BREAKING NEWS: Creation of a Federal Office of Men’s Health

TAMH is pleased to announce that the Indian Health Service (IHS) will welcome a new initiative into its effort, the Office of Indian Men’s Health. The novel Office was included within each version of the two congressional houses’ Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), H.R. 2708 and S. 1790. The IHCIA was reauthorized permanently and indefinitely as part of this year’s federal health reform effort, The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.

It is still unsure on how the new Office will be structured yet as the new Office may mirror the Office of Indian Women’s Health, but nevertheless it has and will effectively establish American Indian/Alaska native men’s health as a national priority. This population has unequivocally shown to be increasingly disparate in terms of health behavior, chronic disease and mortality rates compared to all other ethnicities and races. We applaud the federal government’s recognition of the need to create a nationwide focus on men’s health, and we will continue to be a tireless partner to develop its role as a necessary leader in improving the health of men and their families. Below is quote from Stacy Bohlen, Executive Director of the National Indian Health Board responding to the new initiative, as well as the statement from the Men’s Health Network.

“American Indian and Alaska Native men are the most at-risk population in the United States. They suffer from some of the highest rates of suicide and unintentional injury mortality among other males, in addition to suffering from greater rates of cancer. The creation of an office of Men’s health within Indian Health Service is a positive step forward in both recognizing that the population requires additional attention and in, hopefully, enhancing the services, interventions and public health practices that will benefit our men.”

~Stacy Bohlen, Executive Director, National Indian Health Board


(May 26, 2010) – The creation of the Office of Indian Men’s Health to complement the existing Office of Indian Women’s Health within the Indian Health Service is a momentous achievement and important step toward improving the health of American Indian men and their loved ones. Men’s Health Network (MHN) is thrilled that this essential health initiative was included in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) which was made permanent on March 23, 2010 when President Obama signed the bill as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“We need to find the most effective ways to promote healthy lifestyles and choices among all groups of Americans,” U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said. “I applaud the efforts behind the creation of this new Office of Indian Men’s Health, and hope that it will serve as a model for future endeavors as we work to raise disease awareness and increase prevention initiatives throughout our society.”

“The creation of the Office of Indian Men’s Health underscores the overwhelming need to address the health status of American Indian and Alaskan Native men,” said Daniel Molina, MD, Assistant Medical Director at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. “Cultural forces and the often stoic nature of men in our community frequently results in the ignoring of symptoms and a reluctance to seek medical care until treatable conditions are in their end stages. We must continue to improve the access to care for these men and address disease prevention with focuses on blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol control, depression and prostate cancer screening.”

“The Office of Indian Men’s Health will raise awareness about male health issues in the Native American community, and ways to prevent and detect men’s health problems. The result will be more men getting the treatment needed and lives will be saved,” said Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA). “For too long the health needs of all men have gone unaddressed. This Office is a step towards men’s health taking its rightful place in our federal government’s healthcare priorities.” Congressman Murphy is co-chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus.

“Increased emphasis on the health of American Indian and Alaska Native men will help to reduce access to care disparities and focus on prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, when the disease is easier to treat and survive,” said Michael H. Trujillo, MD, MPH, American Cancer Society Great West Division Board Director. “This critical initiative gives men – often the guideposts in the community – the ability to set a powerful example about the importance of being proactive about health.”

American Indian/Alaska Natives suffer from alarming health disparities in health behaviors, chronic disease and mortality rates. For example, they are twice as likely to have diabetes as Caucasians. American Indian/Alaska Native men are more likely to smoke and to be obese than their white, African American and Asian counterparts.

“It’s an exciting time for American Indian and Alaskan Native men as well as all men and their families nationwide,” said Scott T. Williams, Vice President, Men’s Health Network. “We look forward to the day when there will be an Office of Men’s Health at each of the federal agencies addressing the health of American families.”

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.


  1. AnonymousJune 3, 2010

    This is indeed excellent news for native Americans. It never ceases to sadden me that the world’s richest nation so frequently cares so little about the most vulnerable members of it’s society.

  2. NicoleJune 8, 2010

    With obesity, cancer, and other diseases on the rise, it is time to start opening federal offices of men’s and women’s health.

  3. JennyJune 25, 2010

    This is such great news and a big step forward for men’s health.

  4. RobertMarch 31, 2011

    I agree with what “Anonymous” has pointed out. It saddens me (too) that America fails to give them the health care they really need.

    With the introduction of this new office, I hope that they (those people who are in real need) get the treatment they really deserve.

  5. Kevin PetersonApril 8, 2011

    Sonny you said:

    “For too long the health needs of all men have gone unaddressed. This Office is a step towards men’s health taking its rightful place in our federal government’s healthcare priorities.”

    I hope that this new initiative will make some real steps towards universal health, improved self esteem and hopefully help for those caught in the web of addiction

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