Health and Human Services, United States Department of

Health and Human Services, United States Department of,

federal executive department charged with administering government health programs. Successor to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which had been created in 1953, it was redesignated in 1979 with the creation of the Department of Education. The secretary advises the President on health and welfare matters. The department has several components. The Administration for Children and Families is responsible for Operation Head Start, the enforcement of child support laws, and programs concerning adoption, job training, and runaway youths. The Public Health Service is divided into 42 subdivisions; it carries out research on disease and health concerns through the National Institutes of HealthNational Institutes of Health
(NIH), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service, with headquarters in Bethesda, Md. It was established initially in 1887 as a laboratory in the U.S. Marine Hospital on Staten Island in New York City, and was given its present name in 1948.
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, protects consumers from adulterated or untested foods and drugs through the Food and Drug AdministrationFood and Drug Administration
(FDA), agency of the Public Health Service division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with protecting public health by ensuring that foods are safe and pure, cosmetics and other chemical substances harmless, and
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, and implements public health measures and monitors the spread of infectious diseases through the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center.
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. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration develops and analyzes information relating to the prevention and treatment of addictive and mental disorders. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administers MedicareMedicare,
national health insurance program in the United States for persons aged 65 and over and the disabled. It was established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and is now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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 and MedicaidMedicaid,
national health insurance program in the United States for low-income persons and persons with disabilities. It was established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and is now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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. The Social Security Administration, formerly part of the department, became an independent agency in 1995 (see social securitysocial security,
government program designed to provide for the basic economic security and welfare of individuals and their dependents. The programs classified under the term social security differ from one country to another, but all are the result of government legislation
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). The Administration on Aging develops policy and programs to promote the welfare of older Americans and administers grants to states to establish community programs for them.
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