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View of Monona Terrace and buildings from the Lake Monona

Office of the Secretary (OS)

The Department of Health Services (DHS) is one of the largest state agencies in Wisconsin, with an annual budget of roughly $15 billion and more than 6,700 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 works with local and tribal health departments, health care providers, community partners, and 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 Wisconsinites.

DHS also oversees seven 24/7 institutions:

  • Three centers for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
  • One facility for people with a mental illness and involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • One facility that cares for individuals living with challenging behaviors and complex psychiatric conditions.
  • One facility that provides specialized treatment to people referred from the Department of Corrections.
  • One facility for people committed under Wisconsin's sexually violent persons’ law.

DHS ensures that the care provided to Wisconsin residents is provided in accordance with state and federal law; ensures that Wisconsin taxpayer dollars are being used effectively and efficiently by implementing evidence-informed programs and by preventing and detecting waste, fraud, and abuse; and works to promote strong health outcomes and innovation.

Request a meeting or speaking engagement: Our executive team welcomes the opportunity to speak at conferences and meet with partners, stakeholders, and other interested parties across the state. To request a member of our executive team 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 Substance Use Initiatives

The Director of Substance Use 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


Email the DHS constituent relations team

Return to List of Divisions

Last revised February 7, 2024