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IHS Staff Recognized by HHS Secretary Becerra for Exceptional Service and Leadership during COVID-19

Today, a number of HHS employees were awarded a Secretary’s Commendation for their exceptional service and leadership during the Public Health Emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, presented by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. While the pandemic is not over, the continued due diligence and efforts of HHS staff are employed every day to ensure the worst chapters are behind us. Congratulations to the exceptional Indian Health Service employees who were honored today for their efforts:

  • Dr. Loretta Christensen, IHS Chief Medical Officer
  • Capt. Brian K. Johnson, Acting Deputy Director, Navajo Area
  • Capt. Robert Hayes, Director, National Supply Service Center
  • Capt. Kailee Fretland, Deputy Lead, IHS COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force
  • Capt. Holly Van Lew, Deputy Lead, IHS COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force

We also recognize the entire IHS team across Indian Country for their unwavering dedication to our American Indian and Alaska Native patients throughout the pandemic. The commitment shown by IHS staff shines through each day, ensuring that the most challenging periods are becoming a thing of the past. Their remarkable contributions inspire us all to keep pushing forward.