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, making sure everyone can live their best life.

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 used 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 works with local counties, health care providers, and community partners, among others, to provide 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. DHS 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.

Request a meeting or speaking engagement: Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake and Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge welcome the opportunity to speak at conferences and meet with partners, stakeholders, and other interested parties across the state. To request the Secretary-designee or Deputy Secretary attend your meeting or speak at your conference, please fill out our request form.

Programs and Services within the Office of the Secretary

Area Administration

Area Administration is the primary link between DHS and local county human service agencies and their associations.

Communications Team

The Communications Team works with staff and provides guidance to effectively promote the programs and services that ensure the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.

Director of Opioid Initiatives

The Director of Opioid Initiatives coordinates the DHS response to end the state's opioid crisis, ensuring our efforts are as aggressive and effective as possible.

Executive Team

The Executive Team is appointed by Wisconsin's Governor and has the day-to-day tasks of managing DHS, as well as determining our agency's future direction.

Legislative Advisor

The Legislative Advisor is the primary point-of-contact between DHS and Wisconsin lawmakers, and monitors legislation affecting our programs and services.

Tribal Affairs Office

The Tribal Affairs Office assists DHS in maintaining an effective government-to-government relationship with the 11 recognized Wisconsin tribal governments and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council.

Office of the Secretary
1 W. Wilson Street, Room 650
Madison, WI 53703


PO Box 7850
Madison, WI 53707-7850

Return to List of Divisions

Last Revised: June 16, 2022