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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Message from the Secretary - Katheleen Sebelius: October 17th


Dear HHS Colleagues,

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance throughout the lapse in Federal funding. The uncertainty of the past few weeks has created many difficult situations, and the shutdown has imposed hardships on many employees as well as the public we serve.

I would like to commend the manner in which you, the HHS family, managed the shutdown and all of its frustrating and unfortunate effects. For those of you returning to work today, we missed you and welcome back. I am grateful for your professionalism and patience. Thank you for understanding that your status was based on a technical  statutory definition mostly determined by how your work is funded, and not the value we attribute to the important work you do each and every day here at the Department. And I am grateful too for the dedication and hard work of those who worked during the shutdown. For those of you who worked for the duration, were called in for specific tasks, or returned earlier to perform activities related to the safety of human life or other activities, your service under extremely difficult circumstances is greatly appreciated.

Most importantly, I want to emphasize we value every member of our HHS family. And, once again all of you have demonstrated the resilience and value of our Federal workforce. Now we need to focus our energy on moving forward and getting our programs back up and running.

I expect many of you will have questions about what is next and how to get started. Our leadership team and your managers will begin reaching out to you over the next few days to provide guidance and answer your questions.

Once again I want to thank you again for your hard work, dedication, and patience through this process, and for your continued service to the Department, the Nation, and the American people.
Kathleen Sebelius