- Division of Administration
- Division of Cannabis Regulation
- Division of Community & Public Health
- Division of Regulation & Licensure
- Division of Senior & Disability Services
- State Public Health Laboratory
Division of Administration
Marcia Mahaney, Director
The Division of Administration provides a variety of support services for the Director’s Office and the programmatic divisions of the department. Services include budget administration; grant and contract administration; accounting and procurement functions; internal audit; maintenance of the inventory of physical assets; warehouse, delivery and mailroom services; and building lease management.
Division of Cannabis Regulation
Amy Moore, Director
The Division of Cannabis Regulation was formed in November 2022 following the passage of Amendment 3, which amended Missouri’s constitution to include adult-use cannabis laws within Article XIV. Amendment 3 entrusted DHSS with regulating adult use of cannabis for those ages 21 and up in Missouri just as it led the state’s medical marijuana program since its 2018 inception. DCR met or surpassed all constitutionally-mandated timelines set forth by Amendment 3 and was able to facilitate adult use sales in less than 90 days by approving an initial group of 207 dispensaries, 72 manufacturers and 56 cultivation facilities to begin operating under comprehensive licensing (medical and adult-use). Prior to Amendment 3 passing, DCR was known as the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation and operated within the Division of Regulation and Licensure.
Medical marijuana sales first began in 2020, which was just 23 months after the law originally passed. The implementation timeline was 6 months faster than the national average compared to other states. In the first two years, a total of $26 million was transferred to the Missouri Veterans Commission. At one time, there were more than 205,000 active patients in Missouri.
The Section for Patient & Application Services is responsible for processing applications for medical cannabis licensure, agent ID and personal cultivation, reviewing criminal history background checks, and responding to applicant call and email inquiries. The Section for Compliance & Enforcement manages eligibility and licensure for microbusinesses and comprehensive facilities, conducts investigations, processes packaging and labeling approvals for compliance, and inspects all facility license types. The Office of Operational Support maintains and publishes performance metrics, performs financial services to support the division, and coordinates with the department’s communications team to publish an annual report to the Governor, website updates, media responses and social media posts. The Office of Business Opportunity is led by the Chief Equity Officer, a position that was required by Amendment 3 language, and leads the process by which microbusinesses are licensed. The office also implements a constitutionally-required grant program for addiction and overdose treatment and education.
Article XIV established a sales tax for both medical and adult-use sales that are directed to cover operational costs and a variety of other public services. Funds raised by the medical marijuana sales tax are transferred to the Missouri Veterans Commission after the division’s operating costs are covered. The adult-use sales tax funds operational costs of the division and expungement of certain criminal history records under Article XIV, Section 2. The remaining balance is divided equally among the Missouri Veterans Commission, the Missouri Public Defender System, and DHSS to fund evidence-based, low-barrier drug addiction treatment through grants to agencies and not-for profits.
More information can be found at Cannabis.Mo.Gov.
Division of Community & Public Health
The Division of Community and Public Health is responsible for supporting and operating more than 100 programs and initiatives addressing public health issues such as communicable disease control, chronic disease management, genetic health conditions, cancer, pregnancy, vital statistics and health care access. The division also assures the continuity of essential public health services to all citizens of and visitors to the state of Missouri.
The Office for Emergency Coordination is responsible for coordinating and providing direction for statewide public health response activities throughout the department and coordinates with other local/state/federal agencies on emergency response activities. Through partnerships with local public health departments, hospitals and other health care organizations, local government, first responder agencies, and other partners, the office works to assure systems are in place to protect the health of Missourians during a public health emergency.
The Center for Local Public Health Services works to strengthen Missouri’s public health system of 114 local public health agencies. It provides leadership, training and technical assistance to those agencies, communities, not-for-profit organizations and other health-related key stakeholders regarding the development of processes that improve community-based public health systems.
The Section for Community Health Services and Initiatives directs statewide programs that are designed to prevent and control chronic diseases for all Missourians and support the nutritional health of high-risk populations. The section provides leadership in assessment, planning and policy development and implementation of evidence-based approaches to prevent and control cancer and chronic diseases, the leading causes of death in Missouri. In addition, the section administers statewide programs that provide early screening and detection, and health and wellness interventions to reduce risk factors for chronic diseases (e.g., tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor diets). These programs are managed through the Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Control; and the Bureau of Community Health and Wellness.
The Section for Disease Prevention is the principal section involved in the investigation of the cause, origin, and method of transmission of communicable (or infectious) diseases. Included are specific responsibilities related to tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, other reportable communicable diseases, food and water-borne illnesses, zoonoses (diseases that humans contract from animals), emerging infections such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, cryptosporidiosis, paragonimiasis, and influenza H1N1, early disease outbreak surveillance systems, as well as other emergency response functions. The primary units are the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention; the Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis; the Bureau of Immunization, the Bureau of Reportable Disease Informatics, and the Office of Veterinary Public Health.
The Section for Environmental Public Health protects the health of all Missourians and visitors to the state by ensuring healthy food and environments and through the investigation and prevention of illnesses and medical conditions related to the environment. Efforts to assure a healthy environment include activities in food establishments, lodging establishments, childcare facilities and individual homes. Investigation and prevention of illness related to the environmental focus on those conditions associated with exposure to chemical, bacteriological and physical agents in our environment and in water we consume. The primary units are the Bureau of Environmental Health Services and the Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology.
The Section of Epidemiology for Public Health Practice promotes a better understanding of health problems and needs in Missouri and assists the division in many functions including initiation and maintenance of surveillance systems, data management and reporting; collection of birth and death information; coordination of specific grants; public information dissemination; and fiscal services. The section also issues certified copies of Missouri birth and death records. These support services are available through the office of Epidemiology, and the bureaus of Health Care Analysis and Data Dissemination, Vital Statistics and Vital Records.
The Section for Healthy Families and Youth promotes optimal health through a series of programs that provide educational, nutritional and support services for women of childbearing age, pregnant women, infants, and children. This section is responsible for developing policy; planning systems of care; and designing, implementing and evaluating programs to meet the health care needs of families in the state of Missouri, including those with genetic disorders. The section is also responsible for the provision of educational and nutritional support to child care centers, schools, pregnant women, infants and children across the state. The primary units are the bureaus of Genetics and Healthy Childhood, Community Food and Nutrition Assistance, and the Bureau of WIC and Nutrition Services.
Division of Regulation & Licensure
Steve Bollin, Director
The Division of Regulation and Licensure issues state licenses for a variety of entities providing services that impact health and safety. Division staff determine compliance with state and/or federal regulations through inspection of the premises, care and services.
The Section for Health Standards and Licensure is responsible for assuring that the care and services provided by hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, home health agencies, hospices, ambulance services, emergency medical technicians, persons who prescribe or dispense controlled substances, end stage renal dialysis facilities, and other types of health care facilities meet state and/or Medicare/Medicaid standards. Periodic licensure surveys and complaint investigations are also performed as part of the division’s authority.
The Section for Long-Term Care Regulation is responsible for conducting state inspections and federal surveys, and for investigating complaints regarding long-term care facilities. The section also conducts the federal participation survey of habilitative facilities servicing clients diagnosed with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities that participate in the Medicaid program. The section oversees the Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASARR) process, provides construction plan review services to healthcare facilities regarding new construction and extensive remodeling projects and maintains the level one medication aide register, certified medication technician register and the federally mandated nurse assistant register.
The division also conducts background screenings of those who care for children, seniors and persons with disabilities, designates hospitals as Trauma Centers, Stroke Centers and STEMI Centers.
Division of Senior & Disability Services
Melanie Highland, Director
The Division of Senior and Disability Services is the designated State Unit on Aging, carrying out the mandates of the State of Missouri regarding programs and services for seniors. The division is responsible for the development and implementation of programs designed to protect seniors and adults with disabilities and for the administration of an integrated system of care for eligible adults that require long-term care. In coordination with the department director, the division director, deputy division director and financial office advise legislators, advocates, state agencies and other organizations and individuals regarding services and data available to support this function.
The Section for Adult Protective and Community Services investigates reports of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and provides crisis intervention and Adult Protective Services for eligible adults (age 18 and over) that are determined to be unable or unwilling to provide or access services needed to meet their daily needs. Additionally, the section provides oversight to Medicaid funded Home and Community Based Services that are authorized on behalf of adults choosing to receive long-term care in the home or community. The section administers programs designed to maximize independence and safety for adults who choose to remain independent in the community by accessing state and federal community-based programs.
The Central Registry Unit operates the state’s toll-free elder abuse hotline, receives referrals on behalf of individuals in need of long-term care, registers hospital and home-health complaints, and completes registration into the Shared Care Program that offers tax credits to caregivers providing care to seniors in the community.
The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for facility residents, has responsibility for complaint resolution on behalf of facility residents, educates and trains staff, consumers and community partners on issues related to long-term facility care, and manages over 300 volunteer Ombudsman serving in facilities across the state.
The Bureau of Senior Programs is responsible for oversight of programs authorized and funded through the Older Americans Act. The bureau is responsible for collaboration and coordination of programs within various state agencies and local communities as necessary to set policy and integrate state and federal goals for seniors within Missouri with emphasis on programs that enable seniors to maximize independence and safety in the community. Program implementation is administered by Area Agencies on Aging who are responsible for ensuring that federal funding is allocated in a manner that refl ects the needs of seniors within each of the ten planning and service areas.
The Bureau of Special Health Care Needs (SHCN) provides statewide health care support services, including service coordination, for children and adults with disabilities, chronic illness, birth defects and adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury State and federal funding supports SHCN services.
The State Public Health Laboratory
The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL) is dedicated to promoting, protecting and partnering for health by delivering quality public health laboratory services. These services include laboratory testing for infectious diseases, genetic disorders and environmental concerns, both in support of public health programs and as a reference laboratory performing confirmatory or specialized procedures. The MSPHL provides scientific expertise and managerial leadership to meet the challenges in clinical and environmental laboratory disciplines and in the development of public health policy. The MSPHL is comprised of two locations; the main laboratory resides in Jefferson City and its Breath Alcohol program is located in Poplar Bluff.