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Indian Health Service Introduction
Our Mission... to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American
Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.
Our Goal... to assure that comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public
health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people.
Our Foundation... to uphold the Federal Government's obligation to promote healthy
American Indian and Alaska Native people, communities, and cultures and to honor and protect
the inherent sovereign rights of Tribes.
Robert G. McSwain
Indian Health Service Biography[PDF-50KB]
There is a wealth of information about the Indian Health Service
contained within the IHS.GOV and INFO.IHS.GOV websites. I encourage
you to browse the pages of our websites and become familiar with
our Agency and our programs.
* The Indian Health Service *
The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services,
is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The provision of health services to members of federally-recognized tribes grew out of the
special government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes.
This relationship, established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution,
and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions,
and Executive Orders. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate
for Indian people, and its goal is to raise their health status to the highest possible level.
The IHS currently provides health services to approximately 1.5 million American Indians and
Alaska Natives who belong to more than 557 federally recognized tribes in 35 states.