By: Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services

Studies of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the Haiti cholera outbreak demonstrated that social media trends can indicate disease outbreak more quickly than traditional surveillance methods. Early identification of an outbreak allows health officials to respond quickly to protect communities.

October 4, 2012

By: Deborah A. Temkin, Ph.D., Bullying Prevention Coordinator, U.S. Department of Education

One of the challenges with social media in the federal government is how to interact directly with followers. Often, we have limited capacity to reply to direct questions. Holding events such as a twitter townhall, however, allows a set timeframe for followers to directly interact with government representatives.

October 3, 2012

By: J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health (Acting), Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Calling all software developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators – the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks your help in empowering women in minority and underserved communities to fight and prevent cancer. 

October 3, 2012

By: Richard Stapleton, Deputy Director, Web Communications and New Media Division

So we are liberating our data. So what? Tell me why this is good, one person writes. Tell me this is not bad, writes another.

September 27, 2012

By: Richard Stapleton, Deputy Director, Web Communications and New Media Division

Our commitment to consolidating web content into topic-based websites has generated much interest. One commenter asks about alternate models:

September 24, 2012

By: Jon Booth Director, Website & New Media Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a major redesign of the Medicare.gov website making content more accessible and easier for beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to understand.

September 12, 2012

By: Richard Stapleton, Deputy Director, Web Communications and New Media Division

We’re getting lots of comments, as you can see; some critical; some complimentary, some questioning.  One question jumped out as a great way to explain just what “interaction” means here, and how we hope to benefit from the conversation:

September 7, 2012

UPDATE: Voting is now closed

By: Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Typically when you think of government, the word “innovation” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. Well it’s time to change that! The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proud to announce that for the first time ever, the public will have the opportunity to vote on the finalists of the HHSinnovates Program. That means, your vote will help determine which project will be selected as the winner of the “People’s Choice”.

September 4, 2012

By: Prudence Goforth, Director, Web Communications and New Media Division

Thanks to everyone who has commented and do keep your comments coming. We have received thoughtful, good ideas on what you want to see. Many encourage the use of mobile so that access is immediate when and where health information or services are needed. I want to answer some of the comments here and will continue do so from time to time.

August 30, 2012

By: Andrew Wilson, SAMHSA Office of Communications

Public participation and collaboration are central to making the Digital Strategy work. At the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they are central to our work to improve the organization and presentation of SAMHSA’s website.

August 23, 2012

By: Lakshmi Grama, Senior Digital Content Strategist, NCI Office of Communications and Education (NIH)

Who seeks cancer information on a mobile phone? What information would they be looking for? These were some of the questions that my colleagues and I faced as we planned our strategy to help people access NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) resources anywhere, anytime, on any device.

August 23, 2012

By Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel released the federal government’s new digital strategy which aims to shift the way government information is accessed and consumed. Instead of focusing on producing a final product, which has been common practice for years, the government will now be making content more accurate, available and secure. One major tool in the information technology tool box being used to achieve this goal is the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

August 23, 2012

By: Prudence Goforth, Director, Web Communications and New Media Division

Digital Strategy. The new buzzword. A fancy way (in government-speak) of saying we’re going to manage the Web strategically; cut loose our content, work better and put people first. We have a start, but we have miles to go, and we need you to help guide the way.

The concept rocks! But it demands serious change. We need your ideas. We need to ask your opinion. And we will listen.

By the Numbers

  • 32
  • API-enabled databases
  • 33
  • Mobile websites & apps
  • 1.3 million
  • Static webpages

HHS Digital Strategy Milestones

Read the Digital
Government Strategy

Principles Into Practice!

This website puts Digital Strategy to work:

  • Multiple Calls to Action
  • Moderated blog
  • Open source platform
  • RSS Content feed
  • Social media engagement
  • Fully 508 accessible
  • Plain Language
  • Metrics on every page
  • Mobile-ready coming soon!