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Ganado elders weigh in on Sage lawsuit against IHS

Ganado elders weigh in on Sage lawsuit against IHS
Entrance to Sage Memorial Hospital. (Times file photo - Donovan Quintero)

Entrance to Sage Memorial Hospital. (Times file photo – Donovan Quintero)

GANADO, AZ

According to Harriet Tracy, an older member of the Ganado community, it’s all about money.

That was her response when the subject of the Sage Memorial hospital lawsuit against IHS was brought up.

“The health care of the Diné is not number one. It’s not a priority anymore. It’s how much money they can get from the federal government to line their own pockets,” she said.

Operating under a Public Law 93-638 contract administered by an eight-member board of directors who are all members of the Navajo Nation, Sage, also known as Navajo Health Foundation, sued IHS last fall when the federal agency pulled its contract worth over $18 million a year. Recently, Sage also staked a claim for $62 million in back payments.

IHS dropped the contract after an audit red-flagged almost $2 million earmarked for an outside consultant (Ahmad Razaghi) for a bonus and severance pay, along with expensive travel for him and board members to exclusive resorts, among other things.

Tracy and other Ganado elders feel strongly about the lawsuit because they remember what it was like before the current administration.

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