Uniformed Services University Signs Agreement with Indian Health Service

Bethesda, Md. – Medical, nursing, and graduate students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) can now add Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities to the list of sites where they can do their clinical rotations, thanks to a newly formed agreement between the university and the IHS.

Military medical and advanced practice nursing students in USU’s F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine and Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing complete clinical rotations at hundreds of civilian and military sites.  Ultimately, these rotations in direct patient care, teaching and research help to ensure that USU alumni are prepared to provide optimal care to military members and their families. Through this newly formed collaboration, USU students will now have the opportunity to train at IHS facilities which serve American Indian and Alaska Native tribes. 

The IHS, 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 who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. It is divided into 12 areas within the U.S., to include Alaska, Albuquerque, Bemidji, Billings, California, Great Plains, Nashville, Navajo, Oklahoma, Phoenix, and Tucson each of which works with a unique group of tribes.  USU students will now be able to train at IHS sites nationwide, directly contributing to the native community through community-based projects and by providing educational events for IHS patients and staff. This collaboration may also help recruit future IHS physicians, nurses, and researchers.

“We are excited about, and look forward to, this new partnership with IHS. This collaboration is mutually beneficial. It provides opportunities for cross-cultural learning, as well as exchange of professional health care practices for quality and safety in resource constrained environments,” said Dr. Carol Romano, dean of the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing at USU.  

“The Indian Health Service provides care to diverse and underserved populations in facilities ranging from large urban hospitals to rural and remote health stations. Our clinicians have extensive experience and skill in providing care in challenging environments and with limited resources. These clinical rotations will allow our talented and dedicated staff to share their knowledge with the next generation of health care providers,” said IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler.

“Training the next generation of doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel is critically important to the future of our health care systems. We are excited about this partnership and building long-lasting relationships with students who complete rotations in our facilities. Many of these students will return to IHS facilities as officers in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. I am proud to say that the IHS employs more Public Health Service officers than any other agency,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Carol Lincoln, director of the IHS Division of Nursing Services.

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About the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences: The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, founded by an act of Congress in 1972, is the nation’s federal health sciences university and the academic heart of the Military Health System. USU students are primarily active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service who receive specialized education in tropical and infectious diseases, TBI and PTSD, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, global health, and acute trauma care. USU also has graduate programs in oral biology, biomedical sciences and public health committed to excellence in research. The University’s research program covers a wide range of areas important to both the military and public health. For more information about USU and its programs, visit www.usuhs.edu.