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Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing into IHS

A view of the Winnebago Hospital on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska. Image from Google Maps

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is holding a highly-anticipated hearing on the Indian Health Service on Wednesday.

The hearing will focus on the "substandard" level of care within the Great Plains Area of the IHS. Facilities in the region that includes Nebraska and South Dakota have been cited for serious deficiencies for several years but tribal leaders say the agency isn't doing enough to fix the problems.

Many of the problems in fact were previously raised by the committee in a 2010 report. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), who was chairman at the time, will be coming back to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify.

Leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska are also on the witness list. Members of both tribes have been affected by cutbacks in service on their respective reservations.

The hearing takes place immediately following a business meeting at 2:15pm in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Office Building. It will then be followed by a listening session to hear from other parts of Indian Country. The business meeting, the hearing and the listening session will be webcast.

The witness list for the hearing follows:
Panel I
The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan
Former U.S. Senator from North Dakota, Founder & Chairman, Center for Native American Youth, Washington, D.C.

Panel II
Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Andrew M. “Andy” Slavitt
Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Washington, D.C.
Accompanied by Mr. Thomas Hamilton
Director, Survey and Certification Group, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Robert G. McSwain
Principal Deputy Director – Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD

Susan V. Karol, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer – Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD

Panel III
The Honorable Victoria Kitcheyan
Treasurer, Tribal Council, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Winnebago, NE

The Honorable Sonia Little Hawk-Weston
Chair, Health and Human Services Committee, Tribal Council, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, SD

Ms. Sunny Colombe
Chief Administrative Officer, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board; Member, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Rapid City, SD

Mr. L. Jace Killsback
Executive Health Manager, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Board of Health, Lame Deer, MT

Committee Notices:
Business Meeting to Consider S. 1125 & S. 1983 (February 3, 2016)
Reexamining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains (January 27, 2016)
A Listening Session on Putting Patients First: Addressing Indian Country’s Critical Concerns Regarding IHS (January 27, 2016)

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