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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

Originally part of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) was formed in 1979 when the department’s education component was given to the newly created U.S. Department of Education. The mission of HHS is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans by providing effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health and social services.

HHS is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The Department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities. These programs include: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a premier research facility, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which ensures the safety of food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and medical devices, and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs.

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