Agency Research Report
Agency Research Report
The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the U.S is generally in charge of safeguarding the health of all Americans as well as offering essential human services. In different words, the department is responsible for the protection and enhancement of the well-being and health of the U.S citizens (“HHS.gov,” 2020). To attain this, the department has five primary responsibilities. First, it is involved in program integration, which allows it to integrate functions, duties, powers, and other public health and human services related boards, commissions, and councils, and committees. In this case, the services provided include child development, social services, medical assistance, developmental disabilities, among others. Secondly, the department allows program collaboration between programs to boost diversity and equity. For instance, it emboldens and directs social agencies to collaborate with child welfare programs and state-level Indian affairs to enable tribal councils, local tribes, and other tribal agencies to obtain support when Indian kids are administered in foster care programs.
Thirdly, the department engages in contracts, and nonprofits deals with various types of private associations, governmental agencies, and commercial corporations. By doing so, it aims to set guidelines concerning the accomplishment of responsibilities within different associations. Fourthly, the department oversees issues of substance abuse and mental health (“HHS.gov,” 2020). In this regard, they have been authorized to create and enforce new ideals and employee duties that are related to substance abuse and mental health program regulations. Such regulations may include prevention, screening, education intervention, treatment, rehabilitation, and so. Lastly, it is involved in the creation, adoption, and execution of rules and regulations that apply to both local health and human services agencies.
The secretary of HHS is authorized under titles 8 and 42 of USC to avert the introduction, transmission and spread of contagious infections in the U.S. Precisely, the secretary bases his authority concerning quarantine and inspection from §264 on part G of Title 42 to control communicable diseases (“U.S. Code: Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare,” 2020). In §264, various regulation governs the secretary to accomplish his responsibilities regarding infectious diseases. For example, the section highlights the establishment of guidelines for medical examination of individuals destined for the U.S. Additionally, it highpoints laws individuals entering the U.S from other countries. By incorporating such regulations, the secretary can control the operation of quarantine stations at ports entry as well as administer foreign and interstate quarantine policies.
Leadership and Organization
various top five positions are assigned to different individuals within this agency. For example, Alex Azar is the secretary of the department and is generally in charge of five primary duties. Firstly, he advises the U.S president regarding his department’s activities, such as food safety, public health, and welfare programs. Secondly, he oversees drug and food administration. Thirdly, he controls and manages the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fourthly, he sets Medicaid and Medicare policies. Lastly, he guides the overall direction of Indian Health care services. Also, the department has an office of the deputy secretary, which is led by Eric Hargan. Hargan is responsible for various things, such as the execution of the president’s and secretary’s plan for the department by dealing with entire operations and the management of individual departments (“HHS.gov,” 2020). He also works as the principal consultant to the secretary on all matters affecting the department.
Moreover, the position for Assistant Secretary for Administration (ASA) is held by Scott Rowell. Rowell’s responsibilities include but not restricted to the provision of leadership for the agency’s administrative operations such as information technology, human resource policy, and other departmental services. He also serves as the operating division head for the office of the secretary of the agency. The office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial resources (ASFR) is another principal position held by Jennifer Moughalian. Moughalian not only advises the secretary concerning all aspects of grants, budget, commercial acquisition, and management but also provides guidelines for these activities within the agency (“HHS.gov,” 2020). Lastly, the office of the intergovernmental and external affairs is held by Laura Trueman. Trueman coordinates the department’s regional offices as well as facilitates interaction between agency and local, state, and tribal governments. She also advises the secretary of HHS regarding local, tribal, and state issues.
Agency Size and Budget
HHS is the principal department for protecting the health of Americans and offering essential human services. It has more than 10,000 employees who are responsible for the well-being of Americans. Thus, it is accountable for nearly a quarter of the federal outlays and orders more funding than all other federal departments combined. It has eleven operating agencies, which include three human services agencies and eight public health services. Through the 11 agencies, the department manages at least 115 programs. Thus, it has a higher budget than any other department. For instance, the president’s FY 2020 budget proposes approximately $1.286 trillion in obligatory grant for the Health and Human Service agency and nearly $87.1 billion in discretionary budget authority (“HHS FY 2020 Budget in Brief”, 2020). As a result, the FY 2020 budget is designed to support the agency’s mission by highlighting major investments that target to fulfill the department’s commitments to advance American health care.
In recent years, the agency has encountered some discussion regarding various policies. For example, the agency finalized a plan to allow nurses, doctors, and other health officers to opt-out of services like sterilization and abortion that violate their religious or personal beliefs. According to Reuters (2019), the policy entails a set of 25 laws approved by Congress to safeguard “conscience rights” in medical care. Such as administration resulted in a heated debate. In this regard, the protagonists claimed that it was the best strategy to protect health practitioners against being bullied for failure to participate in operations that undermine their conscience. On the other hand, the antagonists asserted that the law would corrode protections for susceptible patients in medical care such as transgender and gay individuals. Thus, the policy would prevent Americans from accessing critical healthcare, which may endanger their well-being.
HHS FY 2020 Budget in Brief. (2020). Retrieved 12 February 2020, from
HHS.gov. (2020). Retrieved 12 February 2020, from
Reuters. (2019). U.S. health agency finalizes controversial ‘religious freedom’ rule. Retrieved 12 February 2020, from
U.S. Code: Title 42. THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE. (2020). Retrieved 12 February 2020, from