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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.

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

2019 HHS Plain Writing Contacts

Office Name
HHS - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Ekaterini Malliou
ACF - Administration for Children & Families Karen Fears
ACL - Administration for Community Living Christine Phillips
AHRQ - Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Karen Fleming-Michael
ASA - Assistant Secretary for Administration Jonathan Gardner
ASFR - Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources Rasheed Williams
ASPA - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Mark Weber
ASPE - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation Cheryl Bodden
ASPR - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nikki Bratcher - Bowman
CDC - Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Dogan Eroglu
CMS - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Mary Wallace
CTO - Office of the Chief Technology Officer Elizabeth Squire
DAB - Departmental Appeals Board Christopher Villator
FDA - Food & Drug Administration LaKeisha McClendon
HRSA - Health Resources and Services Administration Christy Choi
IEA - Intergovernmental and External Affairs Karen Ashton
HIS - Indian Health Service Lester O’Riley
NIH - National Institutes of Health Christen Sandoval
OASH - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Linda Harris
OCR - Office for Civil Rights Steven Novy
OGA - Office of Global Affairs Kyle Zebley
OIG - Office of the Inspector General Ann C. Wieland
OMHA - Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals Randy Vanderpool
ONC - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Lisa Lewis
SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Daryl Kade

 

Content created by Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS)
Content last reviewed on April 5, 2019