Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI)
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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About the ODP Reorganization

I have heard that the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is being reorganized. What, specifically, is changing about ODP?

The Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) operated within its parent office, ODP. As of January 10, 2012, the activities, staff, and other resources of OMAR were combined within ODP. OMAR no longer exists as a separate entity within ODP.

What effect will this structural change have on the functions of OMAR and activities that are in the planning phase?

The following activities of OMAR will continue under ODP leadership: 1) the Medicine in the Media course; 2) the Medicine: Mind the Gap seminar series; and 3) the NIH Consensus Development Program. NIH Consensus Development Conferences are expected to be held less frequently and when held will focus on topics of highest impact and public health importance. The following meeting will be held on October 27–29, 2012: NIH Consensus Development Conference: Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, sponsored primarily by NICHD. State-of-the-Science conferences will no longer be conducted.

Will the information made available through OMAR’s website and ordering system continue to be available?

All web content will continue to be made available and updated as appropriate. Hard copy versions of statements and other conference materials will continue to be made available on a limited basis, pending the availability of resources to do so.

Why is this change being made?

Reorganizing ODP will strengthen its leadership and coordination of NIH disease prevention research. This enhanced role is expected to increase collaborations on high-priority, trans-NIH and Departmental health issues and to stimulate prevention research where insufficient evidence of effectiveness has been found. OMAR staff has considerable expertise in developing and disseminating standards of evidence for the design, implementation, and reporting of prevention research. Additionally, they have the contacts and experience in working with partners and stakeholders in reaching consensus on priority areas in prevention science and the rigors of scientific methods needed to promote its value. Thus, integrating OMAR functions and personnel into ODP will functionally consolidate prevention efforts and provide a more cohesive infrastructure for planning, prioritizing, and disseminating NIH prevention research. In addition, this reorganization will lead to greater operational efficiencies and make available additional resources to support NIH disease prevention research activities.