Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA Indian Health Services Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux during a meeting Friday afternoon met with Navajo President Ben Shelly on the Navajo Nation. President Shelly informed her of the concerns he has about health conditions on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
(l to r) Navajo Vice President Rex Lee Jim, IHS Director Dr. Yvette
President Ben Shelly and Council Delegate Jonathan Hale
President Shelly outlined issues such as, construction of health care facilities, the Navajo Medicaid Feasibility Study, the need for consolidation of funds for Department of Human Health and Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives and potential budget cuts.
“Our pressing concern is the looming impact of the automatic across-the-board budget cut for federal programs come January. We are concerned about the extent to which it may decrease funding for direct health service and health facilities construction,”
Dr. Roubideaux said potential budget cuts concerns her as well and asked the Navajo Nation to bring forth plans that would minimize budgetary constraints to key programs.
President Shelly thanked Roubideaux for keeping five health center projects on the facilities construction priority lists, including a health facility being constructed in Kayenta, Ariz.
President Shelly expressed gratitude Roubideaux for helping the Navajo Nation complete the Navajo Medicaid Feasibility Study in July, and adding that he wants to see the Navajo Nation administer Medicaid on the Navajo Nation.
President Shelly closed his statement by recommending that the Department of Human and Health Services consolidate funding for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
“We recommend the DHHS to develop a plan, policy, or authority that will transfer all health care and public health services-related funds to the IHS, as a point of contact, and for the funds to be authorized and eligible for contracting or compacting consistent with Public Law 93-638,”
President Shelly said.
Nearly 20 people attended the meeting including Vice President Rex Lee Jim and Council Delegate Jonathan Hale.
posted October 30, 2012 7:30 am edt