Law Dictionary

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Agency

legal Definition of Department of Health and Human Services

federal executive division responsible for carrying out government programs and policies relating to human health, welfare, and income security. The department consists of eight divisions—the Administration for Children and families (ACF), the Administration on Aging, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration (q.v.), the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of the Inspector General, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Public Health Service, which includes the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH, has broad responsibility for protecting the health of the nation's population. SAMHSA focuses its efforts on the prevention and treatment of addictive and mental disorders. HHS also maintains a civil rights office to ensure that programs are administered free from discrimination.

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