The biomedical and socio-cultural and behavioral research strategy reflects recent assessments of Federal efforts to develop safe and effective HIV and cancer therapies, which have indicated that much basic research remains to be done. To improve health, research is needed on the biomedical, social, cultural, psychological and behavioral factors which influence individuals' exposure, susceptibility, treatment and recovery from disease. Variations in ability to comply with treatment regimens need to be better understood. The influences of social context, peer, family and community pressure in such situations also need to be better understood. Gender, socioeconomic, as well as racial/ethnic differences in disease incidence and prevalence must be examined.
The health systems and services research strategy supports research on how to deliver more cost-effective mix of preventive, treatment and population-based health services to all population groups, and on research that enables citizens and other public and private decision-makers to make more informed decisions. For example, two recent clinical practice guidelines, addressing problems of low back pain and fluid in the inner ear of children, could reduce health care expenditures by more than $15 billion. It is clear that research and development investments on the effectiveness of the entire health care system--from clinical, preventive, and public health interventions to managerial, organizational, and financial strategies--coupled with research on the effective dissemination of these findings--can improve the value we receive for our health care dollars. It is also important to link existing public health and personal care data bases in the public and private sectors. This will call for an unprecedented level of federal-state and public-private sector cooperation.
The health promotion and disease and injury prevention R&D strategy is to develop the knowledge base to manage and reduce the human and financial burden of preventable injury, disease and disability. This strategy will also provide individuals, communities and the government with the information they need to promote healthier lives, and to reduce disease, injury and disability. This strategy includes monitoring health problems, surveying health measures, developing and testing effective strategies, and strengthening individual and community involvement and responsibility for sustainable prevention.
The food safety, security and production research strategy is to meet the growing food needs of the nation and the world with a technology base for a sustainable system to efficiently produce and deliver abundant, safe, and healthful food to the public while strengthening the economy and contributing to ecosystem harmony. The strategy will focus on research to improve food safety and quality and to preserve, maintain, characterize and utilize the genetic resources of life forms important to food production.
The human nutrition research strategy is to enhance our knowledge of the critical role of diet and physical activity in human health and disease, and to support Americans in achieving healthier and more productive lives. The strategy will facilitate research and development coordination across agencies, help disseminate new knowledge to the public, and support the development of sound national food and nutrition policies.
To be successful, strong partnerships among researchers and disciplines, across organizations, and with the public, industry, academia and government at all levels are required for a successful scientific enterprise that will support and cost- effectively expand national technological capabilities, economic growth and competitiveness. CHSF and forum participants have identified both CHSF-specific research and development initiatives and cross-cutting research and development issues that are important not only to CHSF but also to other NSTC committees. These areas are outlined below, and information on current and future CHSF agency activities is provided in this strategic planning document. CHSF will continue to refine these plans in the future.
HEALTH SYSTEMS AND SERVICES INITIATIVE--This initiative includes research and development needed to deliver a more cost-effective mix of preventive, treatment and population-based health services to all population groups. It would also provide information to enable citizens and other decision-makers to make more informed health service decisions. This initiative includes research to increase the understanding of public and private decision-makers on how to integrate population-based public health and personal care services, and on how to improve the balance between prevention and treatment. This initiative supports public and private innovation and reforms now underway in U.S. and international health care marketplaces by providing the information needed to improve private and public sector operations. This initiative also improves how research results are disseminated and used by consumers and policy-makers.
GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD INITIATIVE--This initiative is a comprehensive program to preserve, maintain, characterize, and utilize the genetic resources of life forms important to food production. This research and development is needed to meet the growing food needs of the nation and the world with a technology base for a sustainable system to efficiently produce and deliver abundant and healthful food to the public while strengthening the economy and contributing to ecosystem harmony.
FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY INITIATIVE--This initiative includes research and development needed to assure the safety and quality of food for consumers. This initiative would include research and development to identify and reduce significant food-borne risks for human health, including surveillance and quality assurance. Research is needed to improve food processing technologies, sterilization and irradiation techniques, and waste management. This initiative supports research and development on compositionally enhanced foods and better understanding of how food components improve health.
HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE AND INJURY PREVENTION INITIATIVE--Promoting health through preventing disease, injury and disability is a necessary companion to health care. Research and development in this area can reduce the human and financial costs of health care and long-term disability, and support increased individual and community responsibility and involvement. Expanded research and development is necessary in areas such as the following: vaccine development, emerging health threats, aggressive and violence- related behaviors, drug abuse and smoking, mental disorders, reproductive and child health, environmental and occupational health risks, chronic disease control, injury control and prevention.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR RESEARCH AND DECISION-MAKING--This includes the design, development and implementation of data systems for current and future R&D and surveillance needed to improve the nation's health, safety and food. This includes national health, safety and food data systems needed to maintain active surveillance, collect national health statistics, monitor risks, fuel vital research, evaluate results and inform the public. This includes coordinating and integrating ongoing public and private data and information collection, and improving use of existing information and surveillance systems by expanding them to include factors such as environmental, behavioral, occupational and socioeconomic factors. The need to maintain, update, build, integrate and better use information systems necessary to conduct research, maintain surveillance, and evaluate performance is the single greatest obstacle to CHSF agency efforts. The systems need to be automated, linkable and accessible, as well as timely and complete.
INVESTING IN THE RESEARCH CONTINUUM--The nation needs a multidisciplinary scientific agenda with a core of long term, high risk fundamental research that is interactively linked to applied research, clinical and field trials, technology applications, and marketed products. Private sector incentives to conduct fundamental research should be improved. Federally- supported research should be peer reviewed. This scientific agenda will enable the nation to use research results to support knowledge-based, cost-effective health, safety and food policies; and sustainable economic growth and competitiveness. Greater attention is needed to improve the interface between fundamental research, evaluation, information dissemination, and technology transfer.
PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF 21ST CENTURY SCIENTISTS--This includes training and supporting creative investigators, especially beginning investigators, to conduct fundamental, applied and cross-disciplinary research on health, safety and food. This research drives the scientific enterprise. Maintaining the leadership position of the United States in the life sciences depends on producing outstanding beginning investigators and supporting an array of professional opportunities for them. This includes assessing the effectiveness of programs supporting beginning investigators.
INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION (SCIENCE LITERACY)--A continuous effort to effectively communicate the results of research to the public is needed. This includes basic K-12 science education in all areas of health, safety and food; science writing and reporting; a variety of electronic media, information resources, extension services, product labeling, and other targeted communications. Widely disseminating the results of research will increase the public's capability to make more informed personal choices, improve their health and make a difference in their daily lives.
PARTNERSHIP FOR HUMAN PRODUCTIVITY--People are the world's most important resource. This research will clarify the processes that shape the intellectual, physical and emotional capacities of people. This includes multidisciplinary research to understand the biomedical, socio-cultural and behavioral factors that contribute to mental and physical health, as well as research that examines the interrelationships among individual action, family behavior, schools and other institutions. This partnership includes research on violence, and the Human Capital Agenda, which is intended to increase our understanding and ability to maximize human capacities, as well as violence-related research.