- United States Public Health Service
Infobox Government agency
agency_name = United States Public Health Service
logo_width = 140px
Federal government of the United States
chief1_name = Admiral
chief1_position = Assistant Secretary for Health
parent_agency = Department of Health and Human Services
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
website = [http://www.usphs.gov www.usphs.gov]
Organization of the Public Health Service
Public Health Service Actplaced the United States Public Health Service (PHS) as the primary division of the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW), which later became the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The PHS is comprised of all Agency Divisions of Health and Human Services and the Commissioned Corps. The Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) oversees the PHS and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. [Organizational Chart of Health & Human Services, 2007] [http://www.hhs.gov/ash/]
Agencies within the Public Health Service
Administration for Children and Families(ACF)
Administration on Aging(AoA)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality(AHRQ)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS)
Food and Drug Administration(FDA)
Health Resources and Services Administration(HRSA)
Indian Health Service(IHS)
National Institutes of Health(NIH)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA)
Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps"The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) employs more than 6,000 public health professionals for the purpose of delivering public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Members of the Commissioned Corp often serve on the frontlines in the fight against disease and poor health conditions.
As one of America's seven uniformed services, the PHS Commissioned Corps fills public health leadership and service roles within federal government agencies and programs. The PHS Commissioned Corps includes officers drawn from many professions, including environmental and occupational health, medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, psychology, social work, hospital administration, health record administration, diet, engineering, science, veterinary, and other health-related occupations.
The mission of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of the United States. As the USA's uniformed service of public health professionals, the Commissioned Corps achieves its mission through:
* Rapid and effective response to public health needs
* Leadership and excellence in public health practices
* Advancement of public health science
The origins of the Public Health Service can be traced to the passage of an act in
1798that provided for the care and relief of sick and injured merchant seamen. The earliest marine hospitals created to care for the seamen were located along the East Coast, with Bostonbeing the site of the first such facility; later they were also established along inland waterways, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexicoand PacificCoasts.
A reorganization in
1870converted the loose network of locally controlled hospitals into a centrally controlled Marine Hospital Service, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C.The position of Supervising Surgeon (later Surgeon General) was created to administer the Service, and John Maynard Woodworthwas appointed as the first incumbent in 1871. He moved quickly to reform the system and adopted a militarymodel for his medical staff, instituting examinations for applicants and putting his physicians in uniforms. Woodworth created a cadre of mobile, career service physicians who could be assigned as needed to the various marine hospitals. The commissioned officer corps (now known as the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service or the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps) was established by legislation in 1889. At first open only to physicians, over the course of the twentieth century, the Corps expanded to include dentists, physician assistants, sanitary engineers, pharmacists, nurses, sanitarians, scientists, and other health professionals.
The scope of activities of the Marine Hospital Service also began to expand well beyond the care of merchant seamen in the closing decades of the
nineteenth century, beginning with the control of infectious disease. Quarantinewas originally a state function rather than federal, but the National Quarantine Actof 1878 vested quarantine authority to the Marine Hospital Serviceand the failed National Board of Health. Over the next half a century, the Marine Hospital Service increasingly took over quarantine functions from state authorities.
immigrationincreased dramatically in the late nineteenth century, the Federal Government also took over the processing of immigrants from the states, beginning in 1891. The Marine Hospital Service was assigned the responsibility for the medical inspection of arriving immigrants at sites such as Ellis Islandin New York. Commissioned officers played a major role in fulfilling the Service's commitment to prevent disease from entering the country.
Because of the broadening responsibilities of the Service, its name was changed in 1902 to the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, and again in 1912 to just the Public Health Service. The Service continued to expand its
public healthactivities as the nation entered the twentieth century, with the Commissioned Corps leading the way. As the century progressed, PHS commissioned officers served their country by controlling the spread of contagious diseases such as smallpoxand yellow fever, conducting important biomedical research, regulating the foodand drug supply, providing health care to underserved groups, supplying medical assistance in the aftermath of disasters, and in numerous other ways.
Today the mission of the Commissioned Corps of the PHS is "Protecting, promoting, and advancing the health and safety of the Nation."
Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male
In 1932, the Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. It was called the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male."
The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients' informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for "bad blood," a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance. Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years. It has been called "arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history."
Uniforms of the United States Public Health Service
Officers of the
Public Health Service Commissioned Corpswear uniforms similar to those of the United States Navyor, when serving with the United States Coast Guard, Coast Guard uniforms, but with unique and distinctive PHS Corps devices and use rank insignia identical to that of Naval officers. Two different sets of rank titles are used. Most commonly used are the standard Navy rank titles. Also used are the historical titles that identify the specialty of the officer in the title. An officer in the grade of O-5 / Commander is a "Senior Surgeon." An officer in the grade of O-3 / Lieutenant is "Senior Assistant".public domain text [http://www.usphs.gov/html/history.html History of the Commissioned Corps, PHS] "
Public Health Service Act
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