Our Mission

The Indian Affairs Office of Facilities, Property and Safety Management (OFPSM) has retained the service of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps office to provide public health support and expertise. The Public Health and Safety Program (PHSP) will assist in building public health capacity and provide guidance and technical consultation, education and outreach for all bureaus and offices within Indian Affairs.

OFPSM is working on making our pages more user-friendly and service-oriented. During this time, there may be some discrepancies between the layouts of organizational and specific service pages as they enter the review and approval stages. We encourage you to contact the IA Public Health and Safety Program below if you have any specific questions or concerns.

Who We Serve

The Public Health and Safety Program serves all direct IA employees and tribal employees of IA grants or contracts, such as BIE-funded schools or BIA-funded detention centers. PHSP works closely with the safety, facilities, and environmental programs of BIE and BIA and with senior leaders from all Bureaus within IA to address their organization’s public health needs.

Some services we provide for IA employees and facilities include:

  • Contract management for public health assessments
  • COVID-19 prevention and response guidance
  • Development of educational materials and newsletters
  • Exposure response guidance for infectious disease and occupational/environmental health hazards
  • Partnership-building with other agencies, such as Indian Health Service and the Department of Energy
  • Public Health Training, including a monthly training series
  • Site visits (as available) to investigate public health concerns
  • Technical consultation
  • Written program and policy review and development

About the Public Health and Safety Program (PHSP)

The PHSP provides in-house technical expertise in public health for IA. Formed in early 2021, the PHSP had a heavy focus on COVID-19, protecting employees and partners from virus transmission and helping facilities re-open or remain open. Beyond COVID-19, the PHSP conducted a needs assessment shortly after forming to gauge priority public health needs for IA. In response, the PHSP’s focus areas have broadened to include priorities such as water quality, mental health and wellness, and indoor air quality. These focus areas align with the three officer’s areas of expertise: Environmental Health, Public Health and Medicine, and Occupational Health. The PHSP remains flexible to respond to any public health challenges that arise for our employees and partners.

Team Members:

  • Scott Sufficool, Program Manager
  • CDR Ralph Groves, Public Health and Medicine Specialist
  • LCDR Tyler White, Occupational Health Specialist
  • LCDR Dara Zimmerman, Public Health Specialist