The Indian Health Service has named a deputy chief medical officer for the Great Plains.
The IHS says Mechele Peterson will serve as a regional expect on the agency's medical and public health services, and provide leadership to regional staff.
The South Dakota-based IHS Great Plains Area Office oversees health care to about 130,000 Native Americans in the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa.
The IHS has faced scrutiny from Congress after inspections of some hospitals uncovered severe deficiencies. The Office of Inspector General recently recommended the IHS come up with strategies to address the shortcomings.
Peterson most recently was chief of the medical staff at Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona. She also has been a faculty member at Dartmouth's medical school and the Army's Special Warfare Medical Group.