U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Director's Blog

House Congressional Delegation

I traveled with members of the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on a Congressional Delegation to Oklahoma and South Dakota in August. The purpose of the delegation was for the Chairman, Michael K. Simpson (Idaho), Representative Tom Cole (Oklahoma) and Representative Betty McCollum (Minnesota) to tour IHS funded health facilities and Department of Interior (BIA, BIE) funded projects. The Congressional Delegation visited the Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We also attended the dedication of the new Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Health Center that was constructed with ARRA funding. The trip was an opportunity to answer questions of the delegation members, show how appropriations are making a difference, and to explain the health needs of the communities served by our tribal and IHS facilities. The Subcommittee has been extremely supportive of the need for IHS funding increases and recently proposed a 10% increase in the IHS budget for FY2012. I am grateful to the Subcommittee for their support and the opportunity to accompany members on this delegation. Here are some pictures from the Congressional Delegation:

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  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Chickasaw Nation Leadership - Chickasaw Nation Medical Center
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Chickasaw Nation Medical Center triage room
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Choctaw Nation Medical Center Talihina
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Choctaw Nation Atoka Health Center
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Pine Ridge Hospital Tour
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - SDPI Diabetes Prevention Program presentation
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Rosebud IHS Dental Clinic
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Rosebud IHS Hospital Tour
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Cheyenne River ARRA Facility Dedication Ceremony
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Cheyenne River

Direct Service Tribes Annual Conference

The Direct Service Tribes Annual Conference was held in Nashville, TN during the third week of August. The Direct Service Tribes receive health services under direct management of the Indian Health Service. The presentations included topics such as customer service, contract health services, revenue generation and third party billing, leadership, behavioral health, traditional healing and the Improving Patient Care initiative. I was so grateful to see the great spirit of partnership throughout the meeting. Here are some pictures from the meeting and a link to the conference website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov with copies of the presentations:

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  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Sandra Ortega, Chair, DSTAC
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribute to Darryl Red Eagle
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - DSTAC members and staff
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Direct Service Tribes Annual Conference Attendees
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image -
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Sandra Irwin, Hualapai Tribe

Association of American Indian Physicians Annual Conference

I presented an update at the recent Association of American Indian Physicians Annual Conference in Portland, OR. The audience included American Indian and Alaska Native physicians, medical students, Indian health providers and program staff. The theme of the conference was SHARED VISIONS; BLENDING TRADITION, CULTURE, AND HEALTH CARE FOR OUR NATIVE COMMUNITIES. Here is a picture from the meeting of a quilt that was made for the 40th anniversary and was created with conference T-shirts that featured beautiful Native artwork from past years:

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  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 40th Anniversary quilt

Action Summit for Suicide Prevention

The Department of Health and Human Services (IHS and SAMHSA) and the Department of Interior (BIA and BIE) hosted the first Action Summit for Suicide Prevention in Scottsdale, AZ. This meeting was a result of Tribes requesting that federal agencies work together and collaborate with them to address this heartbreaking problem of suicides in Tribal communities. The agenda for this conference was informed by the 10 regional listening sessions that were hosted by HHS and DOI this past winter. The attendance was amazing (1000+) and indicated the significance of this topic and the need to take action. We are working on follow up from the meeting. Here are some pictures from the Summit:

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  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Dr. Roubideaux attending the Action Summit for Suicide Prevention
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Dancers at the Action Summit for Suicide Prevention
  • Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Attendees at the Action Summit for Suicide Prevention

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Dr. Yvette Roubideaux
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