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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Indian Health Locations

Live and Work in Incomparable Locations

All Indian Health nurses live and practice in a variety of settings throughout the United States, many surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. Each of our 12 Areas offer its own unique career experiences and provides you with the opportunity to live and work in diverse Native American or Alaska Native communities that are rich with their own traditions.

An Indian Health nurse can choose to stay in one location or transfer to other locations, further exploring American Indian and Alaskan Native cultures and geographic regions.

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QUICK JUMP: Alaska  ·  Albuquerque  ·  Bemidji  ·  Billings  ·  California  ·  Great Plains  ·  Nashville  ·  Navajo  ·  Oklahoma  ·  Phoenix  ·  Portland  ·  Tucson


Alaska Area

The Alaska Area's service units are situated among the natural wonders of this vast, unspoiled state, from tiny Annette Island at the southern tip of the panhandle to urban Fairbanks to rural Kotzebue, 260 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Nature lovers and outdoor types will find myriad opportunities to explore these landscapes and enjoy their majestic beauty.

The Alaska Area Native Health Service facilities provide comprehensive health services to Alaska Native people, Eskimos, Aleuts, Indians and non-Natives in remote locales through fee- for-service care. Health professionals working in Alaska experience firsthand the various cultures and traditions of Native Alaskans. Members of several Tribes have historically lived in well-defined regions with little mixing of ethnic groups. As a result, each group retains many of its original customs and beliefs. The Alaska Area's service units include hospitals, ambulatory health care centers and community health aide clinics.

For more information, visit the Alaska Area Native Health Service Web site.

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Albuquerque Area

From high-altitude mountain ranges to sprawling deserts to spectacular canyons, the Albuquerque Area facility sites offer adventuresome individuals opportunities for outdoor sports and recreation that are as varied as they are abundant.

The Albuquerque Area provides health services to American Indians in numerous Tribal groups - each with their own history, language and culture - on reservations in New Mexico and Colorado. The IHS facilities also serve numerous American Indians who live, work or attend school in the urban centers of the Albuquerque Area. Divided into service units that provide inpatient and outpatient services through hospitals, health care centers, field clinics and health stations, the Albuquerque Area offers a broad range of curative, preventive, environmental and educational services to the local Tribes.

For more information, visit the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service website

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Bemidji Area

This northern IHS lake area covers the lush, fertile states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, all named and celebrated for their predominant life-giving resource: water. The abundance of lakes and unspoiled acres of land provide many opportunities for recreation.

The Bemidji Area administers several service units which provide care through IHS practitioners. It also administers federally recognized Tribal and Urban programs which deliver services through health care providers hired directly by the Tribes. Many Tribal members are geographically isolated from the urban facilities and community health centers and must rely on a team approach of IHS, Tribal and contract providers for their health care needs. Facilities range from community health stations and walk-in first-aid centers to fully staffed hospitals and clinics. Preventive education and health screening are stressed in an effort to control some of the Area's chronic health problems.

For more information, visit the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Billings Area

The Billings Area embodies the scenic open space and "Big Sky" country of Montana and Wyoming. It serves members of the Plains Tribes on reservations and in surrounding communities. Many of the Tribes' traditional activities and language remain intact. This area is famous for its fresh air and outdoor activities. Montana and Wyoming contain more than 17 million acres of national forest, over three million acres of wilderness and many national and state parks.

The Billings Area provides comprehensive health care services to American Indian people through service units which include hospitals and clinics, preventive health and outreach services, alcohol treatment centers, dental and eye care facilities and air and ground emergency transportation. Reservation-based community fitness centers help promote and enable healthy lifestyles and encourage disease prevention activities.

For more information, visit the Billings Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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California Area

Tribes in the California Area are responsible for the development and operation of their own health care facilities. Many of the facilities are operated by Tribal consortiums, which provide comprehensive health care services to members and are supported by state and federal funding as well as private and public grants. All California Indian health facilities are managed by the Indian people themselves. Thus, IHS provides no staffing to support the California clinics, even though they serve the largest population of Native Americans of all the reservation states. Employment is arranged directly through each facility and requires that the health care provider hold a California license. The Area has both rural Tribal health programs and Urban Indian health programs serving American Indian patients.

For more information, visit the California Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Great Plains Area

The Great Plains Area is a rolling prairie divided in the western portion of the Dakotas by awe-inspiring natural attractions and landmarks such as Badlands National Park, the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. Residents of this unspoiled region enjoy numerous opportunities to hunt, fish, ice skate, ski and hike. Agriculture provides a steady economic base and hydroelectric developments on the Missouri River have spurred growth.

Through its service units, the Great Plains Area provides health care to American Indians on reservations located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. The two largest reservations, Pine Ridge and Rosebud, are in southwestern South Dakota. The Great Plains Area features a comprehensive health care delivery system. Facilities include hospitals, health centers, health stations and satellite clinics.

For more information, visit the Great Plains Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Nashville Area

Geographically, the Nashville Area is the largest of the 12 IHS Areas, covering the greatest number of square miles in the "lower 48" and extending from Maine to Texas. The Area is richly endowed with the traditional cultures and artifacts of many Tribes, from beautiful crafts prized by collectors to traditional foods served at celebrations and pow-wows.

The Nashville Area serves members of Tribes scattered across states mostly east of the Mississippi River. Many of the beneficiaries use Tribal operated clinics, located near the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Lakes. Most professionals in the Area's facilities are employed by the Tribes, but they may also belong to one of the government's personnel systems, the civil service or the USPHS Commissioned Corps.

For more information, visit the Nashville Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Navajo Area

The Navajo Area serves the Navajo Nation - the largest Indian Tribe in the United States, spread throughout Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Health care professionals are drawn to this Area by the special connections made with the Navajo people and their traditions and the opportunity to appreciate awe-inspiring natural beauty.

The Navajo Area provides comprehensive health care to the Navajo people throughout this vast reservation. Inpatient, outpatient, contract and community health programs are centered around the Navajo Area's hospitals, health centers, health stations, school clinics and Navajo Tribal health programs. The vast range of facilities offers health care professionals a choice in the scale and style of health care they wish to practice.

For more information, visit the Navajo Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Oklahoma City Area

A clean environment, lakes, small mountain ranges and prairies characterize the Oklahoma City Area. Health professionals live and work in rural areas, small college towns or large cities in Kansas and Oklahoma. For them, the lifestyle is quiet, unhurried, sociable, inexpensive focus on the basics: good school systems, outdoor recreation and cultural events.

The Oklahoma City Area's service units provide care to the largest IHS service population in the United States with the majority of patients residing in urban settings. Hospitals and outpatient health centers and clinics provide inpatient and outpatient care. Many of the facilities are quite large and hire a diverse staff. The IHS staff and Tribal hired professionals and paraprofessionals work using state-of-the-art equipment in modern facilities.

For more information, visit the Oklahoma City Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Phoenix Area

The Phoenix Area serves American Indians from many culturally diverse Tribes throughout Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The Area's terrain and climate vary from desert and mesa country to alpine meadows and rugged national parks. Recreational opportunities include hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing and water sports. Outdoor activities are popular among the Phoenix Area staff, whether they are stationed in desert areas, mountainous terrain or along the Colorado River.

The Area's service units include IHS hospitals, clinics, health centers and health stations. The IHS facilities combine modern technology, western medicine and traditional healing. Medical Center facilities provide multi-service and specialty care to patients and conduct research under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health.

For more information, visit the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Portland Area

The terrain of the Pacific Northwest is as varied as it is beautiful. The Northwest is famous for its abundant recreational opportunities and most Indian reservations are located among these prime spots.

The Portland Area oversees the delivery of health care to Indian people who reside on reservations in the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The IHS operates both health centers and health stations in this Area. The Tribes operate an increasing number of health care facilities throughout the Portland Area. Facility locations vary from remote, rural and coastal reservations to large metropolitan areas. Local practitioners enjoy a great deal of autonomy in their practices, whether in the clinic, lab or pharmacy.

For more information, visit the Portland Area Indian Health Service Web site.

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Tucson Area

Dramatic scenery characterizes the Tucson Area, where elevations range from 1,400 feet in the Santa Rosa Valley to nearly 8,000 feet on Baboquivari Mountain. Popular recreational activities include camping and backpacking in the nearby desert and national forests and skiing on the White Mountains or Mount Lemmon.

The Tucson Area is the smallest of all IHS Areas, serving the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Health service for the Tohono O'odham is centered in Sells, AZ, which is the capital of the Tohono O'odham Reservation and hub of reservation life. Health care in the Sells Service Unit is a joint effort between IHS and the Tohono O'odham Health Department. The Yaqui Service Unit is jointly managed by IHS and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Services are rendered directly and indirectly through a non-traditional, innovative system of subcontracts.

For more information, visit the Tucson Area Indian Health Service Web site.

For more information regarding the IHS Areas, please see the IHS Area Offices and Facilities page.

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