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November Tribal Consultation and Urban Confer: A Path Forward Recap from the IHS Health IT Modernization Program

by Mitchell Thornbrugh, Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Indian Health Service

The Health Information Technology Modernization Program team hosted a virtual tribal consultation and urban confer on November 8. The event topic was “The Path Forward” and provided updates regarding the program. To open in a good way, Dave "Nahwahquaw" Grignon, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, delivered a message in his native language which set the tone for a respectful and collaborative event.

We began the session with the announcement of the contract award to General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. (GDIT) to deploy an enterprise Electronic Health Record solution across Indian Country that uses Oracle Health technology. GDIT was selected because it had the strongest overall technical approach, demonstrated experience deploying complex IT systems for the federal government, has a record of strong past performance, and is offering a widely accepted EHR product that was well-received by users participating in scenario-based demonstration sessions. Read more about the selection in the press release.

Across the program, IHS seeks ways to actively share updates with, listen to, and obtain inputs from our partners to build the new enterprise EHR solution. Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Howard Hays highlighted the emphasis on collaboration throughout 2023.

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We closed out the event by hosting an open forum around questions, concerns, and feedback from tribal and urban Indian organization partners. The forum provided robust conversation and we are thankful for our partners’ willingness to provide feedback and insight based on their individual experiences and expertise.

Overall, the November consultation and confer session was a resounding success, thanks to the dedication, passion, and collaboration of all those who participated. As we move forward, we will continue to embrace change, work together, and build a strong future that ensures the best possible care for patients throughout Indian Country for generations to come.

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Register for the 2023 Virtual Summit hosted by the Health IT Modernization Program on December 13, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST via Zoom. During the event, the DHITMO team will provide program updates, tribal and urban Indian organization members will have an opportunity to caucus, and then a panel will be available for Q&A. The virtual room will open at 10:30 a.m. EST.


Submit the non-binding Statement of Interest which opens lines of communication between DHITMO and partners who are interested in the implementation of the new EHR solution. Those who are interested can email their completed SOI form to

Join a focus group in interoperability, data analysis, and/or health IT implementation. Interested parties can email

Sign up to receive  the bi-weekly IHS Updates for Tribes and Tribal and Urban Indian Organizations

Follow IHS on X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up to date

Mitchell Thornbrugh, Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Indian Health Service
Mitchell Thornbrugh, an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is the chief information officer for the Indian Health Service. His responsibilities include advising senior IHS leadership on all aspects of information resource management and technology and ensures IHS compliance with information technology laws, regulations, and policies.