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On Tuesday evening in Washington D.C, Roselyn Tso (Navajo) was sworn in as the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.
 
Tso was confirmed last week by a vote in the Senate. She replaces Elizabeth Fowler (Comanche), who had been serving as the acting Director of IHS since Jan. 2021, when the previous Director, Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee (Zuni) stepped down. 
 

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“It is my honor and privilege to serve as the next leader of the Indian Health Service. Throughout the confirmation process, I took time to reflect on the many challenges the agency has faced, including the ongoing challenge to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plagued Indian Country over the past couple of years. While the IHS has made great strides to improve health care services, there are areas we must review and improve on. I am committed to working with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners, and our partners across the federal government, to continue raising the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level,” Tso said in a statement provided by the Navajo Nation.

In her new position, Tso will be charged with developing IHS policy and fulfilling the organization’s mission to improve health outcomes in Indian Country. Her work with IHS dates back to 1984, and most recently she served as Director of the Navajo Area and Director of the Office of Direct Services and Contracting Tribes.

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