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Latest Top (4) News

Azar and Administration Officials Discuss President Trump's Plan to End HIV in Indianapolis, IN

Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan, joined state and local health officials at the Damien Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a tour of the health clinic and a roundtable discussion on the work being done in Indiana and specifically Marion County to provide treatment and prevention services for those living with HIV.

Marion County is one of the 48 counties identified in the Ending the HIV Epidemic in America initiative that along with Washington, D.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico, and seven southern states see more than 50 percent of new HIV transmissions. The President’s initiative, announced in this year’s State of the Union, will provide resources to these local communities to expand HIV prevention and treatment medication. HHS also recently announced a historic donation of billions of dollars of PrEP, HIV prevention medication, for up to 200,000 uninsured individuals a year for up to 11 years from Gilead Sciences.

Along the tour, Damien Center President and CEO Alan Witchey explained the comprehensive services provided to their clients. The Damien Center serves 4,000 individuals a year. Of those, approximately 1,200 are living with HIV and the remainder are provided with HIV testing or prevention services, such as PrEP. They discussed the intensive case-management they provide for clients, and services including housing assistance, walk-in testing, an in-house pharmacy for ease of filling prescriptions, and a treatment clinic.

At the roundtable, Indiana State Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box welcomed the participants. Secretary Azar, Director Redfield, and Director Grogan all spoke about the passion that President Trump has for this important public health initiative, and Secretary Azar commended the good work being done at the Damien Center and emphasized the importance of learning lessons from local communities including Marion County.

The roundtable provided an update on a number of important programs in Indiana regarding HIV treatment services, HIV and sexually-transmitted disease prevention, addressing viral hepatitis, and HIV epidemiological surveillance. Each of these programs is working to ensure that there is collaboration by all stakeholders at state and local levels so that the best care can be provided for individuals with HIV, and prevent transmission for those that are at-risk.

Learn more about the "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America."

Friday, August 2, 2019 - 16:30

Trump Administration Officials Visit Bloomington, IN as Baxter Signs Pledge to America's Workers

Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan visited Baxter International Inc.’s Bloomington, Indiana facility where Baxter signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to nearly 2,000 employee development opportunities over the next five years.

At Baxter, Secretary Azar and Director Grogan participated in a tour of Baxter’s manufacturing, research and development facilities, led by Baxter CEO Jose Almeida. In a roundtable after the tour, Almeida expressed the enthusiastic support of Baxter for President Trump’s executive order on Transforming American Kidney Health and discussed the need for employees at many of Baxter’s U.S. facilities.

At the signing ceremony, Almeida discussed the $500 million in potential investments in new and existing U.S. facilities that make and distribute products for peritoneal dialysis, supporting the Trump Administration kidney health initiative and potentially creating 1,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Secretary Azar spoke about the importance of the President’s Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative, which seeks to reduce the number of Americans developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by 25 percent by 2030; have 80 percent of new ESRD patients in 2025 receiving dialysis at home, benefiting from new treatment options, or receiving a transplant; and doubling the number of kidneys available for transplant by 2030.

Director Grogan discussed the roaring economy and the President’s Pledge to America’s Workers, an initiative that calls on employers large and small to create more jobs, strengthen our economy, and restore hopeful futures to countless families.

Bruce Pleskow, a Baxter employee and ESRD survivor, shared his story of how important peritoneal dialysis was to his battle with ESRD.

Almeida then signed the Pledge to America’s Workers to applause from the approximately 70 Baxter employees in attendance. Baxter joins more than 300 companies and organizations who have signed the Pledge contributing to over 12.7 million new education and training opportunities for American students and workers over the next five years.

Learn more about the Pledge to America’s Workers Initiative

Learn more about the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative

Friday, August 2, 2019 - 18:30

HHS OCR Secures Agreement with MSU to Resolve Investigation into Sexual Abuse by Larry Nassar

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), has entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with Michigan State University; the MSU HealthTeam (the multi-specialty medical practice of MSU, with approximately 260 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants in more than 40 clinics); and MSU Health Care,  Inc., a separate non-profit corporation (collectively, the MSU Entities), resolving a civil rights investigation related to Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of gymnasts and others while employed by MSU.

HHS OCR initiated the Title IX and Section 1557 compliance review of the MSU Entities after federal and state criminal investigations of Nassar, an osteopathic physician and associate professor at MSU, found that he had sexually abused hundreds of women and girls under his care over decades.  Nassar later pleaded guilty to felony criminal sexual conduct.  Additionally, William Strampel, the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been convicted of felony misconduct, which stems from a charge that he used his public office to sexually harass students.  Strampel also was convicted of willfully neglecting to monitor Nassar after an earlier investigation.  OCR’s remedy is appropriate and effective in light of their gross misconduct.

The agreement resolves HHS OCR’s compliance review of the MSU Entities, pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally assisted education programs or activities, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age and disability in certain health programs or activities.

The MSU Entities have agreed to:

  • revise their non-discrimination notices and sexual misconduct policies to clarify Title IX’s and Section 1557’s prohibitions on sex discrimination;
  • improve their processes for investigating and resolving Title IX and Section 1557 complaints (including for MSU-students, non-MSU-student patients, faculty and staff);
  • designate a responsible official to coordinate the acceptance, investigation and resolution of Title IX and Section 1557 complaints;
  • institute a new chaperone policy requiring authorized members of the health care team to be present at sensitive medical examinations and allowing patients to request chaperones according to sex;
  • when conducting sensitive examinations, provide the patient with an appropriate gown, privacy for undressing and dressing, and sensitive draping to maximize physical privacy; and
  • conduct all-staff training and provide bi-annual reports to HHS OCR during the three year term of the agreement.

“Perpetrating and tolerating sexual abuse of patients is not only a heinous breach of trust, it’s against federal law,” said Roger Severino, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights. “While Nassar and the dean who oversaw him have been rightly convicted of crimes, the institutional reforms that MSU has agreed to undertake will help ensure that no patient is ever victimized like this again.”


A copy of the voluntary resolution agreement can be found at:


For additional information on OCR’s work on sexual discrimination issues, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/sex-discrimination/index.html.

To learn more about non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age and disability; conscience and religious freedom; and health information privacy laws, and to find information on filing a complaint, visit us at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr.

Follow OCR on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HHSOCR.

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 09:15

Secretary Azar Statement on Department Leadership Changes

The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that John O’Brien will soon be departing as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Drug Pricing Reform and John Brooks, currently Principal Deputy Director of the Center for Medicare, will expand his current responsibilities to serve as Senior Advisor for Drug Pricing Reform.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:

“John O’Brien’s time at HHS will leave a legacy of lasting improvements to American healthcare, including the way that Americans pay for prescription drugs. From the beginning of President Trump’s administration, John led policy research, analysis and development on a number of important issues, including strengthening the Medicare program for our seniors and addressing the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Later, he turned his attention and deep expertise to prescription drug pricing. Prices and out-of-pocket costs are lower, and will go lower still, because of the work we did to execute on President Trump’s American Patients First blueprint. John was one of the key architects of that blueprint, he was one of the key leaders in its execution, and we are grateful for his service. John Brooks will bring significant experience from the top levels of the White House, HHS, and CMS to continue delivering on President Trump’s vision for lower drug prices, lower out-of-pocket costs, and more affordable healthcare for all Americans.”

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 15:15