Public Health Links: Federal

Public Health Links: Federal

Administration for Children and Families

The ACF administers all federal support programs related to families and children, ranging from developmental disability assistance to refugee resettlement. Each ACF program has a complete web site with program information and references.

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

AHRQ (pronounced Ark), formerly Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, focuses on evaluation of clinical methods and “data-driven” health care. Their site contains many quantitative evaluations of public health and health care programs.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The ASTDR, formed by the Superfund (hazardous waste) law, conducts public health risk assessments for toxic substances. Their sites include risk information for most toxic substances (ToxFaqs and HazDats) as well as a relevant legislation link.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The sponsor of the Center for Law and the Public’s Health and one of the largest public health agencies, the CDC is the “command center” public health activities. Especially important links are the “Data and Statistics Link” and the “Health Topics A to Z” (insert acutal links on CDC site).

Department of Health and Human Services

DHHS is the umbrella organization for many of the sites on this list. This gateway is particularly useful as a starting point in law & public health research.

DHHS’ Health.Gov Web site

This consumer based site, administered by the nation’s largest health agency, offers multi-agency government health information, including the public health functions project and the HHS partner gateway.

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA website contains useful information for rearch in environmental health and law. The “Browse EPA Topics” and “Major Environmental Laws” provide excellent starting points. Additionally, Envirofacts, at, offers a comprehensive data resource.

Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses

One of the hidden gems of the federal government, this site presents links to virtually every health database on the internet. It is extremely well organized and makes federal site searching easy.

Food and Drug Administration

FDA is charged with ensuring the safety of food, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. Their home page includes direct links to statutory and regulatory materials, enforcement information, and the use of science in the regulatory process.

Health Care Financing Administration

HCFA is the agency charged with administering the Federal governments health care payment plans: Medicare and Medicaid.

Health Resources and Services Administration

HRSA is a broadly focused agency that administers programs to ensure equitable access to comprehensive quality health care. Specific offices within HRSA include the Office of Minority Health, Center for Public Health Practice and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Indian Health Service

IHS specifically focuses on public health and health care programs for the Native American population. Their site, therough the Native Health Research Database provides specific information on American Indian population.

National Academy of Science: Health and Medicine Programs

Online information about NAS activities.

On this site, the National Academy makes their full-text reports available on-line.

National Council on Disability

The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with the responsiblity of making reccomendations for the President and Congress regarding issues affecting disabled Americans. The NCD is responsibile for the evaluation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Their website contains an extensive library of government documents and publications relating to the ADA and disability prevention in many contexts.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The NHTSA, a division of the Department of Transportation, is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. They have a large section on injury prevention and a thorough database on motor-vehicle related morbidity and mortality.

National Institutes of Health

The NIH mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for all. NIH is the coordinating center for almost all federally-funded health related research. Their site has links to the many national institutes dedicated to specific diseases and disorders (including the National Human Genome Research Institute), a comprehensive library of consumer health information, and detailed information on how to obtain an NIH grant.

National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, offers a gateway to MEDLINE research and other federal medical information sites, including the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Specifically noteworthy for public health practicioners is the “Partners in Information Access for Public Health Professionals” at, which includes education and traning materials focused on health improvement.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA, a health agency organized under the Department of Labor, focuses on injury and illness prevention at the workplace. Their website contains the specific regulations for workplace safety, and a library of statistics and data, as well as a “Worker’s Page” which describes the various rights and responsibilities in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Office of National Drug Contol Policy

The ONDCP, a distinct office within the Executive Office of the President, coordinates and established national drug policies among the executive agencies. The site provides easily accesible information on all aspects on the national drug problem, including public health programs as well as criminal justice information. The site also characterizes the laws relating to drug use, prevention and education.

President’s Council on Bioethics

The President’s Council on Bioethics was created to “study the human and moral ramifications of developments in biomedical and behaviorial science and technology. The Council will study such issues as embryo and stem cell research, assisted reproduction, cloning, genetic screening, gene therapy, euthanasia, psychoactive drugs, and brain implants.”

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

This site contains information on the current Senate membership of this committee, including the subcommittee on public health, as well as summaries of proposed legislation.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Organized under DHHS, SAMHSA is dedicated to public mental health and the prevention of disability that results from mental illness and substance abuse. Their site contains useful statistics on drug abuse, violence prevention and mental health as well as a link to three clearinghouses for mental health and substance abuse information.

The Institute of Medicine

One of the National Academies of Science, the Institute of Medicine is one of the preeminent authorities and advisory councils on health policy and the practice of medicine. Their reports are influential in shaping opinions in national health policy.


Internet based searchable library of federal legislation.

U.S. Agency for International Development, Population, Healt

The USAID website offers the official US policy and resource allocation information for international health and development in specific areas such as HIV/AIDS, child survival, and infectious disease.


The FSIS website describes the federal efforts to ensure food safety as well as the current methodology used to assess risk of foodborne pathogens. The site contains useful links to federal food safety initiatives, food-specific prevention measures and links to FoodNet ( the national surveillance system for foodborne illness.