Interview with IHS director Yvette Roubideaux
Indian Country Today interviewed Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota who is the first woman to serve as director of the Indian Health Service.

"ICT: Congratulations on your nomination and confirmation as director of IHS. It sounds like a wonderful step in your career. What are your top priorities?

YR: As Indian Health Service director I have four top priorities. The first is to renew and strengthen the IHS partnership with tribes. I really feel the only way we can improve health care in our communities is to work in partnership with the tribes, so I’m hoping to talk with the tribes about our consultation process and ways we can work together over the next several years. I really feel the only way we can improve health care in our communities is to work in partnership with the tribes.

ICT: And you’ve had experience on the other side of that equation too, haven’t you?

YR: Yes, I have. In a number of projects I’ve worked on I’ve had the privilege of sitting in and participating in tribal consultation sessions, and I’ve also worked with a number of tribes on various projects. So I’ve seen the tribal perspective and I’ve seen how tribal consultations worked in a variety of settings and formats, and I’m really, really interested to see if the tribes have recommendations for how we can change and improve our tribal consultation process.

ICT: What is your second priority?

YR: The second priority is to bring reform to the IHS especially in the context of how the president is bringing health reform to our national health system. This priority involves working with our tribes and health care providers and patients, and looking at our system and seeing if there are areas where we can improve, and doing more of what we’re doing well. And if we’re not doing well in certain areas what can we do to make improvements there as well.

ICT: Overall, do you favor a nationalized health care system

YR: In my position as IHS director it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on the current debate on the national health care reform."

Get the Story:
An interview with IHS Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux (Indian Country Today 7/31)
Dr. Roubideaux goes to Washington (Indian Country Today 7/31)

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