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Dept. of Health and Human Services

Seal of the Department of Health and Human Services

Established: 1953
Activated: May 4, 1980
Secretary: Michael O. Leavitt
Deputy Secretary: Alex Azar
Budget: Discretionary: $67.2 billion (2006)
Mandatory: $573.5 billion (2006)
Employees: 67,000 (2004)

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, often abbreviated HHS, is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.

The department was created when President Jimmy Carter signed the Department of Education Organization Act (PL 96-88) into law on October 17, 1979. It split the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, (HEW), which included the G.I. Bill and Veterans' Administration into the Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Education. Both began operation on May 4, 1980.

It is administered by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, currently Michael O. Leavitt, who is appointed by the President of the United States. The United States Public Health Service, led by the Surgeon General, is the uniformed service of this agency.

Operating Divisions

It no longer includes the Social Security Administration, which was made independent in 1995.

Related legislation

  • 1946 - Hospital Survey and Construction Act (Hill-Burton Act) PL 79-725
  • 1949 - Hospital Construction Act PL 81-380
  • 1950 - Public Health Services Act Amendments PL 81-692
  • 1955 - Poliomyelitis Vaccination Assistance Act PL 84-377
  • 1956 - Health Research Facilities Act PL 84-835
  • 1960 - Social Security Amendments (Kerr-Mill aid) PL 86-778
  • 1961 - Community Health Services and Facilities Act PL 87-395
  • 1962 - Public Health Services Act PL 87-838
  • 1962 - Vaccination Assistance PL 87-868
  • 1963 - Mental Retardation Facilities Construction Act/Community Mental Health Centers Act PL 88-164
  • 1964 - Nurse Training Act PL 88-581
  • 1965 - Community Health Services and Facilities Act PL 89-109
  • 1965 - Medicare PL 89-97
  • 1965 - Mental Health Centers Act Amendments PL 89-105
  • 1965 - Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke Amendments PL 89-239
  • 1966 - Comprehensive Health Planning and Service Act PL 89-749
  • 1970 - Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act PL 91-695
  • 1970 - Community Mental Health Service Act PL 91-211
  • 1971 - National Cancer Act PL 92-218
  • 1974 - Research on Aging Act PL 93-296
  • 1974 - National Health Planning and Resources Development Act PL 93-641
  • 1979 - Department of Education Organization Act (Created HHS) PL 96-88
  • 1987 - Department of Transportation Appropriations Act PL 100-202
  • 1988 - Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act PL 100-360
  • 1989 - Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act PL 101-164

External links


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