Rosebud Sioux Tribe left 'high and dry' by IHS hospital executive

The Rosebud Hospital is located on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Photo by Crystal R. Leighton via Facebook

The Indian Health Service hired an executive with little direct experience in the health care field to run a hospital that is at risk of losing a key certification.

The problems at the Rosebud Hospital in South Dakota did not start with former chief executive James Edward Kyle. In December 2010, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee released a report that cited long-standing deficiencies at the facility.

But leaders of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe told The Washington Post that Kyle didn't do much to fix the problems. Just one month after he left last November, the IHS shut down the emergency room at the hospital.

Kyle “just up and left, and left us high and dry,” council member William Bear Shield told the paper.

Kathleen Wooden Knife, another council member, said Kyle told her that the hospital would pass a review by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service. In fact, the agency has threatened to terminate the facility's certification but the IHS has received an extension that expires in May.

“I don’t know they got any worse,” Bear Shield told the Post of the hospital's problems. “I could definitely tell you nothing got better while he was here.”

All told, tribal leaders said Kyle was only on the job from July 2015 to November 2015 but he apparently he told the District of Columbia -- where he now works -- that he left in January. The story does not verify Kyle's actual exit date with the IHS.

Tanya Royster, the director of the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health, told the paper that Kyle left because tribal leaders wanted an Indian person in the job. But the council members that the Post talked to said that wasn't the case.

Kyle now serves as chief executive of St. Elizabeths Hospital in the nation's capital. It's only his second hospital leadership job -- the position at Rosebud was his first, the Post notes.

Kyle is not a physician though he earned a doctorate from a university in the Caribbean that is not accredited in the United States, the Post reported. Citing information from his LinkedIn profile, the paper said he's only worked in the health field for about 10 years.

“Dr. Kyle is a nationally board certified health care executive with over thirty years of experience in the medical field,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release.

Get the Story:
Bowser’s pick to lead St. Elizabeths came from troubled hospital in S.D. (The Washington Post 3/18)

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