indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
Bush administration asked to halt IHS changes
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2003

The Bush administration was asked Tuesday to engage in a "comprehensive tribal consultation process" before carrying out controversial changes at the Indian Health Service (IHS).

Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to take over the Indian agency's human resource staff. The move is pitched as a way to streamline services and cut costs.

But Jefferson Keel, a vice-president of the National Congress of Americans (NCAI) and lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, said the proposal will have a drastic effect on Indian Country. He called on the department to delay reorganization until alternatives can be developed.

"Centralizing all of the Indian Health Service human resources staffing from all 12 of its its area offices and service units to one location in the Washington, D.C., area will seriously degrade and compromise its ability to fulfill its mission nationwide," Keel told a gathering of federal officials and tribal leaders.

Last month, Dr. Charles Grim, the interim IHS director, announced the transfer of 200 human resource positions to HHS. In a letter to staff and tribal leaders, he said they will be managed out of an office in Baltimore, Maryland.

The change is part of the "One HHS" initiative first announced more than a year ago, Grim added in an interview yesterday. He said the department has acknowledged concerns of tribal leaders about the consolidation and a related restructuring of IHS.

"We've taken input up until this time," he said. "We've continued to consult."

But the removal of the HR positions "continues to move forward," he noted. He praised high-level staff for accepting an IHS recommendation to keep the HR employees in the field. In earlier talks, they would have been required to relocate to Baltimore.

When the HR positions are transferred, effective October 1, they will lose their Indian preference status. Qualified American Indians and Alaska Natives won't get a boost in the recruitment and hiring process. IHS will not advertise for the positions or make hiring decisions.

And once an employee in the HR unit retires or leaves, the position will be re-evaluated for possible relocation to IHS. Grim said the department will consult with tribes when that happens.

Tribal leaders warned against any "downsizing" of IHS during yesterday's meeting with top HHS officials, including Deputy Secretary Claude Allen, who has been nominated for a federal appeals judgeship. Although they called this administration one of the most accessible in history, and welcomed Secretary Tommy Thompson's active participation, they underscored the federal government's trust responsibility.

"We pre-paid for this health care," said NCAI president Tex Hall, referring to treaties and other agreements with the federal government. "Unfortunately, that pre-payment has not been honored over the years."

Rachel Joseph, chairwoman of the chairwoman of the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of California, recited a list of statistics that show American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer from diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis and other diseases at higher rates than any other group. "These disparities are largely attributed to insufficient funding," she said.

The day-long session, held at HHS headquarters, was to receive tribal views on the fiscal year 2005 budget, which is still in the planning stages. Tribal and Indian health leaders called for increases in a wide range of programs.

For fiscal year 2004, Congress is hoping to allocate about $3.3 billion for IHS.

With about 15,000 employees, IHS is the second largest division within HHS. The agency serves more than 1 million Native Americans.

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov

Related Stories:
IHS positions to lose Indian preference under Bush plan (04/24)
Indian health bills criticized by Bush official (04/10)
Senate committee holds Indian health hearing (4/9)
Opposition mounts to Bush IHS initiatives (4/3)
GOP rejects IHS funding measure (3/26)
Budget measure would double IHS funds (3/25)
Bush scoring tool impacts Indian programs (03/07)
Omnibus spending bill gains Bush approval (02/21)
Bush initiative to be scrutinized by Congress (02/18)
Grim expects nomination as head of IHS (2/11)
IHS positions being eliminated (2/7)
'Austere' health care budget cited (2/5)
Thompson releases new IHS budget (2/4)
Senate approves $390B spending bill (1/24)
Indian Country receives diabetes grants (12/11)
Court rebuffs tribes on contract funding dispute (11/27)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)
Northern Plains tribes see high infant death rate (10/30)
Navajo Nation challenges contract policy (10/04)
Reports address long-term elder care (08/20)
Bush appoints interim director of IHS (08/05)
Bush delaying pick for IHS post (7/23)
Report stresses importance of health insurance (5/22)
Poor Indian health blamed on federal failures (3/21)
IHS pressed to include tribes in reform efforts (02/28)
IHS budget cuts construction funds (2/12)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe tackles school truancy (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Native village secures return of ancestral territory (5/26)
Secretary Jewell leads delegation to Indian school in Oklahoma (5/26)
Updated witness list for SCIA hearing on economic development (5/26)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules meeting and hearing (5/26)
Mary Ann Andreas: Candidates must keep informed about tribes (5/26)
Steve Russell: National sovereignty cannot cloak all evil conduct (5/26)
Gabriel Galanda: The tide is turning against tribal disenrollments (5/26)
Vince Two Eagles: Summertime means powwows and Sundances (5/26)
Boyd Cothran: America moves from Civil War to the Indian Wars (5/26)
Vivian Delgado: Native college graduates mark a rite of passage (5/26)
Blackfeet Nation adds 162 names to Montana veterans memorial (5/26)
Native women compete in first Miss Indigenous Ecuador contest (5/26)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe asks BIA to inspect financial documents (5/26)
Maine tribes hold rally after withdrawing from state Legislature (5/26)
Chemehuevi Tribe to reopen elementary school on reservation (5/26)
Arguments heard in lawsuit over federal judge's racist e-mails (5/26)
Appropriations bill allows VA hospitals to recommend marijuana (5/26)
Editorial: Navajo Nation leader makes right call on Grand Canyon (5/26)
Opinion: Andrew Jackson led horrifying campaigns against tribes (5/26)
Cayuga Nation Leaders: Tribe hasn't authorized gaming facilities (5/26)
Pair last seen at San Pasqual casino found on nearby reservation (5/26)
Chukchansi Tribe remains in talks with NIGC for casino reopening (5/26)
Pala Band finishes $5.7M casino renovation in just a few months (5/26)
Leader of Sandia Pueblo accused of preventing arrest at casino (5/26)
Tim Giago: Boot camp etched forever into the minds of veterans (5/25)
Native Sun News: Newspaper comes home with 14 media awards (5/25)
Gyasi Ross: Martin Sensmeier lands role in major Hollywood film (5/25)
Andre Cramblit: Let's see some real Indian actors on the screen (5/25)
Steven Newcomb: U.S. perpetuates dominance over our nations (5/25)
Valerie Goodness: Don't ignore indigenous ecological knowledge (5/25)
Peter d'Errico: Lawmakers kill bill for indigenous rights in Canada (5/25)
Matthew Scraper: ICWA opponents wrong to cite blood quantum (5/25)
Judge at center of ICWA lawsuit in South Dakota stripped of title (5/25)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne student receives top honor (5/22)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home a slew of awards (5/22)
James Davies: The new tactic is to pretend racism doesn't exist (5/22)
Thomas O'Rourke: Yurok Tribe is a leader in forest restoration (5/22)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Message to all young Native Americans (5/22)
Matt Remle: Tribal nations take a stand to protect Turtle Island (5/22)
DOJ proposes bill to improve access to voting in Indian Country (5/22)
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate ready to exercise VAWA jurisdiction (5/22)
Grande Ronde Tribes await decision on flying flag at high school (5/22)
Cherokee Nation sues pharmaceutical firms over drug products (5/22)
Snoqualmie Tribe reports result of election for five council seats (5/22)
Law Article: Navajo Nation wages battle over 'Navajo' products (5/22)
Review: A son leads his father into the wild with 'Medicine Walk' (5/22)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe to distribute $2.7M in gaming revenues (5/22)
Prairie Island Indian Community eyes $19M expansion at casino (5/22)
Creek Nation seeks Native workers for $329M casino expansion (5/22)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to debut rodeo event at reopened casino (5/22)
Opinion: Poarch Creeks need state to protect gaming enterprise (5/22)
Native Sun News: North Dakota tribe hit with another brine spill (5/21)
Lakota Country Times: NAIHC presents honor for lifetime service (5/21)
Ivan Star: I'm finding it hard to stand for 'Star Spangled Banner' (5/21)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds field hearing in Oklahoma (5/21)
Haskell University announces cuts to troubled athletics program (5/21)
Crystal Echo Hawk: Indian Country still invisible to philanthropy (5/21)
Judge won't require school to allow eagle feather at graduation (5/21)
School apologizes for teaching song about brutal Indian mission (5/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.