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Implementation of the National Pain Strategy

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and other U.S. Government agencies and departments has developed an implementation and evaluation plan.


The objectives of the National Pain Strategy (NPS) will be implemented through achieving its discrete deliverables with the support of federal stakeholders and advice from external stakeholders.


Principals' Coordinating Council (Council)


Leads of Federal Stakeholder Agencies*: AHRQ, ASFR, ASPE, CDC, CMS, FDA, IHS, NIH, OS, OSG, SAMHSA


The Council will provide feedback and recommendations to the Steering Committee and Implementation Work Groups regarding the cross-agency efforts required to address NPS objectives and deliverables. The Council will meet two times per year  


  • Consideration and deliberation of challenges identified by IWGs,
  • Evaluating and setting current and future policy direction and priorities for NPS implementation,
  • Identifying resources needed to assist IWGs to effectuate implementation, and,
  • Promoting interagency coordination across HHS agencies and federal departments.

Implementation Steering Committee (ISC)


Representatives of Federal Stakeholder Agencies*: AHRQ, ASFR, ASPE, CDC, CMS, DoD, FDA, NIH, OASH, ODPHP, OS, SAMHSA, VHA


The ISC will provide oversight and guidance to the Implementation Work Groups as they address the objectives of the NPS.  The ISC will meet monthly.  


  • Establishing the IWGs and issuing the charge to address the NPS objectives and deliverables which fall under their purview,
  • Monitor the progress, efforts, and progress of the IWGs,
  • Report progress to the Council,
  • Set agenda for bi-annual Council meetings, and,
  • Facilitate opportunities to collaborate and communication with key external stakeholders to disseminate information and progress on the NPS deliverables.

Implementation Work Groups (IWGs)


Members will be representatives of US Government agencies and departments, selected by the Implementation Steering Committee.


The IWGs will be co-chaired by a principal and a federal staff lead. The ISC will select staff leads with relevant expertise to lead the activities of the work groups and will designate appropriate work group members to address NPS deliverable-directed assignments. The IWGs will meet monthly or as more frequently as needed.  


  • Develop and implement work plans that are aligned with NPS deliverables
  • Monitor and track progress through the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation’s Strategic Planning System.

*Acronym Key

AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality  
ASFR = Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources
ASPE = Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CMS = Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
DoD = U.S. Department of Defense
FDA = Food and Drug Administration
IHS = Indian Health Service
NIH = National Institutes of Health
OASH = Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
ODPHP = Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
OS = Office of the Secretary
SAMHSA = Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
VHA = Veterans Health Administration