January 17, 2012 –
Steve Ortiz elected co-chairman of HHS Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee
MAYETTA: Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) Chairman Steve Ortiz was elected today as co-chairman of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) in Washington, D.C. Ortiz will co-chair the committee along with Ken Lucero (Tribal Council representative from the Pueblo of Zia), who has been the chair of the committee since it first formed in December, 2010.
The purpose of the STAC is to exchange information and to provide advice and recommendations between the HHS and Indian tribal governments in a government-to-government capacity. The committee operates under H.H.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who is in Obama’s cabinet and a former governor of Kansas.
The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committeehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/12/20101206a.html is composed of tribal leaders from the twelve U.S. Indian Health Service regions and five at-large representatives and two alternate at-large representatives. Ortiz represents the Oklahoma region that includes Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas and has been actively involved in Indian Health Service issues and concerns.
In addition, at the national level Ortiz sits on the Department of Interior’s (BIA) Tribal Consultation Committee, and on the Local Government Advisory Committee, made up of tribal leaders who advise Lisa Jackson, the federal administrator for the EPA. At the state level, Ortiz is on Gov. Sam Brownback’s Economic Development Council. At the tribal level, Ortiz has been the PBPN chairman since July 2010 and a member of the Tribal Council off and on for several years.