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Regional Health Administrators

As the senior federal public health official and scientist in the region, the Regional Health Administrator performs essential functions for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in three major areas: prevention, preparedness, and agency-wide coordination.  These functions directly and indirectly support the work of the Department and the individual federal agencies. 

Prevention:  The Regional Health Administrators are the regional arm by which the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) promotes the Department’s prevention mission and various prevention initiatives, with a special emphasis on women’s health, minority health, family planning and reproductive health as well as HIV/AIDs prevention.  Because of their unique position, as HHS leaders in long term field assignments, the Regional Health Administrators are able to serve as effective high-level departmental liaisons throughout the country with Federal, Tribal, State, and local health officials, as well as community-based organizations and health/medical institutions on matters of public and community health. 

Preparedness:  In partnership with the Regional Emergency Coordinators of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Regional Health Administrators serve a key regional public health leadership role in matters of all-hazards preparedness. Regional Health Administrators foster collaboration among HHS preparedness staff and State and local leadership in the region and among other Federal agents on all-hazards preparedness activities of the Department.  In actual public health emergencies, Regional Health Administrators may assume the role of Senior Health Official, as directed by ASPR and the Assistant Secretary of Health.  They also serve as senior consultants to the Incident Response Coordination Team, as well as to the Regional Directors during any regional emergency response.

Facilitating Agency-wide coordination and collaboration across HHS Agencies:  Perhaps the most important role of the RHAs is to assist HHS’ coordination in a fashion that maximizes the effectiveness of the agencies in their overall mission, as well as the effectiveness of the various individual programs.  The Regional Health Administrator’s mission-critical task in this regard is to help ensure that efforts to promote health are well-aligned in the field – catalyzing collaboration where appropriate, minimizing redundancy, and providing feedback to the agencies and the Secretary to maximize programmatic effectiveness and to ensure a well integrated effort for the Department overall.  In each region, the Regional Health Administrator is uniquely situated to provide support to various initiatives of all OPDIV health missions, especially those which cross functional program lines.