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NHIC Home Page    

The National Health Information Center (NHIC) is a health information referral service. NHIC links consumers and health professionals who have health questions to organizations best able to provide answers.

NHIC was established in 1979 by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), within the Office of Public Health and Science, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NHIC’s objectives are to:

Identify organizations that provide quality health information.
Channel requests for information to these organizations.
Develop referral resources on health topics of interest to the public, health professionals, and the health media.

NHIC meets these objectives by providing:

Support for the healthfinder® Web site, the official Federal gateway to consumer health information, and other Web sites such as Healthy People 2010 and the Virtual Office of the Surgeon General.
A toll-free telephone service.
A variety of health information resource materials.


NHIC maintains on online directory of more than 1,800 health-related organizations that can provide health information. They include Federal and State government agencies, voluntary and professional associations, and universities. The database is accessible to the public through the healthfinder® Web site.

Referral Services

When consumers and health professionals call, write, or send electronic mail, NHIC referral specialists search the organization database and resource files to find the most appropriate organizations. Referral
specialists provide people with the following:

The toll-free telephone numbers of the organizations, if available.
The full names and addresses of the organizations.

Callers also are given a brief description of the organization’s services. In some cases, written requests are referred directly to the organizations.

NHIC does not diagnose disease, recommend health care providers, or perform in-depth research.


NHIC produces general resource guides in the healthfinder® series that cover a wide range of health topics. These include annual editions of the following, which are available in print, on diskette, and on the Web:

National Health Observances planner.
Toll-Free Numbers for Health Information.
Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses.

For Service:


National Health Information Center
P.O. Box 1133
Washington, DC 20013-1133


(800) 336-4797 (toll-free) or
(301) 565-4167 (in the Washington, D.C., area)
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern Time


Fax: (301) 984-4256

World Wide Web: 

healthfinder® Web Site


Healthy People 2010 Web Site

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Web Site 

NHIC is a service of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

last updated: 10/01/02

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