CDR Dena Wilson is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Dr. Wilson received her medical degree from the University of Washington in 2003. She completed both her internal medicine residency and cardiovascular fellowship at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Wilson is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Echocardiography.
Dr. Wilson began her career as a staff cardiologist with the Native American Cardiology Program based out of the University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. In 2010, she transitioned the program to Flagstaff Medical Center to provide services to Tribes in Northern Arizona. In 2015, she transferred to the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, where she began a cardiovascular service line and worked as a full-time cardiologist. In 2017, she accepted the role as the Clinical Consultant for the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention. She is now the Director of Specialty Services at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.
Dr. Bengson is a board-certified dermatologist working as a full-time clinician. He sees both adult and pediatric outpatient and inpatient consultations, maintains an active dermatologic surgery service including slow Mohs surgery excisions and facial-plastics repairs following skin cancer removal, and runs a regional teledermatology program providing consultations to remote clinics in Arizona, Montana and Wyoming. Dr. Bengson is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology. He received his medical doctorate from the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences, his dermatology specialty training from the John Hopkins Hospital/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Master’s degree in Health Policy & Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to medical school, Dr. Bengson worked for such public health organizations as The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The National Association of County and City Health Officials (through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation), The Barents Group Health Economics Practice, and KPMG Consulting, where he was heavily involved in public health and health systems planning, leadership, and process improvement initiatives.
Dr. Paul Charlton works as an emergency medicine physician at the Gallup Indian Medical Center where he currently serves as the emergency department director. He completed medical school at Dartmouth and his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Washington/Harborview. Dr. Charlton also holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Conflict Resolution, which drives his motivation to improve health care systems to address issues of quality, equity, and social justice. In addition to his clinical contributions, his academic niche is conflict management and health care, for which he holds academic affiliations with several universities focused on this topic. He lives in Gallup, New Mexico, with his wife and two children, and is an active climber and trail runner.
Dr. Amy DeLong is a family physician, medical director, and a Ho-Chunk tribal member who works for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Health and has since 2006. She received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Michigan, completed medical school at the University of Minnesota and completed her training in family medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. She earned her Master’s in Public Health in the maternal child health track while completing an adolescent health fellowship through the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics. Her passions include public health efforts to prevent chronic disease like obesity, especially in childhood, promoting healthy pregnancy outcomes, reducing health disparities by diversifying the workforce, and being outdoors with her family.
Geriatrics and Palliative Care - Blythe Winchester, MD
Dr. Blythe Winchester is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC. She practices at Tsali Care Center and Cherokee Indian Hospital in her hometown. Her interests are in maintaining function and quality of life in all tribal elders. Her focus is on dementia, frailty, fall risk, traditional medicine, advance care planning, and transitions of care. She is also interested in symptom management and chronic disease management for all populations.
Infectious Disease - Jonathan Vilasier Iralu, MD, FACP
Dr. Iralu is the Indian Health Service Chief Clinical Consultant for Infectious Diseases. He has a special interest in HIV, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted disease care in rural communities. His research has focused on undifferentiated febrile illness in the American Southwest and on rural HIV care delivery. He has worked at Gallup Indian Medical Center since 1994 and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School and Senior Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Global Health Equity in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jennie Wei has been working as an Internal Medicine Physician at Gallup Indian Medical Center since 2012, spending half of her clinical time as a hospitalist and half as a primary care physician. She received her undergraduate, medical degree and master of public health at Harvard and completed Internal Medicine residency and Chief Residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is an Assistant Clinical Professor. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. In addition to general medicine and primary care, her clinical interests include substance use disorders and transgender health.
Ms. Saltzgiver, a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, is the 12th Native American certified nurse midwife in the U.S according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She is currently enrolled in the American Indian Public Health MPH program at North Dakota State University. In addition to providing care, advocating for and educating patients and families on their healthcare is a core component of her practice at the Northern Navajo Medical Center. Ms. Saltzgiver uses a holistic approach to support rural, underserved areas. She holds a strong belief in health equity and shares that passion with all communities that she serves to address various social determinants of health. Ms. Saltzgiver’s passion for Indigenous public health and Indigenous health in general is undeniable. She has over six years’ experience as a certified nurse midwife and over nine years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse. Ms. Saltzgiver has helped over 600 families bring their precious babies earth-side since starting as a certified nurse midwife.
Dr. Mike Stitzer is a board-certified neurologist who has worked with the Indian Health Service in the Navajo Area since 2012 and currently works at the Winslow Indian Health Care Center. His areas of interest include migraine, epilepsy, stroke, improving access to rural neurological care, teleneurology, and education. He has been a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology’s Physician Burnout Task Force, the American Academy of Neurology’s Diversity Leadership Program and Health Care Disparities Task Force, and currently serves on the AAN’s Diversity Leadership Committee and Digital Strategy Subcommittee. He is also an enrolled member of the Enterprise Rancheria Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe.
Dr. Jean Howe is the Chief Clinical Consultant for Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN CCC). Dr. Howe is very interested in establishing a dialogue and/or networking with anyone involved in Women's Health or Maternity Care, especially as it applies to American Indian or Alaska Native Women or Indigenous Women around the world.
Dr. Patricia 'Tricia' Capo is an Obstetrics and Gynecology physician at Alaska Native Medical Center and Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. She graduated from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and completed her residency training at the Mayo Clinic and Greenville Hospital System in South Carolina. Dr. Capo has an inherent passion for Indigenous women’s health. She is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and raised on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Dr. Dara Shahon is the Chief of Ophthalmology at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and Adjudicator for the IHS/JVN Tele-ophthalmology program. She joined the Indian Health service in 2015 after practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. Originally from Canada, Dr. Shahon attended the University of Toronto medical school, completed one year of internal medicine followed by a residency in Ophthalmology at the Albert Einstein/Long Island Jewish Hospital program. Dr. Shahon has a particular interest in dry eye conditions and telemedicine screening for diabetic retinopathy.
CDR Greg Smith started his career in 2006 as a Lieutenant in the US Navy stationed at Quantico, VA. In 2009, he commissioned with the USPHS and since that time has served as chief of optometry at the Fort Belknap Service Unit in Harlem, MT. He serves as externship director and has also served in extended details as hospital CEO and clinical director at the Fort Belknap Service Unit. CDR Smith is active as an officer on the board of the Armed Forces Optometric Society. He holds adjunct faculty status at two colleges of optometry and has a passion for mentoring and teaching.
CDR Chris Cordes is an optometrist in the US Public Health Service stationed at Albuquerque Indian Health Center. CDR Cordes did his residency in hospital based optometry at the Crownpoint Healthcare Facility in Crownpoint, NM. He served as deputy chief of optometry at Crownpoint following his residency. He then served as the chief of optometry at the Acoma Canoncito Laguna Indian Health Hospital until transferring to the Albuquerque Indian Health Center. CDR Cordes is married to his wife, Melissa, and has two sons, Jacob and Charlie, and one dog named James.
CDR Brian Burt is a Commissioned Officer currently serving as the Deputy Chief of Surgery at Phoenix Indian Medical Center. He has been a practicing PA for 16 years with experience in primary care, urgent care, emergency medicine, wilderness medicine and general surgery. He holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Emergency Medicine. He is a subject matter expert in vaping and an instructor in Basic Tobacco Intervention Skills for Native Communities. He serves as the Director of Student Services for the department of surgery and coordinates medical and physician assistant students’ clinical practicum. He is a founding member of Rapid Deployment Force Team 3 and has deployed on numerous occasions. He is the president of the Public Health Service Academy of Physician Assistants and holds a Master’s of Science in PA Studies from the George Washington University.
Dr. Topic received her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University and completed a three-year surgical residency in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Topic joined Navajo Area IHS in 2007. Dr. Topic has started two podiatric programs within the Navajo Area and has worked to establish special pay authority to allow IHS to offer fair market value pay for podiatrists. Dr. Topic has been recognized with the IHS Director’s Award. Her interests include maximizing the role of podiatric physicians and surgeons to avoid preventable limb amputations, increasing representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the podiatric workforce and developing podiatrists in leadership roles throughout Indian Health Service.
Dr. Paul Pierce is a psychiatrist working through the Oklahoma City Area Offices of Indian Health Service providing telehealth services to rural clinics in Oklahoma since 2013. He is a board-certified Psychiatrist having completed his B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin, medical school at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and a general psychiatric residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Pierce has received multiple teaching awards from medical students and residents he has supervised over the years. Additionally, he completed a 7-year term as a Board Member of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Dr. Pierce’s professional interests include office-based treatment for opioid dependence, mindfulness meditation, the role of controlled substances in the treatment of mental illness, and the limits of our knowledge in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Johnson received her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 2003. She completed an internal medicine and emergency medicine residency at LSU New Orleans and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Tulane University in New Orleans. Dr. Johnson is board certified in four different areas: emergency medicine, internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine. Dr. Johnson served eight years as chief medical officer for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. In 2019, she became the chief medical officer for Nashville Area Indian Health Service. Dr. Johnson currently serves as the chief clinical consultant for the IHS Critical Care Response Team which serves to augment urgent lifesaving medical care to COVID-19 patients admitted to IHS or tribal hospital emergency departments or inpatient settings. She has supported several other major disaster responses, including Hurricane Katrina and the H1N1 pandemic. She drew upon those previous experiences in her establishment of the IHS Critical Care Response Team and will continue to draw upon her previous experiences as she works as a chief clinical consultant for IHS.
CDR Elizabeth Hosselkus, MD, works as an interventional and diagnostic radiologist for the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, OK. Dr. Hosselkus is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an officer in the US Public Health Service. She completed Diagnostic Radiology residency training at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA in 2015 and Vascular/Interventional Radiology fellowship at University of California San Diego in 2020. Her clinical practice interests include vascular and pelvic image-guided, minimally-invasive procedures. She is active in clinical teaching, creating rotations for medical students and residents. In her spare time CDR Hosselkus enjoys beekeeping, knitting, reading and gaming with her four children.
CAPT Rutledge received her Master of Arts degree in speech-language pathology (SLP) from the School of Health Professions at the University of Kansas and completed her clinical fellowship year in Ewa, Hawaii. She additionally holds a Master of Science degree in Health Education. CAPT Rutledge joined the Navajo Area IHS in 2010 and the Alaska Area in 2014. She was commissioned to the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 2012. CAPT Rutledge started two neonatal oral feeding and dental hygiene programs within the Alaska Area and was recognized with the USPHS Outstanding Service Medal for her efforts. Her interests include pediatric dysphagia and pediatric oral health promotion. CAPT Rutledge was the first IHS SLP to become nationally recognized as a board certified neonatal therapist. She received her diploma in Joint Professional Military Education from the United States Naval War College in 2020. CAPT Rutledge was selected as the IHS chief clinical consultant for rehabilitation specialists in December 2020.
Dr. John Isaac Young works as a general surgeon at Phoenix Indian Medical Center where he currently serves as the acting chief of surgery. His clinical interests include benign and malignant biliary and pancreatic disease, gastrointestinal cancer and thyroid cancer. Dr. Young is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and an officer in the US Public Health Service. He completed residency training at the Oregon Health and Science University in 2016 and joined the surgery department at PIMC shortly thereafter. Dr. Young practices surgery and advanced endoscopy at PIMC as well as part time at Valleywise Health Medical Center where he collaborates with the surgery and gastroenterology department and trains residents and fellows in flexible endoscopy. He is the proud father of three and an amateur painter and naturalist.