See also: Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program
The Arizona Department of Health Services was established in 1973. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§36-101 et seq.
ADHS was established to protect the physical and mental health of Arizona citizens and to promote the highest standards for licensed health care institutions, emergency services and care facilities for adults and children. Agency responsibilities have changed somewhat since its creation.
ADHS is responsible for a number of programs including: licensing and regulation of health care and child care facilities; disease control; immunization education and promotion; emergency preparedness; emergency medical services; state laboratory; public health statistics; and vital records which include birth and death certificates. ADHS is responsible for operation of the Arizona State Hospital, a state-operated psychiatric inpatient facility providing treatment to adolescents and adults with serious mental illness. (Auditor General Report No. 09-11 and http://www.azdhs.gov)
The State Board of Health existed from 1913 until 1974. The State Department of Health existed from 1941 until 1974. The successor agency, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), established in 1974, absorbed a number of agencies including the State Department of Health, Arizona Health Planning Authority, Crippled Children’s Services, Arizona State Hospital, Pioneers’ Home and Hospital, and the Anatomy Board. ADHS also included the Water Quality Control Council, the Bureau of Air Pollution Control, Bureau of Air Quality Control, Bureau of Water Quality Control and the Bureau of Vehicular Emission Inspection.
The purpose of the act was to provide an integration of health services in a pattern to reduce duplication of administrative efforts, services and expenditures and promote a means for people with health problems to find a solution in a single department’s coordinated service. (Laws 1973, Chapter 158 – Purpose)
Section 320 of the 1973 measure outlined specific requirements related to the effective date, a transition period and a plan of assumption for the functions that were transferred to ADHS.
The authority, funding, functions and programs that had been repealed and transferred to ADHS were allowed to continue for a period of time in order to allow for establishment of the new agency. An executive order certifying a plan of assumption was required in order to establish an effective date for the new agency. Governor Jack Williams issued a series of executive orders in 1974 (See EO 74-2, EO 74-3, EO 74-4, and EO 74-6). The Director of ADHS was required to work with a legislative committee until July 1, 1975 regarding organization and operation of the Department.
Laws 1941, Chapter 105 established the State Department of Health, responsible for a number of programs, including maternal and child health, mental health and retardation, drug abuse, sanitation, medical services, hospital planning and construction, nursing, preventive health services, water quality, health records and statistics, the state laboratory, and local health administration.
Laws 1973, Chapter 158 established the ADHS, which assumed responsibility for a number of boards and agencies. Section 320 of the act outlined specific requirements regarding the effective date, a transition period and a plan of assumption for the functions that were transferred to the ADHS.
Laws 1981, Fourth Special Session, Chapter 1 established the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) as a division within ADHS. It provided for hospitalization and medical care of the indigent sick; provided funding for the system; authorized the director to apply for federal funding; outlined responsibilities of counties, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and ADHS; prescribed requirements for eligibility services, coverage and contracts; and execution of prepaid capitated health service contracts. Coverage began October 1, 1982.
Laws 1984, Chapter 372 established AHCCCS as a stand-alone agency and transferred responsibility, personnel, equipment and funds from ADHS to the new agency.
Laws 1986, Chapter 368 established a new state agency, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The measure transferred oversight of air quality, water quality, solid waste and hazardous waste, and outlined transition and succession of responsibility from ADHS to ADEQ.
Laws 1995, Chapter 257 required a sexually violent person, as determined by the courts, to be detained in the Arizona State Hospital. The following year, legislation was enacted to place the person under the custody of ADHS, rather than the Arizona Department of Corrections. See also Laws 1996, Chapter 315.
Laws 2000, Chapter 362 designated ADHS as the state’s recipient and administrator of federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act grants. The measure also designated the Governor’s Office as the state’s recipient of federal Stop Violence Against Women Act grants and designated the Arizona Department of Public Safety as the state’s recipient of federal Victims of Crimes Act grants.
Laws 2000, Fifth Special Session, Chapter 2 established the Serious Mental Illness Services Fund, consisting of monies appropriated to ADHS from the Tobacco Litigation Settlement Account in the state general fund.
Laws 2011, Chapter 27 transferred the Biomedical Research Commission to ADHS, including its duties and responsibilities, which are related to disease control and health research.
A second measure in 2011 transferred responsibility for the Children’s Rehabilitative Services, including personnel, equipment, records and funds, from ADHS to AHCCCS, effective July 1, 2011. Laws 2011, Chapter 31.
Laws 2015, Chapter 19 transferred the administration of behavioral health services from ADHS to AHCCCS, effective July 1, 2016. Administration of the Arizona State Hospital remained with ADHS. The measure required conforming language to be drafted the following year in order to complete the transfer of responsibility (see Laws 2016, Chapter 122).
Revised Statutes of Arizona – 1913 Civil Code, paragraph 4367
Arizona Revised Statutes
- Laws 1941, Chapter 105
- Laws 1973, Chapter 158
- Laws 1981, Fourth Special Session, Chapter 1
- Laws 1984, Chapter 372
- Laws 1986, Chapter 368
- Laws 1995, Chapter 257
- Laws 1996, Chapter 315
- Laws 2000, Chapter 362
- Laws 2000, Fifth Special Session, Chapter 2
- Laws 2011, Chapter 27 and Chapter 31
- Laws 2015, Chapter 19
- Laws 2016, Chapter 122
Governor Jack Williams Executive Orders issued in 1974: EO 74-2; EO 74-3; EO 74-4; EO 74-6
Department of Health Services website: http://www.azdhs.gov
Sunset Review – Arizona Department of Health Services, September 2009. Arizona Auditor General Report No. 09-11. www.azauditor.gov
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
RG 50 – Department of Health Services