The Tohono O'odham Nation is undertaking a planning project to determine the feasibility of entering into a Self-Governance compact, which would authorize the Nation to assume operation of health services currently being provided by the Indian Health Service (
IHS). The planning phase is the first step towards entering into a compact.
This webpage provides information about the Nation's Self-Governance activities. It will be continually updated throughout the process.
Over 350 Tribes participate in Self-Governance with the IHS nationwide, with compacts dating back to 1993. Tribes have been very successful in expanding and enhancing IHS health programs using Self-Governance as a tool. Click here for a list of current Self-Governance Tribes.
The Tohono O'odham Nation passed Resolution Number 15-365, which authorizes the Nation to enter Self-Governance planning and negotiations, and includes a commitment to offer
the opportunity to continue in federal employment to all current and eligible IHS employees.
Tohono O'odham Nation members and patients will benefit through Self-Governance because the Nation has greater flexibility in creating/designing health programs and delivering services, with much less Federal bureaucracy. With Tribal control over healthcare delivery, systems like contracting for services and hiring medical professionals can be streamlined. The Nation can also be much more responsive to citizens' and patients' healthcare needs, by prioritizing services that are most important to the community and designing new health services to address unmet needs in the local community.
The Nation will conduct planning and negotiations over the next several months, with the expected effective date of mid to late 2016. This page is a resource for information that will be updated as the project moves forward, as well as a forum for tribal leadership and planning teams to receive comments and questions from the public. See our frequently ask questions page here.
The Nation has organized several teams to assist in determining the feasibility of assuming all or part of the operations currently provided by IHS.
Tohono O'odham Nation has hired a team of consultants to facilitate the Self-Governance project.