retary shall carry out those functions through ATSDR. (See appendix for the list of functions so assigned.)

Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service (IHS) was established by statute as part of the PHS by section 601 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1988.14 That section also specifies that IHS shall be administered by a director who shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The statute specifies that the director shall report to the secretary of HHS through the assistant secretary for health. The statute requires that IHS “shall be an agency within the Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services, and shall not be an office, component, or unit of any other agency of the Department.” The statute goes on to provide that the secretary shall carry out, through the director of IHS, all his authorities with respect to IHS and other programs administered by the secretary through which health care is provided to Indians based on their status as Indians. This statutory provision would seem to preclude the reorganization of any such program under another agency or office within the department.

Regional Offices

There is very little in the statutes about the establishment or role of the regional offices of the department. A few programs (e.g., AoA) refer to regional offices but merely affirm that certain requirements as to organizational responsibilities shall apply to the regional offices as well. The secretary is largely free to establish or revise the role of the regional offices through reorganization.


42 U.S.C.A. ­§ 1661.

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