Indian Health Service announces new Great Plains Area Director

(Photo: Hush Naidoo)

James Driving Hawk, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, is the new director of the Great Plains Area of the Indian Health Service

News Release

Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service announced the appointment of James Driving Hawk as the director of the Great Plains Area of the Indian Health Service. Driving Hawk, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has served as acting director of the Great Plains Area Office since April 2017. As area director, he is responsible for providing leadership in the administration of a comprehensive federal, tribal, and urban Indian health care system.

“Over the past two years, James Driving Hawk has demonstrated the experience and leadership necessary to lead the Indian Health Service Great Plains Area as we continue to improve and provide access to quality health care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, Indian Health Service principal deputy director. “I want to congratulate James on his selection as area director and thank him for his years of dedicated service in fulfilling the Indian Health Service mission.”

With more than 21 years of service to Indian Health Service, Driving Hawk brings deep expertise in financial management, healthcare administration, purchased/referred care, business office operations, and tribal budget consultation to Indian Health Service Great Plains Area. Before joining the Indian Health Service Great Plains Area, he served as executive officer for the Indian Health Service Phoenix Area Office.

“I’m proud to lead the Indian Health Service Great Plains Area and I’m excited to continue the incredible progress staff across the region has made in improving and sustaining access and quality of care for the patients we serve. I look forward to continuing to build and maintain relationships with tribal leaders and members across the Indian Health Service Great Plains Area,” Driving Hawk said.

Mr. Driving Hawk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University and is a current member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

The IHS Great Plains Area provides services to 17 tribes and more than 130,000 American Indian people in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. It encompasses 19 service units consisting of seven hospitals and 10 health centers.

The Indian Health Service, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

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