U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Plain Writing and Clear Communications

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Our promise to you:  Writing you can understand

We at HHS are committed to writing all of our documents, digital content, and communications in plain language to ensure you can easily understand: 

  • Our benefits and services and how to get them
  • How to file taxes when you receive our benefits or services
  • How to comply with a requirement we administer or enforce   

You can learn more about plain language in the government, and view “before and after” examples, at www.plainlanguage.gov.

Why we make this promise

Clear writing is essential to ensuring that all Americans understand what is happening within the government and is able to participate.

Additionally, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires all federal agencies to write "clear government communication that the public can understand and use.”

Our agencies already use plain language

Our operating agencies already use plain language and train employees in the importance of clear communication. We continue to work to ensure communications are simple, direct, and understood by the people they serve.

The Department’s Plain Writing Act Compliance reports provide an overview of our implementation efforts to date:

You can also review the Department’s  Plain Writing Implementation Plan here (PDF - 92KB).

Let us know how we’re doing

You can help us to meet our plain language goals by letting us know when we fall short. If you have trouble understanding any documents or material on our websites, please contact PlainLanguage@hhs.gov



ACL-Administration for Community Living

Carol Crecy

AHRQ-Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

Randie Siegel

ASA-Assistant Secretary for Administration

Trina Greer

ASFR-Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources

Pam Sessoms

ASL-Assistant Secretary for Legislation

Fatima Cuevas

ASPR-Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Ben Goldhaber

CDC-Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Cynthia Baur

CMS-Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Mary Wallace

DAB-Departmental Appeals Board

Christopher Randolph

FDA-Food & Drug Administration

Kathy Weil

HRSA-Health Resources and Services Administration

Judy Andrew

IEA-Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Nikki Bratcher-Bowman

NIH-National Institutes of Health

Marin Pearson Allen

OASH-Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health

Linda Harris

OCR-Office for Civil Rights

Steven Novy

OGA-Office of Global Affairs

Mary Pokryfki

OIG-Office of the Inspector General

Rose Folsom

OMHA-Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals

Randy Vanderpool

ONC-National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

Lisa Lewis

SAMHSA-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Marla Hendriksson


Content created by Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS)
Content last reviewed on January 2, 2015