Skip over global navigation links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Health Security Strategy

national health security strategy of the united states of america 2009 One common vision is needed to achieve national health security. To fill this need, the National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) serves as a forward looking document that provides strategic direction for the coordination of the Nation’s health security system. The NHSS informs policies, resource allocation, programs, and activities to improve national health security.

In 2009, ASPR released the first NHSS.  The purpose of the NHSS was to help guide the Nation and improve the community’s ability to prevent, prepare for, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from incidents with potentially adverse health impacts. It was developed in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives from local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal governments; community-based organizations; private-sector firms; and academia.

The NHSS is designed to achieve two goals: 1) build community resilience, and 2) strengthen and sustain health and emergency response systems. The goals are followed by ten strategic objectives (see figure below) that describe what must be accomplished to address current gaps in national health security and to maintain improvements in health security over the longer term. The strategic objectives, in turn, are supported by a set of 50 draft operational capabilities, which provide the means to accomplish the goals of NHSS and are the “building blocks” of health security. The capabilities are organized into eight general areas: community resilience and recovery; infrastructure; situational awareness; incident management; disease containment and mitigation; health care services; population safety and health; and quality improvement and accountability.


Figure:  Framework for National Health Security

This figure is a flowchart with three levels:  Goals (top), Strategic Objectives (middle), and Operational Capabilities (bottom).  The chart flows from bottom to top. The Goals of the NHSS are to 1) build community resillience; and 2) strengthen and sustain health and emergency response systems.  There are 10 Strategic Objectives:  1) Informed and empowered individuals and communities; 2) National health security workforce; 3) Integrated, scalable health care delivery systems; 4) Situational awareness; 5) Timely and effective communications; 6) Effective countermeasures enterprise; 7) Prevention/mitigation of environmental, other health threats; 8) Post-incident health recovery in planning and response; 9) Cross-border and global partnerships; 10) Science, evaluation, and quality improvement.

  • This page last reviewed: May 22, 2017