Health | Opinion

Yvette Roubideaux: IHS working to regain trust of our patients

"The March 23 Rapid City Journal editorial - "Time to stop talking, start fixing" - did not include the many corrective actions taken to date to improve the operation and service delivery of the Indian Health Service's Aberdeen Area. As a South Dakota native, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Tribe, and a former IHS patient in Rapid City, I care deeply about these issues.

The problems found in the investigation by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs last year are unacceptable, and IHS is committed to addressing them. I have set a strong tone from the top that we will take action, and have implemented performance management changes for leadership accountability. I have made it clear to all employees that we will take action - no excuses.

A corrective action plan has been in place throughout the Aberdeen Area since the report. Significant progress has been made in improved financial management, employee performance and accountability, customer service, pharmacy security and oversight of controlled substances.

After the Senate hearing on the investigation, I implemented immediate actions throughout IHS to address the identified problems in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs report.

For example, a new system is in place throughout the IHS to ensure that no employees and new hires are on the Office of Inspector General exclusion list - individuals excluded for hire due to past offenses."

Get the Story:
Yvette Roubideaux: IHS director says services are on the mend (The Rapid City Journal 3/26)

Related Stories:
All IHS areas undergoing review over management concerns (3/25)
Editorial: IHS bars media from tribal meeting in South Dakota (3/25)
Director of IHS in South Dakota for tribal consultation session (3/24)
Editorial: Stop paying lip service and address problems at IHS (3/23)

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