Office of the Secretary (OS)

The Department of Health Services (DHS) is one of the largest and most diverse state Departments in Wisconsin with an annual budget of roughly $11.5 billion and more than 6,100 employees. DHS is committed to protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin. DHS oversees Medicaid, the single largest program in the state budget, and other health and social service programs. DHS ensures that the care provided to Wisconsin residents is high-quality and provided in accordance with state and federal law; ensures that Wisconsin taxpayer dollars are being utilized effectively and efficiently by preventing and detecting waste, fraud and abuse; and works to continue Wisconsin's long tradition of strong health outcomes and innovation.

DHS activities include alcohol and other drug abuse prevention, mental health, public health, implementation of long-term care, disability determination, regulation of state nursing homes and numerous other programs that aid and protect the citizens of our state. The Department also oversees seven 24/7 institutions: three centers for the developmentally disabled; a facility for mentally ill inmates; two psychiatric hospitals; and a facility for treating sexually violent persons. The Department's thousands of employees, along with the local counties, health care providers, and community partners, among others, work together to protect and promote the health and safety of the citizens of Wisconsin.

Read the Department of Health Services Executive Team Bios for Secretary Linda Seemeyer, Deputy Secretary Tom Engels, and Assistant Deputy Secretary Jenny Malcore.

Programs and Services within the Office of the Secretary

Office of the Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is charged with protecting the taxpayers of Wisconsin by preventing and detecting waste, fraud, and abuse of public assistance programs such as Medicaid, FoodShare, and Family Care. The Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was established by Governor Walker in October 2011 and is led by Inspector General Anthony Baize. 

Office of Legal Counsel

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) serves the Office of the Secretary, but is also a resource for the whole Department. OLC provides legal services and advice to the Department, including providing formal and informal legal opinions; litigating contested Department actions in administrative hearings; assisting the Department of Justice in court litigation; providing training and guidance in investigation methods and legal issues; overseeing the Department's administrative rulemaking efforts; overseeing and facilitating implementation of new or updated HIPAA rules; and coordinating caregiver rehabilitation reviews.

Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget

The Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget provides budgeting, policy and research services to the Department.

Division of Enterprise Services

The Division of Enterprise Services (DES) oversees financial management, information systems and technology, personnel and employment relations, affirmative action and civil rights compliance, purchasing and contract administration, facilities management, project management, and other administrative services.


Division of Care and Treatment Services

The Division of Care and Treatment Services (DCTS) manages and supports seven care and treatment facilities, community mental health and substance use services, community forensic treatment services, and the protection of client rights for individuals receiving services for developmental disability, mental health, and substance use.

Division of Medicaid Services

The Division of Medicaid Services (DMS) supports Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs and FoodShare program and provides access to health care, long-term care, and nutritional assistance to more than 1 million Wisconsin residents who are elderly, disabled, or have low income. DMS also includes the Disability Determination Bureau, which administers the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicaid disability determination; and Milwaukee Enrollment Services (MilES), which administers income maintenance services for Milwaukee County.

Division of Public Health

The Division of Public Health (DPH) provides public health services to the people of Wisconsin that address communicable and chronic diseases; health promotion; environmental, occupational, and family and community health; emergency medical services; and injury prevention. The Division is also responsible for issuing birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates, and collects statistics related to the health of Wisconsin residents.

Division of Quality Assurance

The Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) is responsible for protecting and promoting the health, safety, and welfare of residents living in and being taken care of in the health and residential care facilities we regulate. DQA is responsible for regulating and licensing more than 40 different programs and facilities that provide health, long-term care, mental health services, substance abuse services, as well as conducts caregiver background checks and investigations.

Area Administration

Area Administration (AA), which is part of the Office of the Secretary, is the primary link for the Department with local county human service agencies in a broad range of program areas. 

Tribal Affairs Office

The Tribal Affairs Office (TAO), which is part of the Office of the Secretary, assists the Department in maintaining an effective government-to-government relationship with the 11 recognized Wisconsin tribal governments and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC). 

Office of the Secretary
1. West Wilson Street, Room 650

P.O. Box 7850
Madison, WI 53703

Return to List of Divisions

Last Revised: November 15, 2017