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The Indian Health Service yesterday transitioned its acting director for the Great Plains Area, Joe Amoitte (Oglala Sioux), to a permanent director.

Amiotte has served as the acting director for the Great Plains Area since November 2022, where he is responsible for overseeing comprehensive healthcare services for Natives in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“Joe Amiotte has been a consistent voice and leader in the Great Plains Area for many years,” said IHS Director Roselyn Tso in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge and experience will continue to positively contribute to the mission of the IHS and the services we provide throughout the area.”

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The Great Plains Area IHS serves around 130,000 Native American and Alaska Native people through 19 service units, including seven hospitals, eight health centers, and four smaller health stations and satellite clinics.

Prior to his role as acting director, Amoitte served as a supervisory sanitarian for IHS, as the director of the Billings Area Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, as the acting chief executive officer for the Wind River Service Unit in the IHS Billings Area, and as the chief executive officer for the Rapid City Service Unit in the Great Plains Area. Amiotte additionally served as the Great Plains Area director for field operations from July 2019 to November 2022.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the area director and make a positive impact across our tribal and urban Indian communities,” Amiotte said in a statement. “Providing quality, comprehensive health care services is a top priority for the Great Plains Area and I look forward to continuing those efforts.”

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