PHOENIX, AZ – The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the appointment of James Driving Hawk as the Chief Executive Officer of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. The center is the IHS’ largest hospital, providing direct health care services to more than 150,000 patients.
Driving Hawk, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has served as Director of the IHS Great Plains Area Office since 2019 where he provided leadership in the administration of a comprehensive federal, tribal, and urban Indian health care system. With more than 23 years of service to IHS, Driving Hawk brings deep expertise in financial management, health care administration, purchased/referred care, business office operations, and tribal budget consultation to this role. Before joining the IHS Great Plains Area, he served as Executive Officer of the IHS Phoenix Area Office.
“I thank Jim Driving Hawk for his continued commitment to the IHS mission,” said Elizabeth Fowler, IHS Acting Director. “His wealth of knowledge and experience will be a true asset for the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.”
“The Phoenix Indian Medical Center is the largest hospital operated by the IHS, providing comprehensive multi-specialty outpatient and inpatient care to people in the Phoenix Area,” said Dr. Ty Reidhead, IHS Phoenix Area Director. “I am excited to have an experienced and accomplished leader at the helm.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to return to the Phoenix Area, where my IHS career began, and join the team at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center,” Driving Hawk said. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to provide high quality, comprehensive health care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the Phoenix area.”
Driving Hawk led the IHS Great Plains Area as Director and Acting Director for more than four years. During that time, he established a new governance structure for all hospitals and clinics and developed a Division of Quality and Compliance for the area. Under his leadership, all IHS health care facilities in the Great Plains Area achieved full accreditation. He also emphasized improving transparency and communication to better respond to input from tribal partners.
The Phoenix Indian Medical Center provides primary care services to four Phoenix Service Unit tribes: the San Lucy District of the Tohono O’odham Nation; the Tonto Apache Tribe; the Yavapai-Apache Indian Tribe; and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. The Phoenix Indian Medical Center also works closely with the two other Phoenix Service Unit tribes – the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community – that have contracted operations of their primary care. Tribal members who receive care at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center are also often residents of the greater Phoenix area and hail from tribes throughout the country. The Phoenix Indian Medical Center further provides specialty care to rural and remote reservation health care facilities in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and a small portion of California.