Department of Health

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is a cabinet-level department of the United States federal government. It was founded in 1953, by U.S President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and is commonly referred to as simply “the health department.”

It serves to oversee and protect the health of U.S. citizens and provide necessary human services. It is headed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is appointed by the sitting U.S. president, with approval from the Senate.

HHS Responsibilities

The HHS exists “to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering advances . . .  in medicine, public health, and social services,” according to their website.

They manage all U.S. government-run health, welfare, and health IT programs and initiatives, and they operate with a larger budget than all other federal agencies combined. The agency is actually composed of several smaller divisions, the:

  1. Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  2. Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  3. Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  6. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  7. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  8. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  9. Indian Health Service (IHS)
  10. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), a federal uniformed service overseen by the surgeon general, is also associated with the HHS.

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