U.S. Senate Confirms Indian Health Service Director

Sep 29, 2022 | Insights

On September 21, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Roselyn Tso, a member of the Navajo Nation, as the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS).  Ms. Tso was nominated by the Biden Administration in March 2022.  She previously served as the Director of the Navajo Area of IHS.

At her May 25, 2022 nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Ms. Tso stated that she would “work to maximize the Agency’s resources to improve the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health and well-being of all American Indians and Alaskan Natives served by the Agency.”  She emphasized the importance of this “as we are more than two years into a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Indian Country.”

She also committed to prioritizing the following issues:

  • Strengthening and streamlining IHS business operations to better support the delivery of health care by creating a more unified health care system that delivers the highest quality of care.
  • Developing systems to improve accountability, transparency, and patient safety.
  • Addressing the IHS workforce needs and challenges to improve quality and safe care.

More than a year and a half into the Biden Administration, IHS will finally have a Senate confirmed Director.  The IHS Director has the unique and important responsibility of providing health care to Native Americans and addressing the critical health disparities in tribal communities.