12 Federal Government Agencies Actively Employing Public Health Workers

Are you interested in a career in public health? One of the primary employers of public health professionals in the US today is the federal government. One of the most exciting aspects of federal employment is that there are positions available in just about every public health field that you can imagine. From biostatisticians to epidemiologists to nutritionists, there is a job for you in the federal government in public health.

Below are some of the best agencies and organizations in the US government to look for public health employment:

  1. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) focuses on the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. It empowers families to boost their economic independence and productivity, and encourages strong, healthy and supportive communities that have a positive impact on quality of life.

  2. Administration on Aging (AoA) has a mission to develop a system of home-based and community-based services to help the elderly maintain their independence and health. This is the federal agency that increases access to community support initiatives on aging, and also focusing attention and resources on the needs of older Americans, as well as of people with disabilities.

  3. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) supports research on health care quality, costs, and outcomes as well as efforts to improve quality, cost-effectiveness, and access to care. The primary focus of the organization is to improve the quality of health care by boosting the implementation of patient centered outcomes research.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) focuses on the prevention of diseases related to toxic substances and exposures to substances that can be harmful. It is a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and serves the public by utilizing the best science and provides trusted health information on toxic substances.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) efforts include monitoring, research, programs, services, and policy development related to health promotion, disease prevention, prevention of injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats. The organization’s thousands of public health professionals all contribute their expertise to improve the state of public health in the US and around the world.

  6. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) handles the administration of Medicare and, on the federal level, of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This program was enacted in 1965 so that retired Americans, as well as needy Americans, would have access to health care services for all of their lives.

  7. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assures the safety, effectiveness, and security of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and other health-related products, as well as cosmetics, tobacco, and food supply. The agency conducts regular inspections of many types of companies under its authority, including pharmaceutical plants, food production facilities, clinical trial organizations and blood banks.

  8. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) focuses on people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable with a mission to improve access to health care. HRSA works to increase the strength of the health care workforce, to build healthier communities, and to boost health equity. This organization provides essential health care services to people who are uninsured, to people with AIDS, and pregnant women and their children.

  9. Indian Health Service (IHS) provides personal and public health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives, with the goal of maximizing these population’s’ physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. The distribution of health services to federally recognized tribes has grown over the years out of the special relationship between Indian tribes and the US government. It is the primary health care provider to the Indian people in the US.

  10. National Institutes of Health (NIH) focuses on the practice and support of medical research. It is the nation’s national medical research agency, and it regularly makes important discoveries that improve our health and save lives. It is partially due to NIH-funded medical research that Americans are living longer and healthier lives today.

  11. Office of Inspector General (OIG) keeps an eye on HHS programs, makes sure they are properly managed, and aims to ensure the health and welfare of program beneficiaries. The OIG is the largest inspector general’s office in the US federal government, with 1600 employees that work to combat fraud, waste and abuse in HHS programs.

  12. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) focuses on mental health issues with a mission to build resilience and facilitate recovery. It is the agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the US. It also focuses on reducing substance abuse and mental illness effects in our communities.


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