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

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Indian Health Service Selects New Deputy Director

Robert G. McSwain, a member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, has been selected as the Deputy Director for the Indian Health Service (IHS). Dr. Charles W. Grim, the Director of the IHS, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, announced Mr. McSwain’s appointment after a selection process that included Tribal and Urban Indian representation and recommendations.

“Since his appointment as the Acting Deputy Director for Management Operations last August, Mr.
McSwain has demonstrated his ability as a leader, effective manager, and an advocate for American Indians and Alaska Natives who will have a national influence on the future of Indian health care,” stated IHS Director Dr. Charles W. Grim. “Mr. McSwain has the financial management and administrative experience to carry out the duties of this vital position.”

As the Deputy Director of the IHS, Mr. McSwain shares responsibility with the Director for the total
management of a $3.7 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. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people. 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.

Mr. McSwain began his career with the Indian Health Service in 1976 as Director for the IHS California Area Office. In 1984 Mr. McSwain was named Special Assistant to the Director, IHS, and assigned to long term training at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. In 1986, he was transferred to the IHS Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, where he held positions of increasing responsibility and diversity, including: Director of the Division of Health Manpower and Training for the Office of Health Programs, Deputy Associate Director for the Office of Administration and Management, and Management Analysis Officer for the Office of the Director. From 1992 to 1997 he served as the Acting Associate Director for the Office of Human Resources. Mr. McSwain was selected as the Director of the Office of Management Support in March 1997. Since August 2004, he served as the Acting Deputy Director for Management Operations.

After receiving an associate of science degree in accounting from Fresno City College in Fresno,
California, Mr. McSwain obtained a bachelor of science degree in business administration and economics from California State University - Fresno in 1969. In 1986 he earned a masters degree in public administration (health services administration) from the University of Southern California - Los Angeles. Mr. McSwain has completed all course work for a doctor of public administration program at the University of Southern California.