The Health and well being of their citizens is of great importance to all countries across the globe. In the United States the Department of Health and Human Services is the principal government 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 of Health and Human Services was established in the year 1921 with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Right from its inception, the HHS has been working towards providing the United States with the best in health care and related services. The Health and Human services Department upholds the motto of “improving the health, safety, and well-being of America”.
The activities of the Health and Human Services department in the US, are conducted by the Office of the Secretary and 11 agencies. The agencies perform a wide variety of tasks and services that are not restricted to research, public health, food and drug safety, grants and other funding and health insurance. The subdivisions of the Office of the Secretary, offer direct support for the Secretary’s initiatives.
The Health and Human Services Department has over 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities that include health and social science research, preventing disease, including immunization services, assuring food and drug safety, medicare (health insurance for elderly and disabled Americans) and Medicaid (health insurance for low-income people). There are also programs for health information technology, financial assistance and services for low-income families, improving maternal and infant health etc.
The Health and Human Services Department also has several grants under it. In fact the HHS takes pride in the fact that it represents almost a quarter of all federal outlays. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appropriates billions of dollars in grants and is the only federal agency, that offers more money in grants than all the other federal agencies combined. The HHS works closely with agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Agency for Health care Research and Quality (AHRQ) to name a few.
Health and human services are essential for the sustenance of any community. An agency that can take care of the health related issues in a country and find solutions to such problems or prevent impending health related problems, is of great importance in the world. The Department of Health and Human Services Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2007–2012 addresses the issues of health care; public health promotion and protection, disease prevention, and emergency preparedness; human services; and scientific research and development.
The HHS states that “Healthy and productive individuals, families, and communities are the foundation of the Nation’s present and future security and prosperity”. Therefore a dynamic and dedicated agency for health and human services can ensure a healthy and secure future for the community and the world.
The world we are living in has changed tremendously from what it used to be about 10 years ago. There are more industries, more cars, more people and greater advancements in all fields of science and technology. But what about the environment we live in? Is it better than it used to be? The world has undergone great climatic changes and environmental conditions have altered drastically and this has a great impact on the health and well being of man.
In today’s world people must take positive steps to ensure that their surroundings are safe and healthy. Several countries face the grave dangers of not having clean drinking water, being infested with diseases carrying pests or improper waste management.
Environmental health is therefore crucial to the sustenance of any community. The Department of Environmental Health plays a major role in improving the quality of life by protecting public health and safeguarding environmental quality. Environmental health is that branch of public health that is concerned with the health, well-being and safety of people and the environment in which they live, work or visit.
Environmental health focuses on the prevention of ill health through education and promotion across a variety of areas, for example health and safety, pollution control, consumer protection, housing and food safety. Environmental public health and environmental health and protection are two other terms that remain associated to the discipline of environmental health.
Every state/county in the United States has a Department of Environmental Health or a Department of Environmental Public Health. Although the environmental laws may differ from state to state the main aim of these departments is to help and protect people and the environment they live in. The DEP educates the public and increases environmental awareness and implementing and enforcing local, state, and federal environmental laws. The Department of Environmental Health works towards identifying, preventing, and controlling harmful environmental factors.
The Department of Environmental Health has groups of skilled and highly experienced Environmental Health Specialists who examine health issues, identify the causes and plan possible future approaches to control of the major environmental health problems in industrialized and developing communities.
The Department of Environmental Health conducts various programs to ensure the well being of all citizens in the community. For instance, the Oregon Office of Environmental Public Health has a Drinking Water Program which administers and enforces drinking water quality standards for public water systems in the State of Oregon. They also have a Food borne Illness Prevention Program. This program works closely with local health departments, the food service industry, and the public, to reduce or eliminate the known causes of food borne illness. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has Radiation Protection Programs which protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from unnecessary exposure to radiation.
Our environment is burdened with air pollution, water pollution and the dire effects of overcrowding industrial development. A well organized and dedicated Department of environmental health acts as the primary authority that can ensure effective and efficient environmental management.
They say “Health is wealth”. Your health is something that you obtain by birth and something that you can keep or lose. Fate (to get some good genes) and lifestyles are the important factors that can affect your health. But here is, what the wise people have got to say about health. Take a look at some famous health quotes by these learned scholars.
“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, novelist and dramatist
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”
Buddha (563 BC-483 BC) Founder of Buddhism
“Health is the condition of wisdom, and the sign is cheerfulness — an open and noble temper.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.
“A feeble body weakens the mind.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Swiss political philosopher and essayist
“One of the signs of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) British logician and philosopher
“The way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer
“Ill-health, of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!”
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist
“Energy is eternal delight.”