Mark Trahant: An employee's view of Indian Health Service
"What do people who work (or who have worked) for the Indian Health Service, think about the Indian Health Service?

This is an important question when looking at any organization. Do the health care professionals see themselves as working for a great team? Are they employed by a government agency that’s too stingy with the resources needed to do the job? Is there an internal perception about incompetence or mismanagement? Worse, yet, does the daily grind reduce people’s effectiveness?

First: Context is critical. The Indian Health Service is a large system, employing more than 15,000 people with a budget exceeding $4.3 billion. (As a comparison, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit, is more than ten times bigger, employing 181,000 people with a budget of about $34 billion. I should also note the Kaiser Family Foundation is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)

My point about these numbers is that even if 10 percent of the employees are unhappy, that represents a significant number of people. I have been hearing from many people through the year about what doesn’t work in IHS and often why. Some of the complaints involve specific employment issues – problems that, while serious, are not appropriate for a policy review. Others, however, point out specific concerns."

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The view from the inside: IHS employees (Mark Trahant 5/10)

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