Indian health service innovations have helped reduce health disparities affecting American Indian and Alaska Native people

Thomas D. Sequist, Theresa Cullen, Kelly J. Acton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Indian Health Service (IHS), a federal health system, cares for 2 million of the country's 5.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native people. This system has increasingly focused on innovative uses of health information technology and telemedicine, as well as comprehensive, locally tailored prevention and disease management programs, to promote health equity in a population facing multiple health disparities. Important recent achievements include a reduction in the life-expectancy gap between American Indian and Alaska Native people and whites (from eight years to five years) and improved measures of diabetes control (including 20 percent and 10 percent reductions in the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c, respectively). However, disparities persist between American Indian and Alaska Native people and the overall US population. Continued innovation and increased funding are required to further improve health and achieve equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1965-1973
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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