U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
A - Z Index:

Council Member Bios

Sandra LahiChair (2015-2017) - CAPT Sandra M. Lahi, M.B.A., RHIA
Chief Executive Officer, Jicarilla Service Unit

CAPT Sandra Lahi is a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She has worked with Indian Health Service for over 23 years and began her career in the Medical Record Department at the Chickasaw Indian Hospital. She continued her education and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Record Administration from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and ultimately her Masters of Business Administration at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

During her career, she has worked in the Health Information Management, Business Office and Information Technology systems. She is accredited by AHIMA as a Registered Health Information Administrator and as a Certified Coder through AAPC. She has been stationed at the Mescalero Indian Hospital, Santa Fe Indian Hospital, Headquarters Office of Information Technology, Headquarters Office of Resource Access and Partnerships and the Oklahoma City Area Office. CAPT Lahi transferred to the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Jicarilla Service Unit in Dulce, New Mexico in October of 2010.

Throughout her tenure with IHS, she has served on multiple Area and national workgroups and committees within Indian Health Service and has participated in many initiatives to strengthen the Agency's capacity for increasing third party revenue. Her passion while working in all of these locations has been to improve health care systems with the ultimate goal of improving patient care to the Native American population. She is honored and proud to be working for her own tribe on health care issues and working in collaboration with the local tribally managed programs to improve patient care.

Bernard N. LongVice Chair (2013-2014) - Bernard N. Long
Chief Executive Officer, Ft. Thompson Health Center

Bernard N. Long, is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, recently retired as a CDR from the USPHS Commissioned Corp with over 30 years of Indian Health Service is currently the CEO for the Ft. Thompson Health Center on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. Mr. Long is the first Physical Therapist to serve the Indian Health Service as a recipient of the 437 Indian Health Scholarships. Bernard graduated from the University of North Dakota's Physical Therapy program and the Indians into Medicine (INMED) in 1983. Bernie earned his Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University.

Mr. Long began his career with the White Mountain Apache Reservation in 1983. In 1986 he transferred to Pine Ridge, SD; where he served as the Chief of Physical Therapy service and the Aberdeen Area Gerontological Program Officer. He was also stationed in the Billings Area in 1995-1998, but has served the Aberdeen Area IHS for over 20 years.

His titles and positions over the years have included, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Community Services, Chief of Physical Therapy Services, Clinical Services Director, Physician and Professional Recruiter, Area Regional Physical Therapy Consultant, Commissioned Corp Liaison Officer, and most recently was the Northern Plains Regional EEO and Diversity Manager.

Mr. Long has served on several National Committees, including the IHS Strategic Systems Advisory Committee and the National Business Office Committee. Bernard was selected by his CEO peers to represent Service Unit leadership from 2001 to 2003 as NCCEO and chaired several regional and national committees over the years.

As a Commissioned Officer and Native American, Mr. Long has always responded to the call to duty. Bernie stepped down from a CEO position to assist the Crow Creek Reservation in March of 2004, during the nationally known "Suicide Teen Cluster" just prior to the Red Lake incident. He has learned to appreciate what he calls, "keeping a pulse of the community."

Bernie has provided many community services over the years. He has coached soccer, track, football and Odyssey of the Mind. Bernie, his wife Dianne, and their three daughters have a small ranch with cattle and Arabian horses trained for endurance racing. Bernard assists Dianne with her business, Longstar Kennels where they train service dogs for children with autism and diabetic alert dogs.

Secretary (2015-2016) - CAPT Dorlynn Simmons
Chief Executive Officer, Jicarilla Service Unit

CAPT Dorlynn Simmons is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the Mescalero Indian Hospital and has served in this position for many years. Her specialty credentials is as a Social Worker and she has been called upon to serve in various roles, committees and deployments throughout her career as a USPHS Officer.

Carmen Past Chair (2013-2015) - CAPT Carmen "Skip" Clelland
Chief Executive Officer, Clinton Service Unit

Dr. Carmen Clelland, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, is the Chief Executive Officer for the Clinton Service Unit, Indian Health Service (IHS). His current roles and responsibilities include oversight, policy, planning, and operations for the Clinton Service Unit. Prior to this assignment he was the Director, Division of Health Professions Support at IHS Headquarters for which he provided oversight and guidance for IHS workforce development for health professionals including loan repayments and scholarships. He completed his Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Oklahoma; also completed a Masters of Public Administration from Walden University and is currently enrolled in healthcare corporate compliance at George Washington University. Dr. Clelland trained in an ambulatory care residency in the IHS in 1989 and has worked in multiple IHS Areas including Oklahoma, Navajo, Phoenix, Portland, and at IHS Headquarters. He has held multiple clinical and administrative positions including Advanced Practice Pharmacist, Chief Pharmacist, Director Professional Services, Chief Financial Officer, and Director Quality Management.