The Nashville Area Office Indian Health Service annual awards presentation was held December 7, 2017, at the Music Center Convention Center.
The annual awards recognize individuals or groups of employees whose special efforts and contributions have resulted in significant benefits to IHS programs, priorities, or customers and fulfillment of the IHS mission.
Kitcki Carroll, Executive Director of United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc., was guest speaker. His comments included the following about the importance of the work of IHS– “As it relates to the important work of the Indian Health Service, it cannot be overstated, that increasing and improving the overall health and wellness of our people will be the key to not only our survival, but to our prosperity and perseverance as Nations and as a people,” said Carroll. “Times such as these remind us that silence is not an option and that justice must prevail…our people are depending upon us…those that we have yet to greet are depending on us…those that will enter this world long after we are gone are depending upon us.”
Carroll added, “As the great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’ This is our shared responsibility. This is our shared purpose. This is our shared calling.”
The Directors Award for Excellence, Individual, was presented to Carroll, USET President Chief Kirk Francis, and USET Secretary Chief Lynn Malerba, for demonstrated leadership and healthcare advocacy in sustainment of the Nashville area region. The award was also presented to Chief Beverly Cook, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, for her exploration of innovative health treatment options and her service on multiple health related workgroups representing Nashville Area Tribal Nations.
Dee Sabattus, USET Tribal Health Program Support Director, received the Special Initiative Award for continued support of the IHS budget formulation team.
Color guard for the event was American Legion Steve Youngdeer Post 143 Color Guard, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The invocation was by Chief Lynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe.
A “Shared Spirits” Pendleton blanket and dream catcher were presented to Martha Ketcher, Area Director, IHS Nashville Area Office, who is retiring in January 2018.