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Message from the Principal Deputy Director

I am pleased to present the Indian Health Service (IHS) Strategic Plan FY 2019-2023.  The IHS is committed to improving health care service delivery and enhancing critical public health services throughout the health system to strengthen the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people.  This Strategic Plan describes what the agency hopes to achieve over the next 5 years, based on the participation and feedback we received from Tribes, Tribal Organizations, Urban Indian Organizations, IHS staff, and other stakeholders.

The mission of the IHS is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.  Our vision is healthy communities and quality health care systems through strong partnerships and culturally responsive practices.  The Strategic Plan details how the IHS will achieve its mission through three strategic goals:

  • To ensure that comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people;
  • To promote excellence and quality through innovation of the Indian health system into an optimally performing organization; and
  • To strengthen IHS program management and operations.

Objectives and strategies support each goal.  The objectives and strategies will set standards for performance.

The Indian health care system faces several challenges related to access, quality, management, and operations.  This Strategic Plan aims to address these challenges and builds on progress we have made.

The Strategic Plan also supports our critical work in providing a comprehensive health care service delivery system managed by the IHS, Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations.  As we move forward with implementation of the IHS Strategic Plan, I am excited about what we will achieve together to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

RADM Michael D. Weahkee, MBA, MHSA

Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service

Principal Deputy Director