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 US Public Health Service Overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of Americans, and providing essential human services, US Public Health Service Nursing logoespecially for those who are least able to help themselves. It is the largest grant-making agency in the federal government, and works closely with state and local governments in carrying out its mission. HHS consists of 11 operating divisions (OPDIVS), which fall under two major program areas: Public Health Service Operating Divisions (explained below), and Human Services Operating Divisions which include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Administration for Children and Families, and the Administration on Aging.

The Public Health Service Operating Divisions include the eight agencies of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). They are the major health arm of the federal government and the world’s foremost health agencies. They consist of the Agency for Health Care and Research Policy (AHRQ), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Additionally, within the Office of the Secretary (OS) of HHS is the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). Within the OASH is the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG).

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers serve in all the HHS OPDIVS, as well as in other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Division of Immigration Health Services (DIHS), the U.S. Marshals Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
If you would like to apply to the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, go to the Commissioned Corps website,