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Guide to Information Resources

Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Secretary
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201


HHS Information On-Line
How to Request Information
HHS: Operating Divisions, Programs, Publications
Public Use Data Files

Information On-Line

The HHS Home Page provides public access and search for electronically available HHS information. Additionally, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides a method for requests for information from the public. You may also want to visit the following sites as a part of your information request:


How to Request Information

If you are unable to find the information you seek on the HHS websites or in the electronic reading rooms, you may complete an online Freedom of Information Request form.

Your request should identify the documents that you want as specifically as possible. Any facts you can furnish about the time, authors, events, subjects, and other details of the documents will be helpful to the agency in deciding where to search and in determining which records are responsive to your request. If you are not sure how to write your request or what details to include, contact a Freedom of Information Officer.

You may also send your request to:

HHS Freedom of Information Officer
Mary E. Switzer Building, Room 5416
Department of Health and Human Services
330 Avenue C, SW, Washington, DC 20201

Write the words "Freedom of Information Act Request" on the envelope and on the letter. 

For more information about the Freedom of Information Act Program at HHS see:


HHS: Operating Divisions and Programs

Each of the 12 HHS Operating Divisions has its own contact for its publications. Submit your request for information directly to the appropriate office. Further detail on the Department of Health and Human Services is available in the current United States Government Manual:

Office of the Secretary (OS) --
202-205-5445 or Toll-Free: 1-877-696-6775

The Secretary of Health and Human Services advises the President on health, welfare, and income security plans, policies, and programs of the Federal Government. The Secretary directs Department staff in carrying out the approved programs and activities of the Department and promotes general public understanding of the Department's goals, programs, and objectives. The Secretary administers these functions through the Office of the Secretary and the 12 operating divisions.

Inspector General Hotline: Individuals wishing to report fraud, waste, or abuse against HHS programs should write to: Office of Inspector General, Attn: HOTLINE, P.O. Box 23489, 330 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201 or visit us online at

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) -- – 202-401-9200

The Administration for Children & Families (ACF), a division of the Department of Health & Human Services, promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities through a range of programs.  ACF’s programs serve a wide variety of groups, including individuals and families with low income, refugees, Native Americans, and many others. To carry out its mission, ACF awards grants to state and local governments, non-profit groups, faith and community-based organizations, American Indian tribes, and Native American communities.  ACF provides technical assistance, guidance, and overall supervision to grant recipients that, in turn, are responsible for direct delivery of services.


Administration for Community Living (ACL) - - 202-619-0724

The Administration for Community Living is charged with working with states, tribes, community providers, universities, nonprofit organizations, businesses and families to help older adults and people with disabilities live in their homes and fully participate in their communities.  ACL brings together the efforts of the Administration on Aging and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) -- --

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as part of the Public Health Service, is responsible for supporting research designed to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce its costs, address patient safety and medical errors, and broaden access to essential services.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) --

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, as part of the Public Health Service, is charged with the prevention of exposure to toxic substances and the prevention of the adverse health effects and diminished quality of life associated with exposure to hazardous substances from waste sites, unplanned releases, and other sources of pollution present in the environment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) --

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as part of the Public Health Service, is charged with protecting the public health of the Nation by providing leadership and direction in the prevention of and control of diseases and other preventable conditions and responding to public health emergencies.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) --

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services combines the oversight of the Medicare program, the Federal portion of the Medicaid program and State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and related quality assurance activities.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) --

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of the Public Health Service, is charged with ensuring that food is safe, pure, and wholesome; human and animal drugs, biological products, and medical devices are safe and effective; and electronic products that emit radiation are safe.

  • Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
  • Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  • Center for Veterinary Medicine
  • Center for Devices and Radiological Health
  • National Center for Toxicological Research


Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) --

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

Comprising six bureaus and ten offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. In addition, HRSA works to improve systems of care in rural communities.

HRSA oversees organ, bone marrow and cord blood donation. It supports programs that prepare against bioterrorism, compensates individuals harmed by vaccination, and maintains databases that protect against health care malpractice and health care waste, fraud and abuse.

Indian Health Service (IHS) --

The Indian Health Service, as part of the Public Health Service, provides a comprehensive health services delivery system for American Indians and Alaska Natives, with opportunity for maximum tribal involvement in developing and managing programs to meet their health needs. It assists Native American tribes in developing their health programs; facilitates and assists tribes in coordinating health planning, obtaining and utilizing health resources available through Federal, State, and local programs, operating comprehensive health programs, and evaluating health programs; and provides comprehensive healthcare services including hospital and ambulatory medical care, preventive and rehabilitative services, and development of community sanitation facilities.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) --

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), as part of the Public Health Service, supports biomedical and behavioral research domestically and abroad, conducts research in its own laboratories and clinics, trains promising young researchers, and promotes acquisition and distribution of medical knowledge.

  • Aging. The National Institute on Aging conducts and supports biomedical, social, and behavioral research to increase knowledge of the aging process and the physical, psychological, and social factors associated with aging. Internet:
  • Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research, in order to provide science-based approaches to the prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Internet:
  • Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducts and supports research, research training, and clinical evaluations on the causes, treatment, and prevention of a wide variety of infectious, allergic, and immunologic diseases. Internet:
  • Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. Internet:
  • Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering conducts, coordinates, and supports research, training, dissemination of health information, and other programs with respect to biomedical imaging, biomedical engineering, and associated technologies and modalities with biomedical applications. Internet:
  • Cancer. The National Cancer Institute developed a national cancer program to expand existing scientific knowledge on cancer cause and prevention as well as on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of cancer patients. Research activities encompass basic biological, clinical, prevention, and behavioral research. Internet:
  • Child Health and Human Development. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducts and supports laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological research on the reproductive, neurobiologic, developmental, and behavioral processes that determine and maintain the health of children, adults, families, and populations. Internet:
  • Clinical Center. The Clinical Center is designed to bring scientists working in Institute laboratories into proximity with clinicians caring for patients, so that they may collaborate on problems of mutual concern. The research institutes select patients, referred to NIH by themselves or by physicians throughout the United States and overseas, for clinical studies of specific diseases and disorders. Internet:
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The Center is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science; educating and training complementary and alternative medicine researchers; and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. Through its programs, the Center seeks to facilitate the integration of safe and effective complementary and alternative practices into conventional medicine. Internet:
  • Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research and research training on normal mechanisms as well as diseases and disorders of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language through a diversity of research performed in its own laboratories, and a program of research and center grants. Internet:
  • Dental and Craniofacial Diseases. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research conducts and supports research and research training into the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of craniofacial, oral, and dental diseases and disorders. Internet:
  • Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducts, fosters, and supports basic and clinical research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes, endocrine, and metabolic diseases, digestive diseases and nutrition, kidney and urologic diseases, and blood diseases. Internet:
  • Drug Abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse 's primary mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction through the strategic support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines and the rapid and effective dissemination and use of the results of that research to significantly improve drug abuse and addiction prevention, treatment, and policy. Internet:
  • Environmental Health Sciences. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences seeks to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction by understanding the elements of environmental exposures, human susceptibility, and time and how these elements interrelate. Internet:
  • Fogarty International Center. The Center promotes and supports international scientific research to reduce disparities in global health; fosters biomedical research partnerships through grants, fellowships, and international agreements; and provides leadership in international science policy and research strategies. Internet:
  • General Medical Sciences. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences supports basic biomedical research and research training in areas ranging from cell biology, chemistry, and biophysics to genetics, pharmacology, and systemic response to trauma. Internet:
  • Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides leadership for a national program in diseases of the heart, blood vessels, lung, and blood; sleep disorders; and blood resources. It conducts, fosters, and supports an integrated and coordinated program of basic research, clinical investigations and trials, observational studies, and demonstration and education projects. Internet:
  • Human Genome Research. The National Human Genome Research Institute formulates research goals and long-range plans to accomplish the mission of the human genome project. Internet:
  • Medical Library. The National Library of Medicine serves as the Nation's chief medical information source and is authorized to provide medical library services and online bibliographic search capabilities, such as MEDLINE and TOXLINE, to public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals. Internet:
  • Mental Health. The National Institute of Mental Health supports and conducts fundamental research in neuroscience, genetics, molecular biology, and behavior as the foundation of an extensive clinical research portfolio which seeks to expand and refine treatments available for illnesses such as schizophrenia; depressive disorders; severe anxiety; childhood mental disorders; and other mental disorders. Internet:
  • Minority Health and Health Disparities. The National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities advises the NIH Director and the Institute and Institute Directors on the development of NIH-wide policy issues related to minority health disparities research, research on other health disparities, and related research training; develops a comprehensive strategic plan governing the conduct and support of all NIH minority health disparities research, research on other health disparities, and related research training activities; and administers funds for the support of that research through grants and through leveraging the programs of the NIH. Internet:
  • Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke mission is to reduce the burden of neurological diseases by conducting and supporting fundamental and applied research on human neurological disorders. It also conducts and supports research on the development and function of the normal brain and nervous system in order to better understand normal processes relating to disease states. Internet:
  • Nursing Research. The National Institute of Nursing Research provides leadership for nursing research, supports and conducts research and training, and disseminates information to build a scientific base for nursing practice and patient care and to promote health and ameliorate the effects of illness on the American people. Internet:
  • Ophthalmological Diseases. The National Eye Institute conducts, fosters, and supports research on the causes, natural history, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the eye and visual system. It also directs the National Eye Health Education Program. Internet:
  • Scientific Review. The Center for Scientific Review receives and assigns applications for peer reviews to scientific review groups whose members hold advanced degrees and are established investigators in the extramural community. After review, applications are referred to funding components for potential award. Internet:
  • Translational Sciences. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is a distinctly different entity in the research ecosystem. Rather than targeting a particular disease and fundamental science, NCATS focuses on what is common across diseases and the translational process. The Center emphasizes innovation and deliverables, relying on the power of data and new technologies to develop, demonstrate and disseminate improvements in translational science. For more information, visit


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) --

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a part of the Public Health Service, provides national leadership to ensure that knowledge acquired is effectively used for the prevention and treatment of addictive and mental disorders. It strives to improve access and reduce barriers to high quality, effective programs and services for individuals who suffer from or are at risk for these disorders, as well as for their families and communities. SAMHSA is comprised of:


Public Use Data Files

Statistics and data sets are available at and

Content last reviewed on August 13, 2013