Department of Health and Human Services


Department of Health and Human Services

Mission Statement

The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting health and providing essential human services to Americans.

Administering some 250 separate programs, the department has the largest budget among all the federal departments--in fact, a budget that is exceeded only by that of the United States itself and Germany. The HHS budget accounts for almost 40 percent of all United States federal government spending.

The largest single federal programs, Social Security and Medicare, are part of this department. HHS' National Institutes of Health comprise the world's largest medical research center. And the Food and Drug Administration regulates products that account for some 25 cents for every dollar spend by American consumers. The department's employees work in every U.S. state and in many other countries of the world.

The work of the Department is carried out principally by four operating divisions:

With Emphasis on those least able to help themselves, the department provides services that protect and advance the quality of life for all Americans. HHS provides direct services or income support to more than one in every five Americans.

At a glance:

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