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

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About Us

Our Mission
To raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

Our Goal:
To assure that comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Our Foundation:
To uphold the Federal Government's obligation to promote healthy American Indians and Alaska Native people, communities, and cultures and to honor and protect the inherent sovereign rights of Tribes.

Our Story

The Portland Area of the Indian Health Service (PAO) encompasses a rich diversity of Native culture and traditions in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Meeting the needs of our unique population requires an equally diverse health care delivery system. With direct service health centers operated by a combination of tribal facilities, urban Indian organization, and the I.H.S, we provide and coordinate care to over forty tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to assure comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The disparity of health status disproportionately affecting Northwest Indians is a primary concern for the Portland Area I.H.S. Each year, specific, measurable clinical objectives are used to assess and improve the quality of care at our

Current areas of emphasis are:
  • Infant Health
  • High Risk Maternal & Child Health
  • Tobacco Use Intervention
  • Domestic Violence
  • Diabetes
  • Women's Health Care
  • Cancer Screening

In addition, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov works closely with the PAO, operating a variety of important health related programs on behalf of their member tribes, including the Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center.

Major health problems include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and otitis media. Accidental injuries account for mortality and morbidity several times the national average. Substance abuse issues are a major concern. With a health care team approach, the PAO endeavors to utilize Indian communities and families as a primary resource to effect ongoing improvement in health status for Native American and Alaska Natives.

Note: The term "user population", included with many of the individual site descriptions, is an Indian Health Service measure included only for purposes of rough comparisons of service population size. It represents neither the membership size of a tribe, nor the number of registered patients of any particular facility.