Overview: Indian Health Service

“Each year I go back, I feel like I have grown as a doctor and a person” Dr. Molly Cavanaugh-Hussey, BWH Dermatologist

The mission of the Brigham and Women's Outreach Program is to allow our physicians to partner with clinical colleagues in the Indian Health Service (IHS) to improve the health status of American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN).

The IHS faces substantial barriers in delivering high quality care to the AI/AN population including limited access to specialty services and a chronic understaffing of physicians. We support BWH physicians volunteer ing within Indian Health Service hospitals serving the Navajo reservation in Gallup and Shiprock, New Mexico and Chinle, Arizonia. Volunteers provide a mix of patient care and teaching of the local medical staff; as well as remote teaching and consultative activities from Boston via telemedicine technology.

The Brigham and Women's Outreach Program is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Phyllis Jen, whose leadership, inspiration, and commitment were central to creating this opportunity for physician volunteerism. The program serves as a legacy to how Dr. Jen lived her life reaching out to care for others who need support.

In Their Own Words

"This was simply a phenomenal experience-- It taught me that as a BWH physician, I can make a difference abroad as well as in underserved locations nationally!"
— Arturo Saavedra, MD, PhD MBA Dermatologist

"I just am back from a wonderful experience in Gallup. I can truly say that I have never felt as appreciated by a group of physicians as I did by the group there. It is unusual to be able to go somewhere and truly come back thinking that I was able to have a major impact on healthcare practice in an area. For people considering going, let them know that they will make a difference and that they will feel great about doing it."
— Margo Hudson, MD Endocrinologist

"The medical staff in Shiprock had a huge backlog of patients with heart failure, .... For my own part, it was an eye-opening experience to see both the acuity of the medical issues and the limitations of IHS resources on the reservation. It is my hope to return to Shiprock to try to make further contributions where it is clear they are needed."
— John Jarcho, MD Cardiologist

More Volunteer Testimonials....