On January 17, a newly built Indian Health Service (IHS) hospital began taking patients from the 9,300 Native Americans residing in the counties of Dewey, Haakon, Meade, Potter, Sully, and Ziebach in South Dakota.
The Cheyenne River Health Center, located in the north-central part of the state, was constructed using $84.5 million in Recovery funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 138,000-square-foot facility replaces the former Eagle Butte IHS Hospital, which had become too small to serve the needs of the community.
IHS describes the new hospital as “a modern, technologically advanced facility with enough space and staff to provide an expanded level of health care services specifically designed to meet the needs of the Cheyenne River population.”
The Recovery Act provided a total $500 million through HHS/IHS for:
- Construction of priority health care facilities
- Maintenance and improvement of buildings
- Undertaking water and wastewater sanitation projects
- Purchase of critical medical equipment and health information technology
The newly constructed Cheyenne River Health Center in South Dakota, is a 138,542 square foot facility that will provide health services for 9,300 American Indians. The hospital was built with $84.5 million from the Recovery Act, broke ground in May 2008 and is set to open in December. The facility replaces the former Eagle Butte Indian Health Services (IHS) Hospital, which was unable to meet the needs of the community. New staff quarters for health care providers are also being built as part of this project.
The Recovery Act has provided $500 million through the IHS for the construction of priority health care facilities, building maintenance and improvement, water and wastewater sanitation projects, the purchase of medical equipment and health information technology. IHS projects include, the replacement of the Eagle Butte Health Center and also the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, Alaska. The new facility in Nome will serve 10,000 Alaska Native spread across 44,000 miles. Together the projects have been funded with $227 million in Recovery Act funds.
You can learn more about this project by visiting the HHS website.
View a description of quarterly activities related to the construction of the Cheyenne River Health Center, or see the recipient summary for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
Diabetes afflicts nearly 24 million Americans, and another 79 million have an increased risk for the disease. It is the seventh leading cause of death among all Americans and is a major cause of other deadly diseases. Annual healthcare costs associated with diabetes total $174 billion.
Because of these concerns, the Department of Health and Human Services has provided more than $500 million in Recovery Act funds to universities, hospitals, and related institutions to conduct research into diabetes. The goals are two-fold:
- Increase understanding of causes and treatments of the disease
- Invest in health information technology that can lead to better and more efficient care and prevention
Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all cases. Two Recovery funded research projects – by University of Michigan and University of Virginia, respectively – are exploring the genetics of diabetes:
- A study building on recent discoveries of common genetic variants that contribute to type 2 diabetes
- A study to identify genetic contributors to diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in African Americans, who are at elevated risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that approximately $18 billion will be paid in incentive payments nationwide from 2011-2012 through the Recovery Act’s Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs. Healthcare professionals and hospitals who adopt and use certified EHR technology will be eligible to receive these funds.
The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT has set up Regional Extension Centers across the country to help providers choose and adopt the certified EHR best suited for their practices. These Regional Extension Centers have also received Recovery Act awards.
Read the full story about the effects of the EHR incentive funds on a small business in Arkansas by visiting the Health and Human Services website. You can also view the list of certified EHR products and their vendors and developers here.
Community Health Centers across the country have received Recovery Act assistance through Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant programs. The Recovery Act provided $500 million to HRSA’s Community Health Center Programs to support increased demand at existing and new service sites. The Recovery Act also provided $1.5 billion in funding for construction, renovation and health information technology equipment. More than 1,100 centers have received funding to make capital investments and hire additional staff. These Federally Qualified Health Centers serve people regardless of their ability to pay.
Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website to read more about how three community health centers in California, Nebraska, and Alabama are using Recovery funds.
Mr. Levinson has headed the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since September 8, 2004. HHS is among the largest departments in the federal government, encompassing Medicare, Medicaid, public health, medical research, food and drug safety, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, Indian health, and mental health services. It also exercises leadership responsibilities in public health emergency preparedness and combating bio-terrorism.
As Inspector General, Mr. Levinson is the senior official responsible for audits, evaluations, investigations, and law enforcement efforts, relating to HHS programs and operations. He manages an independent and objective nationwide organization of over 1500 professional staff members dedicated to promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in HHS programs and addressing fraud, waste, and abuse.
In the wider government accountability community, Mr. Levinson serves on the Executive Council of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, where he chairs the Committee on Inspection and Evaluation. He previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Public Inquiry. Earlier in his career, he was a Government Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Mr. Levinson has devoted much of his career to government oversight. Prior to his appointment at HHS, he served for four years as Inspector General of the U. S. General Services Administration, where he oversaw the integrity of the federal civilian procurement process. He earlier served a seven-year term as Chairman of the U. S. Merit Systems Protection Board, where he oversaw the integrity of the federal civilian personnel system and adjudicated a wide range of personnel appeals pursuant to the Civil Service Reform Act. He is also a former General Counsel of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Mr. Levinson is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and holds law degrees from Georgetown and George Washington Universities. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
The National Institutes for Health has awarded two Recovery Act grants totaling $1 million to support scientific research to develop a new mobile application called “iHeal.” Scientists at the University of Massachusetts-Worcester and the Massachusetts Institute for Technology are testing an app that responds immediately to physiological changes in a person suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or substance abuse and proposes an appropriate intervention. Researchers say the technology would recognize “stressors that threaten a patient’s recovery and then [deliver] evidence-based interventions exactly at the moment of greatest need.”
If you think this app sounds pretty intelligent, it is! Learn how iHeal will work by visiting the HHS Recovery Site.
Did you know? Under the Recovery Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided more than $700 million for programs that specially assist Tribal communities across the country. To see some highlights of how this funding has been spent, visit the HHS website to learn more.
Last week, marking the Recovery Act’s 2 year anniversary, Heath and Human Services (HHS) posted a new map showing HHS Recovery Act awards by state. You can click on your state to view funding highlights and also download information related to your state.
Bicycle training workshops held in various locations around Boston have helped low-income elementary and middle-school students learn how to ride safely and how to maintain a bicycle — part of a larger citywide effort to increase physical activity in schools. The workshops are sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission, which is participating in the nationwide Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, funded by the Recovery Act. Learn more about how Boston is encouraging kids and families to bicycle and become more physically active by visiting the Let’s Move Blog.