2006 Federal Health Care Executive Special Achievement Award

The Award is sponsored by the American Hospital Association, Federal Hospital Constituency Section, and recognizes a federal healthcare executive who has distinguished himself/herself through singularly significant achievements, which have contributed substantially to the mission of the federal health system.

The recipient of this award is Shelly Rae Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Rosebud Comprehensive Healthcare Facility, Rosebud, SD.  Ms. Harris has held several positions within the Indian Health Service for nearly 20 years, serving as CEO of the Rosebud facility since 2005.  She has made steadfast improvements at the Rosebud facility, which have resulted in improved health care delivery. 

When Ms. Harris arrived, the organization had three physicians, a severe nursing shortage and financial troubles, along with regulatory concerns.  Through Ms. Harris' leadership and dedication, turnover and vacancy rates were slowly improved while maintaining tight control on the bottom line.  In March 2006, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recognized the facility as meeting the Conditions of Participation. 

Ms Harris has also been strongly involved in the community and has spearheaded a community outreach effort incorporating the assistance and teamwork of both Indian Health Service and Tribal employees.  Through these efforts, community members eligible for Medicare or Medicaid were identified and assisted in completing the application for assistance, greatly increasing the numbers of patients with coverage seen in the facility.  Through various communication strategies, Ms. Harris has also cultivated a strong working relationship with the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council, Rosebud Sioux Health Board and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to increase productivity and a sense of ownership within the organization.

Ms. Harris is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  She received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Minot State University, Minot, ND, and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Dallas, Dallas, TX.


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