Roubideaux won't call IHS a 'historic failure'
Yvette Roubideaux, the new director of the Indian Health Service, won't call the agency a "historic failure" even though her boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius used those words to describe it.

Roubideaux believes IHS needs to change and improve the care it provides to American Indians and Alaska Natives. She said adequate funding is a major issue.

"The staff of IHS has been doing the best it can with limited resources, and in some cases they are providing excellent quality of care with limited resources," Roubideaux, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, told The Rapid City Journal.

Roubideaux grew up with IHS care and continues to access IHS for some services. "All I really remember was waiting a long time to get care," she said. "And I also noticed that I never saw an American Indian physician, which is where I got the idea that maybe I could become one."

Roubideaux is still making the move from Tucson, Arizona, to Washington, D.C. She will be moving with her mother, who lives in Rapid City.

Get the Story:
Former Rapid City woman excited to be at the helm of IHS and its reform efforts (The Rapid City Journal 6/18)

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HHS Secretary promises Indian health focus (6/16)
Indian Country still waiting for better health care (6/15)