New department within HHS to oversee allocation of stimulus package healthcare funding

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The Department of Health and Human Services has created an agency to oversee the distribution of the roughly $137 billion it received as a result of the economic stimulus package.

The Office of Recovery Act Coordination will organize the allocation of the funds to nursing homes, hospitals, community health programs and other healthcare agencies across the country, the department disclosed Wednesday. Dennis Williams, a 20-year HHS veteran, will head up the project as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Recovery Act Coordination. In a statement, HHS spokeswoman Jenny Backus said the new agency would "enhance and streamline [HHS'] efforts to get critical resources and potential new job opportunities to the American people during tough times."

According to HHS, the agency has already distributed $3 billion in healthcare recovery funds. For more information on how stimulus package healthcare funds are being used, and on the new Office of Recovery Act Coordination, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery.