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Indian Health Service Welcomes New Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Great Plains Area

The Indian Health Service Great Plains Area today announces that a new deputy chief medical officer, Mechele M. Peterson, M.D., MBA, has joined the organization to serve as a regional expert on IHS medical and public health services, providing technical leadership and guidance to facility chief medical officers and clinical staff in the region.

“Dr. Peterson is not only a highly qualified physician, she is also a proven leader with administration experience within the Indian health system,” said Acting Great Plains Area Director Captain Chris Buchanan. “As deputy chief medical officer, Dr. Peterson will help ensure all of our hospitals, health stations, clinics and facilities in the Great Plains Area provide quality, comprehensive health care.”

Mechele M. Peterson, M.D., MBA, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, IHS Great Plains Area
Mechele M. Peterson, M.D., MBA,
Deputy Chief Medical Officer,
IHS Great Plains Area

Dr. Peterson most recently worked as chief of the medical staff at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona. She also served as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and an adjunct clinical faculty member at the United States Army’s Special Warfare Medical Group.

Dr. Peterson received her bachelor’s degree and medical degree from the University of North Dakota, and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee.

IHS has taken steps throughout this year to improve services and overall quality of care in the Great Plains Area, and this includes hiring experts in the field to fill full-time leadership positions. This announcement follows the hiring of a new chief medical officer in September and an announcement made in May of this year, when IHS announced other new hires at a facility in the Great Plains Area.

The IHS Great Plains Area serves 130,000 patients in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota by operating 15 federal government facilities and funding the operations of 18 tribally operated health facilities.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.