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 provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 566 federally recognized tribes in 35 states. Health services provided include medical, dental, and environmental health programs. Special program concentrations are in disease prevention and health promotion, alcoholism, substance abuse, suicide, accidents, maternal and child health, nutrition, and public health services.
The IHS Primary Care Provider is a monthly publication of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Clinical Support Center. It is distributed to approximately 7000 health care providers working for IHS, urban Indian, and tribal health programs; in addition, it is sent to medical, nursing, and pharmacy schools throughout the country. The Continuing Education Coordinator's Bulletin is distributed periodically to Indian health program continuing education coordinators and planners. Its purpose is to provide them with practical, useful, and timely information to help them produce the highest quality continuing professional education. It includes interpretations of accreditation guidelines, forms and tools to use, and other advice and recommendations.
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