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Indian Health Service Selects Nashville Area Director
Richie K. Grinnell, a member of the Sac and Fox Tribe of Missouri, has been selected as the Area Director for the Indian Health Service (IHS) Nashville Area. Dr. Charles W. Grim, the Director of the IHS, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, announced Mr. Grinnell’s appointment after a selection process that included Tribal and Urban Indian representation and recommendations.
“Mr. Grinnell has almost 26 years of extensive experience in the Indian health care system, including executive management experience gained in senior leadership positions within the IHS. He possesses invaluable insight in supporting Federal/Tribal partnerships with the 27 Tribes served by the Nashville Area,” stated Dr. Grim. “His experience and his commitment to working with Tribes and Urban programs have enhanced his ability to serve as an effective manager and leader.”
As Area Director, he will administer a comprehensive health care program for American Indians living in 14 states in the southern and eastern United States. The Nashville Area health programs provide preventive, curative, and environmental health services to more than 50,000 American Indians. The Nashville Area consists of 27 federally recognized Tribes and Urban groups. The largest IHS-funded facility in the Nashville Area is the Cherokee Hospital in Cherokee, North Carolina, which is managed by the Eastern Band of Cherokees under a Self- Determination compact. Cherokee is also the site of Unity Regional Treatment Center, a residential substance abuse facility for adolescents that focuses on a 12-step program following traditional values. The Nashville Area is also in the process of establishing two new federally operated Service Units.
Mr. Grinnell oversees a unique Indian health system composed of Tribes that have assumed partial or full responsibility for their own health care programs through the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act, P.L. 93-638, Tribal contracts and compacts. As part of a national Indian health system of Federal, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs, the Nashville Area also contributes to the support of two urban health programs located in New York, New York, and Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts.
“I look forward to the continued challenge of meeting the health care provision goals of American Indian people, and I am committed to working with IHS staff, Tribes, and Urban programs,” stated Mr. Grinnell. “It is an honor to serve as the Nashville Area Director.”
Mr. Grinnell is a member of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and currently holds the rank of Captain.