United States Public Health Service

The United States Public Health Service (USPHS or PHS) is a collection of agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services concerned with public health, containing nine out of the department's twelve operating divisions. The Assistant Secretary for Health oversees the PHS. The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) is the federal uniformed service of the PHS, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States.

PHS had its origins in the system of marine hospitals that originated in 1798. In 1871 these were consolidated into the Marine Hospital Service, and shortly afterwards the position of Surgeon General and the PHSCC were established. As the system's scope grew to include quarantine authority and research, it was renamed the Public Health Service in 1912.

A series of reorganizations in 1966–1973 began a shift where PHS' divisions were promoted into departmental operating agencies. PHS was established as a thin layer of hierarchy above them rather than an operating agency in its own right.

In 1995, PHS agencies were shifted to report directly to the Secretary of Health and Human Services rather the Assistant Secretary for Health, eliminating PHS as an administrative level in the organizational hierarchy. Provided by Wikipedia

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by Coyle, Susan L.
Published 1991
National Academy Press
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