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Operating Divisions

Nearly all HHS agencies have some global engagement. Their diverse set of global health and human services activities involve biomedical research, surveillance and laboratory strengthening, public health practice, food, drug and device safety, healthy aging, health care quality, emergency preparedness and response, and a variety of other topics.

Administration on Children and Families (ACF)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) promotes the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families and communities. ACF exchanges experience with international organizations and country representatives on a broad array of human services issues including: adoption, foster care, child protection, child support, early childhood development, disabilities, youth development, social protection and disaster preparedness. ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) administers a number of programs of international importance including among others: social services to refugees, asylees, Cuban or Haitian entrants, Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa holders, survivors of torture and foreign victims of human trafficking. ORR also provides care for unaccompanied alien children and unaccompanied refugee minors. ACF also is participates in the Interagency Working Group on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Public Law 109-95), attends international meetings on child support, early childhood development and youth development and represents the USG in meetings with UNICEF, the Organization of American States and other international organizations.

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) works to realize its vision that all people, regardless of age and disability, live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. ACL serves as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan. ACL plays a vital role in information exchange with other countries on issues that impact the aging community and people with disabilities, and collaborates with other USG agencies, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations to enhance programs and policies by advancing both a global public health and human rights approach.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) produces evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and works within the HHS and with partners to make sure that such evidence is understood and used in health care. AHRQ collaborates with international organizations to promote shared learning and periodically hosts international officials, researchers, and delegations interested in to exchange experiences and share lessons from AHRQ’s programs. AHRQ focuses on four priority areas: (1) improving health care quality by accelerating implementation of patient-centered outcomes research; (2) making health care safer; (3) increasing accessibility to health care; and (4) improving health care affordability, efficiency, and cost transparency

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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

In the course of investigating thousands of hazardous waste sites over 25 years, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has become a leading resource for toxicological information for toxicologists, researchers, public health officials, and clinicians around the world. The agency’s Toxicological Profiles set the standard for reliable information about chemical contaminants. ATSDR’s online resources, including its Case Studies in Environmental Medicine, advance continuing education about chemicals for clinicians and scientists around the world.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses its public health expertise to save lives and improve health around the world. CDC works with more than 160 countries to solve global health problems through science and collaboration, particularly through its longstanding partnerships with Ministries of Health and multilateral organizations. CDC's Center for Global Health coordinates and manages the agency’s global health programs to rapidly detect and effectively respond to global health challenges such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, viral hepatitis, vaccine-preventable diseases, emergency and refugee health, environmental disasters and poisonings, deficiencies in micronutrients, NCDs, injuries, and other health threats; to strengthen the health security of the U.S. by preventing the spread of global emerging diseases; and, to help build long-lasting public health systems in the poorest countries in the world helping their governments protect the health of their citizens. CDC has staff internationally assigned to work with other countries and with multilateral organizations to improve global health.

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the United States. CMS hosts official delegations from all over the world interested in learning about CMS programs and processes, including Medicare, payment systems, Medicare quality initiatives, and participates in international meetings to exchange knowledge on health care reform and financing.

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Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strategically engages with its regulatory counterparts and other relevant stakeholders, which are increasingly international, to enable the multiple cascading benefits that result from a safer, more effective, higher quality global supply of food and medical products. The FDA is working actively and collaboratively on a global scale, including establishing in-country presences in China, India, Europe and Latin America to regulate imported products. The FDA benefits from leveraging the activities and resources of trusted foreign counterpart regulatory authorities and multinational organizations.

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Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for Americans who, for a variety of reasons, are medically underserved or face barriers to care. While HRSA has limited authority for international work, HRSA is well positioned to make key contributions that will enable U.S. global health programs to make a long-term shift toward country-led, sustainable programs, which operate in partnership with the United States. HRSA has an array of technical skills and domestic experience in health systems strengthening and development, health care services in resource poor settings, and in health professions workforce training and development.

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Indian Health Service (IHS)

The mission of the Indian Health Service, in partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native people, is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest level. As such, the focus of the work of IHS is necessarily domestic. However, IHS is frequently contacted by high level representatives from other countries with substantial indigenous populations to exchange information and learn from our programs. As an example, HHS has an ongoing relationship with Health Canada that seeks to raise the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the USA and First Nations and Inuit people in Canada by improving approaches to health issues, identifying and reinforcing promising best practices and sharing knowledge and learning experiences, with special attention to research on and response to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and suicide prevention.

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. Through its 27 Institutes and Centers, NIH supports and conducts global research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of diseases. It also promotes the acquisition and dissemination of medical knowledge to health professionals and the public throughout the world. Encouraging a greater focus on global health is a key theme of NIH leadership.

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. In this regard, SAMHSA provides consultation and technical assistance to international agencies on behavioral health issues, particularly on effective services and interventions for underserved and at-risk populations such as women and children experiencing psychological trauma. Given the significant role of mental and substance use disorders in both non-communicable and infectious diseases, SAMHSA also helps to advocate for an increased global focus on behavioral health.