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2009: First woman chosen to head Indian Health Service

President Barack Obama nominates Dr. Yvette Roubideaux to be the director of the Indian Health Service. Roubideaux, who is a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, is an Indian Health Service doctor and administrator. In her testimony before Congress, she pledges to work closely with staff and tribes to implement innovative strategies to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“Rapid population growth, increasing demand for services, skyrocketing medical costs, difficulties in recruiting and retaining health care professionals, long waits for referral services, and the growing burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease have created a significant strain on a system that is struggling to maintain current levels of services and, in some areas, faces reductions in services and potential closures.” —Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Director of the Indian Health Service

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Dr. Yvette Roubideaux at confirmation hearings for head of Indian Health Service

Courtesy U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs