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IHS Director Charles W. Grim Nominated by President Bush to Serve a Second Term

Charles W. Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) has been nominated by President George W. Bush to serve for a second term as the director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Grim has served as the seventh director of the IHS since his confirmation by the full Senate on July 16, 2003. He served as interim director from August 2002 until his confirmation in 2003.

“Dr. Grim has demonstrated his strong and compassionate leadership of the Indian Health Service and focused intently on the goal of improving the health and well being of American Indian and Alaska Native people,” said HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt.

As the IHS Director, Dr. Grim manages a $4 billion nationwide health care delivery program composed of 12 administrative Area (regional) Offices, which oversee local hospitals and clinics, and a workforce of approximately 16,000 employees. The IHS is responsible for providing preventive, curative, and community health care services to approximately 1.9 million of the nation's 3.3 million American Indians and Alaska Natives through a nationwide network of 48 hospitals, 283 health centers, 162 Alaska village clinics, and 154 health stations. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for American Indian and Alaska Native people.

“I am honored to be nominated for a second term and am eager to continue our work to elevate the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest possible level. Our close collaboration, consultation, and partnership with the tribes is the cornerstone of the health improvements we’ve gained and that we envision in the future,” said Dr. Grim.

A strong focus on preventive health care was started by Dr. Grim during his first term as IHS Director through initiatives in behavioral health, health promotion/disease prevention, and chronic care management. Dr. Grim also has worked intently for passage of the pending reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act; ensuring a steady budget for Indian health care during a time of fiscal constraint; and formalizing beneficial health care improvement partnerships between the IHS and renowned entities such as the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Grim graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 1983 and began his career with the IHS in 1983 at the Indian Health Center in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. In addition to his dentistry degree, Dr. Grim also has a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. He subsequently held various positions at the field and Area levels. Prior to serving as the interim IHS Director, Dr. Grim served as the Oklahoma City Area Director, managing a comprehensive program that provides health services to more than 280,000 American Indians — the largest user population of all the IHS Areas.

A copy of Dr. Grim’s biography is available at