Department of Health and Human Services: Promoting Health and Well-Being for All

Mission and Mandate

The mission of the Department of Health and Human Services is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans providing effective health and human services and fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services. HHS is guided a commitment to promoting health equity, improving healthcare quality and access, and addressing the social determinants of health that contribute to disparities in health outcomes.

Structure and Organization

The Department of is composed of several agencies and offices, each with its own specific focus and responsibilities. Some of the key components of HHS include:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC is a leading national public health institute responsible for protecting public health and safety controlling and preventing the spread of diseases, injuries, and disabilities.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health regulating and supervising food safety, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and other products.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research, conducting and funding research to advance scientific knowledge and improve health outcomes.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): CMS administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which provide health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, including elderly, disabled, and low-income individuals.
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF): ACF is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, and communities, including child welfare, child support, and early childhood development programs.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is the agency within HHS responsible for leading public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation, including substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.

Key Functions and Responsibilities

The Department of Health and Human Services carries out a wide range of functions and responsibilities to fulfill its mission of promoting health and well-being for all Americans. Some of the key activities and initiatives undertaken HHS include:

  • Public Health Surveillance and Response: HHS monitors and responds to public health threats and emergencies, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and other health crises.
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: HHS implements programs and initiatives to promote healthy behaviors, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities across populations.
  • Healthcare Access and Coverage: HHS administers federal healthcare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), to provide access to affordable, quality healthcare for eligible individuals and families.
  • Biomedical Research and Innovation: HHS supports and conducts biomedical research to advance scientific knowledge and develop new treatments, therapies, and cures for diseases and conditions that affect public health.
  • Social Services and Support Programs: HHS administers a range of social services and support programs to assist vulnerable populations, including children, families, older adults, and individuals with disabilities, in accessing essential services and resources.

Impact on Health and Well-Being

The Department of Health and Human Services plays a central role in shaping health policy, driving public health initiatives, and delivering critical services that impact the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the nation. From ensuring access to healthcare and promoting disease prevention to supporting vulnerable populations and advancing biomedical research, HHS touches the lives of millions of Americans every day, helping to create healthier, more resilient communities and a stronger, more prosperous nation.


The Department of Health and Human Services is a cornerstone of the nation’s public health infrastructure, working tirelessly to protect and promote the health and well-being of all Americans. Through its diverse array of agencies, programs, and initiatives, HHS addresses a wide range of health and human services needs, from disease prevention and healthcare access to social support and research innovation. As the nation continues to face new and evolving health challenges, HHS remains committed to its mission of improving health outcomes, advancing science, and fostering a healthier, more equitable society for generations to come.