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May 2020 Blogs

National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19

Rick Haverkate, National HIV & HCV Program Coordinator, Indian Health Service

May 19, 2020
by Rick Haverkate, National HIV & HCV Program Coordinator, Indian Health Service

May is National Hepatitis Month, and May 19 is the observance of Hepatitis Testing Day. These observances are important opportunities to raise more widespread awareness of viral hepatitis and its impact in the U.S. and expand our coordinated national efforts to improve the health of the estimated ... Continue reading


National Women’s Health Week May 10-16, 2020: Taking Time for Ourselves

Kristina Cary, IHS Virtual Student Federal Program intern

May 12, 2020
by Kristina Cary, IHS Virtual Student Federal Program intern

This year marks the 21st annual National Women’s Health Week which kicked off on Mother’s Day, May 10 and continues through May 16. This annual observance serves as a reminder for all women to make health a priority and to build healthy habits for life.

... Continue reading


Positive Youth Development Approach Engages American Indian and Alaska Native Youth

Cmdr. Micah Woodard, LICSW, BCD, ACSW, Behavioral Health Director, Western Oregon Service Unit

May 31, 2019
by Cmdr. Micah Woodard, LICSW, BCD, ACSW, Behavioral Health Director, Western Oregon Service Unit

Positive Youth Development Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov  is a framework that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families. This approach can reduce risky behaviors, improve social and emotional outcomes, and lead to a successful transition to adulthood. ... Continue reading


IHS Introduces Recommendations for Management of Acute Dental Pain

Cmdr. Brandy Larson, DDS, Dental Director, Cass Lake IHS Hospital Dental Clinic

May 29, 2019
by Cmdr. Brandy Larson, DDS, Dental Director, Cass Lake IHS Hospital Dental Clinic

The Indian Health Service released new clinical guidelines to assist dentists with selecting the safest pain control options. The Recommendations for Management of Acute Dental Pain will limit opioid prescribing to patients who cannot safely use alternative pain medication.

... Continue reading


Indian Health Service highlights Hepatitis Awareness Month

Matthew Hudson MD, MPH, preventive medicine fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Bloomberg School of Public Health

May 24, 2019
by Matthew Hudson MD, MPH, preventive medicine fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Indian Health Service is committed to eliminating hepatitis C in Indian Country, and we are successfully overcoming the obstacles in the way of achieving this goal.  Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus, or HCV. We know that at least ... Continue reading


HHS IHS Health IT Modernization of Electronic Health Records focuses on patient needs

Mitchell Thornbrugh, Acting Chief Information Officer

May 23, 2019
by Mitchell Thornbrugh, Acting Chief Information Officer

Last fall, the Indian Health Service Office of Information Technology and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Chief Technology officer , launched a Health Information Technology Modernization Research Project. Since it began, the project delivery team has gained valuable insight into the current Resource and Patient Management System electronic health record system.

... Continue reading


Office of Environmental Health and Engineering recognizes outstanding employees

Gary Hartz, P.E., Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, Indian Health Service

May 21, 2019
by Gary Hartz, P.E., Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, Indian Health Service

Environmental health is one of many important contributions to the IHS mission of raising the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. The Office of Environmental Health and Engineering assists American Indian and Alaska Native communities ... Continue reading


National Hepatitis Testing Day – IHS now recommends hepatitis C testing for all adult patients

Rick Haverkate, IHS National HIV/AIDS & HepC Program Coordinator

May 17, 2019
by Rick Haverkate, IHS National HIV/AIDS & HepC Program Coordinator

Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis, and most of them don't know it. National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19th is an opportunity to remind health care providers and the public about who should be tested for viral hepatitis.

... Continue reading


Four Million Reasons To Celebrate! National Nurse's Week May 6-12, 2019

Cmdr. Angela Fallon, Deputy Director, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services

May 10, 2019
by Cmdr. Angela Fallon, Deputy Director, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services

Nurses Week recognizes the contributions of nurses in the health care setting and beyond. At IHS, our mission is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. IHS nurses play a vital role in fulfilling that mission. IHS nurses can be found working throughout the United States from remote village clinics, rural critical access hospitals, and large urban hospitals and health centers, in all different nursing specialties from general staff nursing to advanced practice nursing.

... Continue reading


New Hepatitis C Clinic Is Model of Collaborative Practice Aimed at Eliminating Disparities

Lt. Neelam 'Nelly' Gazarian and Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Owen, pharmacists at Belcourt Indian Health Service.

May 22, 2018
by Lt. Neelam 'Nelly' Gazarian and Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Owen, pharmacists at Belcourt Indian Health Service.

The Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Health Care Facility is a 27-bed facility serving approximately 15,000 enrolled tribal members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of Belcourt, North Dakota. This rural Indian Health Service (IHS) hospital in north central North Dakota does not have a ... Continue reading


Collaborative Efforts of Echo Autism and the Navajo Nation Leads to Providers Having Better Understand of Symptoms in Young Children

Courtney Burnette, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico.

May 14, 2018
by Courtney Burnette, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico.

Last month, in conjunction with the 11th annual World Autism Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , the Indian Health Service (IHS) hosted the Autism Awareness Interagency Roundtable. Partners across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , ... Continue reading


Behavioral Health Internship: From Rockville to Anchorage

Eric J. Jepeal, Public Health Intern, Division of Behavioral Health, Indian Health Service

May 30, 2017
by Eric J. Jepeal, Public Health Intern, Division of Behavioral Health, Indian Health Service

Dartmouth College and the Indian Health Service (IHS) have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which aims to foster recruitment and inter-institutional collaboration.

I first learned of the MOU last fall when Dr. Beverly Cotton, Director of the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), delivered ... Continue reading


Environmental health officer recognized with IHS Safety and Health Award

Gary J. Hartz, P.E., Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, Indian Health Service

May 25, 2017
by Gary J. Hartz, P.E., Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, Indian Health Service

Congratulations to Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Ellis, REHS, MPH, who received the 2016 Gary J. Gefroh Safety and Health Award for his significant contribution to healthcare safety and infection control.

Ellis leads the Portland Area IHS institutional environmental health program, providing services to 6 federal ... Continue reading


Hepatitis C Virus in Indian Country

Rick Haverkate and Brigg Reilley, National HIV/AIDS Program, Indian Health Service

May 19, 2017
by Rick Haverkate and Brigg Reilley, National HIV/AIDS Program, Indian Health Service

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a contagious viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. Early on, most people with HCV infection have no symptoms or only mild fatigue and are unaware of their infection.  However, HCV infection is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. The most ... Continue reading


IHS Navajo Area Launches Prediabetes Awareness Campaign

Stuart Noble, Shiprock Health Promotion Program, Northern Navajo Medical Center, Indian Health Service

May 16, 2017
by Stuart Noble, Shiprock Health Promotion Program, Northern Navajo Medical Center, Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service launched a new prevention campaign by the Shiprock Health Promotion Program, at the Northern Navajo Medical Center, that is aimed at IHS patients, local community members and organizations to increase the awareness and knowledge of prediabetes by educating people about the ... Continue reading


Coeur d'Alene Tribe recognized with IHS Portland Area Leadership Award for "qhest life"

Jonathan Merrell, RN, BSN, MBA, Portland Area Director of Office of Clinical Support

May 12, 2017
by Jonathan Merrell, RN, BSN, MBA, Portland Area Director of Office of Clinical Support

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians was recognized today with the Indian Health Service Portland Area Leadership Award for their extraordinary efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of American Indians and Alaska Natives through the hnqhesnet program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov . ... Continue reading


Healthy Vision Month: IHS is a Leader in Using Technology to Prevent Vision Loss

Mark Horton, OD, MD, Director IHS Teleophthalmology Program

May 9, 2017
by Mark Horton, OD, MD, Director IHS Teleophthalmology Program

During Healthy Vision Month Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , I want to remind patients that annual eye exams are important to maintaining healthy vision. Many eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , don’t show symptoms in their early stages.

Diabetic ... Continue reading


Cybersecurity Newsletter Wins Award at Conference

Robert Collins, Chief Information Security Officer, Indian Health Service

May 25, 2016
by Robert Collins, Chief Information Security Officer, Indian Health Service

For the second year in a row, IHS was awarded first place in the security awareness newsletter contest at the annual Federal Information Systems Security Educators' Association (FISSEA) conference. Hosted by the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), FISSEA is an organization run ... Continue reading


Diabetes Prevention Program teaches healthy lifestyle changes

Dean M. Seyler, Director, Portland Area Indian Health Service

May 23, 2016
by Dean M. Seyler, Director, Portland Area Indian Health Service

Yvonne Iverson, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, has a family history of diabetes and was diagnosed in 2000 with gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy, usually disappears upon delivery, and increases the mother's risk of developing diabetes ... Continue reading


May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

Dr. Susan Karol, Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service

May 19, 2016
by Dr. Susan Karol, Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and May 19 marks the fifth national Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States. American Indians and Alaska Native people have the highest rates of both acute Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HCV-related mortality in the United States.

These observances represent important ... Continue reading


NCUIH Conference Concentrates on Strengthening Urban Programs

Sherriann Moore, Acting Director, Office of Urban Health Programs, Indian Health Service

May 19, 2016
by Sherriann Moore, Acting Director, Office of Urban Health Programs, Indian Health Service

The 18th Annual National Council of Urban Indian Health Leadership conference was held at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, Calif., which is 30 miles east of San Diego on the beautiful lands of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

There was great representation of Indian Health Service ... Continue reading


IHS recognizes role of nurses during National Nurses Week

Capt. Laura Herbison, RN, Chief Executive Officer, Western Oregon Service Unit

May 12, 2016
by Capt. Laura Herbison, RN, Chief Executive Officer, Western Oregon Service Unit

National Nurses Week is observed annually from May 6 to 12 to honor the dedicated service of nurses throughout the country and to acknowledge the vital role nurses play in society.

IHS nurses fulfill critical roles in clinics, hospitals and public health outreach programs that are vital to the ... Continue reading


IHS ORAP Acting Director, Terri Schmidt, receives alumni honors

Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Director for Management Operations, Indian Health Service

May 11, 2016
by Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Director for Management Operations, Indian Health Service

I’m very pleased to announce that Terri Schmidt, IHS Acting Director of the Office of Resource Access and Partnerships, was inducted into the Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame during the university’s 2016 commencement ceremonies on May 7, 2016.

Ms. ... Continue reading


IHS Hosts Third Public Meeting to Address LGBT2-S Health Issues

Lisa Neel, IHS National HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator

May 9, 2016
by Lisa Neel, IHS National HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator

On May 5, the Indian Health Service (IHS) held its third public meeting on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two-spirit (LGBT2-S) health issues via public teleconference.

One essential topic that participants discussed was confidentiality and more than one caller expressed the opinion that ... Continue reading


IHS, CMS enter Systems Improvement Agreements for Rosebud, Pine Ridge hospitals

Mary Smith, Principal Deputy Director, IHS

May 2, 2016
by Mary Smith, Principal Deputy Director, IHS

Providing access to quality medical care is a top priority for IHS. We are committed to making improvements to ensure the safe delivery of care for its patients and to implement reforms to stabilize, strengthen and raise the overall quality of care in the IHS Great Plains Area.

To support this ... Continue reading