IHS Announces Oglala Sioux Tribal Member as New Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs

(Photo:  HHS)
(Photo: HHS)

WASHINGTON — The Indian Health Service has appointed Stacey Ecoffey, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, as its new deputy director for intergovernmental affairs. The new director steps in for Dr. Rose Weahkee, who took over as acting deputy director for intergovernmental affairs in May 2022, and now returns to directing the Office of Urban Indian Health Programs.

Ecoffey joins IHS after a 15-year career at the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs under the Department of Health and Human Services, where she oversaw tribal consultations, the development of the Health Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, and communication with tribal leaders and governments.

Ecoffey’s work with HHS earned her several awards, including a National Impact Award from the National Indian Health Board in 2014, and the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2015 - the department’s highest such honor. Prior to her work with HHS, Ecoffey earned a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College.

IHS Director Roselyn Tso praised Ecoffey’s “consistent advocacy for Indian Country.”

“One of my top priorities is to strengthen our relationships with tribes and tribal and urban Indian organizations,” Tso said in a statement. “Stacey brings a wealth of experience, and we are excited to welcome her to the IHS team.”

In her new position at the Indian Health Service, Ecoffey will “provide leadership on tribal and urban Indian Health activities” by overseeing the Office of Tribal Self-Governance, Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes, and the Office of Urban Indian Health Programs, according to an IHS statement.

Ecoffey will also assist with Congressional interaction, per an IHS statement. Ecoffey said her prior work in connecting and communicating with tribes will help her in her new position.

"I am excited for this opportunity to continue working with tribal nations to improve the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native people," Ecoffey said in a statement. "The experience that I received while working at HHS and with tribal leaders has positioned me to contribute to the critical mission of the Indian Health Service to improve the health status of our people. I am happy and excited to be part of the IHS team.”

About the Author: "Chesley Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is an Oklahoma-based reporter for Native News Online and its sister publication, Tribal Business News. His journalism has been featured in the Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Native Oklahoma Magazine, and elsewhere. \r\n"

Contact: ChezOxendine@idonthaveit.com