If you desire to work for a government healthcare entity as a healthcare manager, your research should include government roles in healthcare management such as:
- Federal Government
- State and Territorial Government
- County Government
- City Government
You will find that there are opportunities in healthcare management in each of these government entities, and your ability to land an interview, will depend on your diligence in finding out where these career opportunities are announced and how to go about applying for a position of interest to you.
Let’s start your journey by exposing you to the largest employer of any of these options — the federal government.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
If you have an interest in becoming a manager in the U.S. healthcare system, in either the private or public health sector, you need to have an intimate understanding of how both sectors work together to form an industry that is responsible for a huge sector of our economy and has one of the largest workforces of any industry in the United States (BLS, 2017).
The starting point for that understanding is with the lead U.S. government agency that oversees all healthcare concerns. That agency is the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The HHS mission is described as:
“…to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.” (HHS Website, 2017)
HHS is administered by the Office of the Secretary, overseeing 11 operating divisions, which include eight agencies that function under the U.S. Public Health Service, and three human services agencies. Each operating division and their agencies administer programs that protect and serve all Americans, as well as conducting lifesaving research.
In addition to its operating divisions and agencies, HHS also has 10 regional offices located throughout the United States. The Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs hosts 10 regional offices that directly serve state and local organizations. HHS also hosts the Tribal Affairs component of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, which serves as the first point of contact for American Indians (HHS Website, 2017).
Another organization that falls under HHS is The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Partnership Center leads the department's efforts to build and support partnerships with faith-based and community organizations to better serve individuals, families and communities in need.
View the HHS’s organizational chart here.
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget is $1.131 billion dollars. To support this budget, a workforce of 80,027 people is needed, with many of them being healthcare managers.
Are Healthcare Managers Needed in These Agencies?
As one can see, the enormity, complexity, and responsibilities of HHS almost defy one’s imagination, and the short answer to this question is – yes! These agencies need university-trained healthcare managers that are well-trained and motivated to meet the many challenges they will face in such a diverse organization.
Keep in mind that HHS spans the United States as well, with management representatives needed regionally at the state, territory, county, and city levels. The healthcare management positions that need to be filled depend on the area of expertise of each agency, resulting in the recruitment of individuals with varying degrees to include master’s degrees in healthcare management and public health.
Careers at HHS
HHS employs individuals from diverse social and academic backgrounds into a full range of career fields and positions including healthcare managers, doctors, nurses, biologists, social and physical scientists, economists, computer specialists, budget analysts, administrative and clerical specialists, and epidemiologists. At HHS, they offer you a rewarding career focused on improving the quality of life for millions of people by serving on the frontlines of the newest developments in health research, care, and technologies. Your service could take the form of:
- Ensuring access to high-quality health care
- Helping parents find affordable child care
- Ensuring that America's food supply is safe
- Researching the latest drugs and treatments for a host of infectious diseases
- Pushing the boundaries of how we diagnose and treat mental health diseases
HHS is responsible for administering a wide variety of health and human services and conducting life-saving research for the nation. They manage over 300 programs that enhance the health and well-being of others. Therefore, healthcare managers are always in need (HHS, 2017).
You can conduct a search for federal government healthcare career opportunities here. You can build an electronic resume and have the system save and send you career opportunity searches.
As you can see, there are many career opportunities with the Federal Government as a healthcare manager that you may not have considered.
State/Territory/County/City Government Healthcare Manager Opportunities
States, U.S. territories, counties, and cities also have health departments that function independently of the federal government, although they do work closely together to accomplish the same goals.
Like the federal government, these entities seek out qualified healthcare managers. Links to employment opportunities can be found on their websites with directions on how to apply for any career opportunities.
These entities work with private healthcare organizations to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of what their partners are doing, sharing best practices, with the single goal of providing the very best in patient healthcare outcomes.
There are many available resources for states, counties, cities, and/or territories, accessible via online websites. Access these links for each area of interest:
Now that you are aware of the existence of healthcare employment resources that are government-related, you are encouraged to visit some of these organizations to see firsthand what they do.
You might discover that working for a government healthcare agency offers just as many benefits and interesting career opportunities as the private healthcare sector. Develop a personal search plan that will help you sort out what is of interest to you personally, and then put your search into action.
Remember – you oversee your own destiny. The growth of healthcare management in the future will be unprecedented and you want to afford yourself every opportunity that might come along.
Association of State and Territorial Health Organizations, at http://www.astho.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Public Health Resources: State or Territorial Health Departments Website, at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/international/relres.html
Healthfinder.gov, at https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?show=1&topic=820
National Association of County and City Health Officials, at http://www.naccho.org
U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Website, https://www.bls.gov
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Website, https://www.hhs.gov
USAJOBS, at https://www.usajobs.gov
Learn more about how American University’s online Master of Science in Healthcare Management and advance your career. Request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.