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Indian Health Service History Project
The Indian Health Service (IHS) has initiated a project to document the 50 years of work since the Federal health responsibilities for American Indians and Alaska Natives were transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service.
The project includes collecting historic documents, photos, and oral histories relating to the history of the IHS. We are researching records at the National Archives, Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and university archives with Indian health-related records.
The records tell a fascinating, but at times, incomplete story. Much of the work of the IHS was carried out in distant rural locations by staff in government and tribal programs whose work may not have reached the official record system. We are interested in finding people who would be willing to share photos, documents, and memories of their time in the IHS.
Do you have old photos, reports, or documents that you have been saving for years and are not sure what to do with them? This is your opportunity. If you are willing to share items from your time in the IHS, we would like to hear from you. We can accept the donations or loan of items to add to our collection or return to you after viewing and copying.
If you are interested in this unique opportunity, or have questions about the project, please contact:
CAPT Alan Dellapenna, Jr.
Gold Book Project Coordinator
Office of Public Health Support
Indian Health Service
801 Thompson, Suite 200, TMP 450
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-443-0097
E-mail: alan.dellapenna@ihs.gov
You can see some items related to the history of the IHS on the IHS Web site, the items include: The executive summary of the history of the IHS, The First 50 Years of the Indian Health Service: Caring & Curing, can be viewed and down loaded at http://info.ihs.gov/. Go to the gray box at the top of the page and select “IHS Gold Book-Part 1” through “IHS Gold Book-Part 4.”
A collection of historic IHS photos is located at http://www.ihs.gov/publicinfo/photogallery/index.cfm. Follow the instructions to view photos in the collection.
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