President Barack Obama has nominated primary-care physician Yvette Roubideaux to head the Indian Health Service, an increasingly important yet often-overlooked department under HHS.
Roubideaux, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, has focused primarily on diabetes and chronic illness among American Indians and Alaska natives, as well as the national policies that affect them. She previously worked as a medical officer and clinical director on the San Carlos Indian Reservation and in the Gila River Indian Community.
Roubideaux, 46, was awarded the American Diabetes Association’s 2008 Addison B. Scoville Award for volunteer services. If approved by the Senate, she will replace IHS Director Robert McSwain, who is leaving the department.
Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget includes more than $4 billion for IHS, with an eye toward improving healthcare outcomes among American Indians and natives of Alaska. The IHS provides healthcare to members of more than 560 federally recognized tribes through 46 hospitals, 324 health centers and 309 health stations.