In my Feb. 24th blog, I spoke briefly about Dr. Louis Sullivan’s appointment as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Before meeting Dr. Sullivan I had absolutely no idea that the Secretary of HHS is actually a cabinet position. No, not something sitting in a kitchen -- I’m talking about the President’s cabinet!! “The Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office. [It] includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.” Check out President Obama’s current cabinet.
The mission of HHS is to ‘protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.’ The Department is administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. As you may recall, Dr. Sullivan was appointed and confirmed during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush. The duties of the secretary revolve around human conditions and include advising the President on matters of health and making the public aware of the objectives of the department.
The US Public Health Service (PHS), is the main division of the HHS, and is led by the Assistant Secretary for Health. Did you know that the US PHS Commissioned Corps is one of SEVEN uniformed services in the U.S.?? The PHSCC is led by the Surgeon General who is responsible for addressing matters concerning public health. The Office of the Surgeon General sits under the direct purview of the Assistant Secretary of Health but receives directives from the Secretary of HHS as well.
~ One drop of knowledge can ripple through an entire community
Rest in peace Dr. C. Everett Koop.