Former Acting CDO, Department of Health and Human Services
Kevin Duvall actually founded his own office in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in response to the urgent need for accurate information about the spread and impact of the virus. He did so by transforming HHS’ ability to translate data into action.
Before opening the office, data functions were managed by the HHS chief information officer. While the two teams still work closely together, the pandemic underscored the need to develop a robust pipeline for translating HHS’ vast data assets into action.
Duvall’s team serves as the principal group responsible for ensuring the agency’s data assets are leveraged to the fullest potential to maximize benefit to the American people.
“Unprecedented times have demonstrated now, more than ever, the need for findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data that works seamlessly across HHS, the federal government and our state, local, territorial and tribal partners,” Duvall says.
Moving forward, the team is heavily focused on improving data sharing across the department with an upcoming platform, HHS Connect, and guidance from the Data Governance Board. HHS Connect is an internal portal for data science, collaboration and interoperability across HHS that will encourage data users to interact, discuss best practices, discover tips and explore new sources for data.
The team will also continue to strengthen HHS’ ability to leverage data as a strategic asset, addressing major issues like COVID-19 and health equity across the country.
Additionally, Duvall says, his team will lead the Federal CDO Council’s Data Sharing Working Group to ensure prioritization of developing basic data pipelines and foundational infrastructure before using new technology.
“While tech is a core part of the modern data movement, agencies should set up dedicated resources and budget to support the fair use of data,” he says. “With COVID, hours matter, lessons learned and taught through COVID will apply to all the missions OCDO will support.”