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500-Day Plan Information

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"I enjoy solving problems and am guided by selected long-term goals. I then rely on a 500-day plan to create timetable of short-term actions that chart a course for future progress. It's a 500-day plan with a 5,000-day horizon."

- HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt

What It Is

Secretary Mike Leavitt uses a 500-Day Plan as a management tool to guide his energies in fulfilling the President's vision of a healthier and more hopeful America. The plan is a personal expression of many of Secretary Leavitt's priorities and provides direction to the daily leadership and management of the Department.

The strategies in the Plan focus on actions during a rolling 500-day period that will achieve significant progress for the American people over the long term. The plan is both flexible and dynamic, and it will be updated every 200 days.

What It Is Not

It may be helpful to describe what the 500-Day Plan is not. It is not an exhaustive list of the Department’s priorities; it is a simple declaration of the Secretary's key focus areas. It does not replace the HHS strategic plan; it complements it. It does not cover all of the Secretary's priorities, but it is what he will spend at least half of his time on. It includes actions the Department can complete within 500 days that will yield results within 5,000 days.


Secretary Mike Leavitt subscribes to a core set of public policy principles. These principles of governance form the philosophical backbone for how he approaches and solves problems

The ten principles, listed below, are not all inclusive, but do provide the philosophical underpinnings for his 500-Day Plan.

  1. Care for the truly needy, foster self-reliance.
  2. National standards, neighborhood solutions.
  3. Collaboration, not polarization.
  4. Solutions transcend political boundaries.
  5. Markets before mandates.
  6. Protect privacy.
  7. Science for facts, process for priorities.
  8. Reward results, not programs.
  9. Change a heart, change a nation.
  10. Value life.

Secretary Leavitt's 500-Day Plan