Indian Health Service Releases Five-Year Plan to Guide Ongoing Efforts in Providing Quality Health Care

Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS Principal Deputy Director

Published February 28, 2019

ROCKVILLE, Md. — On Wednesday, the Indian Health Service announced its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2019-2023. The Strategic Plan will help guide ongoing efforts in providing health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the United States.

“In consultation with the tribal nations served by the agency, IHS has developed a roadmap to increase access to comprehensive, culturally appropriate care throughout Indian Country,” said Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “HHS and IHS are committed to working with tribal and urban Indian organization leaders to improve and sustain quality care for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation.”

The plan focuses on three strategic goals centered on access, quality, and management and operations:

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

The plan addresses access to quality health care services, strengthening organizational capacity, and improving operations and communications across the system.

The IHS Strategic Plan reflects the feedback received from tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, IHS staff and other stakeholders.  An IHS Federal-Tribal Strategic Planning Workgroup provided critical feedback and recommendations on the draft IHS Strategic Plan.  Public comments were also solicited in the Federal Register.

“The IHS Strategic Plan is the result of collaboration among our IHS leadership and staff and tribal and urban Indian organization partners who offered their feedback and expertise,” said Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS Principal Deputy Director.  “This collaborative effort enhances IHS’ commitment to improving health care service delivery throughout the health system and to strengthen the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

The strategic plan supports IHS’ work in providing a comprehensive health care service delivery system managed by the IHS, tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.3 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. Our mission is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. Follow the agency via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

To see the plan and for more background on the IHS Strategic Plan:https://www.ihs.gov/strategicplan/

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