State departments of health promote public health through policy initiatives, research and service programs. Often, a state's public health administration is combined with the provision of social services. "Health" generally encompasses behavioral and environmental health as well as physical well-being, illness and communicable diseases.
Visitors to state health sites may find directories of hospitals and nursing homes, listings of licensed health practitioners, health warnings, information about federally-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, vital statistics, reports on specific health issues such as alcoholism or drug or tobacco addiction, mental health and disability programs, health insurance and long-term care, licensing boards, regulations as well as volunteer or employment opportunities.
Social service websites may include information and programs dealing with welfare, early childhood development, foster parenting, poverty, juvenile deliquency, aging, public assistance, and rehabilitation. There may also be listings of private social service agencies.