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

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Indian Health Service Executives Receive Presidential Rank Award

Robert G. McSwain, Indian Health Service (IHS) Deputy Director, and Christopher Mandregan, Jr., Alaska IHS Area Director, have been selected as recipients of the 2004 Presidential Rank Awards for Meritorious Executives.

"This award recognizes Mr. McSwain’s and Mr. Mandregan’s exemplary management skills and professional accomplishments that have helped the IHS to improve the health and welfare of American Indian and Alaska Native people," said Charles W. Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., Director of the IHS. “Their work exemplifies the best of public service, and their achievements will have a lasting positive effect on the agency's ability to provide care to our patients and support for tribal health programs."

Each year, the President recognizes a small group of career Senior Executives with the Presidential Rank Award. This prestigious award is given to executives who "have demonstrated their ability to lead a Government that delivers great service, fosters partnerships and community solutions to achieve results, and continuously pushes itself to get the job done more effectively and efficiently. These senior executives are outstanding leaders who consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to public service."

"The IHS is honored to have two of its executives selected for this prestigious award," said Dr. Grim. "This award represents the quality of government executive performance that is making a real difference in the lives and health of so many American Indians and Alaska Natives. Mr. McSwain’s ability to lead change in a health care organization of approximately 14,000 employees has been demonstrated in his vital role in the agency’s restructuring and his active support of the One Department vision which resulted in IHS employees responding positively to the initiatives for implementing the HHS Secretary’s vision and contribution to the President’s Management Agenda. Under Mr. Mandregan’s leadership, the Alaska Area is recognized as a highly professional health organization with the best health consultants and technical support staff available for Alaska Native organizations. He is an outstanding manager of human, financial, material, and information resources."

Mr. McSwain, a member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, shares responsibility with the Director for the total management of a $3.8 billion national health care delivery program responsible for providing preventive, curative, and community care for approximately 1.8 million of the nation’s estimated 3.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. This also includes the setting of overall agency priorities, policies, and strategic direction. Mr. McSwain provides significant input in managing the formulation, presentation, justification, and execution of the agency budget. His participation influences program and resource allocation decisions that impact the total agency budget. Mr. McSwain is responsible for the development and justifications for testimony presented to Congressional appropriation and legislative committees. Along with the Director, he is a principal witness before such committees. Mr. McSwain also supervises the 12 IHS Area Directors.

Christopher Mandregan, Jr., an Aleut (Alaska Native), is responsible for the federal portion of the health care system for Alaska Native people and for fostering and maintaining partnerships with 228 tribal governments. The Alaska Area IHS (AAIHS) provides comprehensive health services to approximately 120,000 Alaska Native people, Eskimos, Aleuts, Indians, and non-natives living in remote locations. The AAIHS health care delivery system is linked to regional Alaska Native health corporations, village corporations, and State and local agencies.