February 19, 2014  |  Issue 14-44


Upcoming Events



Register now for the NIHB 5th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

March 31- April 2
 Billings, MT
Holiday Inn Grand Montana

 Click here for more information!

 Upcoming Meetings   

  Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee Meeting
Chaparral Suites
Dates: February 19-20, 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contract Support Costs Workgroup Meeting
Dates: February 24-25, 2014
Location: Washington, DC Area
IHS Tribal Budget Formulation
Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Dates: February 26-27, 2014
Location:  2660 Woodley Road NW Washington, DC


HHS-Department-wide Consultation
HHS Headquarters
Dates: March 6-7, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

NCAI's 2014 Executive Council Winter Session

The Westin Washington City Center
Dates: March 11-13, 2014

1400 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20005


In This Issue



Save the Date: The 5th Annual National Public Health Summit is Coming Up

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites you to attend the NIHB 5th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit. The theme for this year's summit is: Building Healthy Native Communities: Knowledge, Tools and Know- How. The Summit will be held at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana, in Billings, Montana March 31 to April 2, 2014. NIHB's Tribal Public Health Summit brings tribal leaders, tribal health directors, medical practitioners, mental health professionals, public health staff, advocates, epidemiologist and researchers alike together to present the most up-to-date information and latest developments on the critical work currently taking place in Indian Country.


The conference offers a forum to identify both the challenges and solutions to achieving healthy Native communities. The Summit also provides an unmatched opportunity to build new partnerships and discover innovative ways to leverage resources.


The Summit will explore a wide range of topics including: public health infrastructure, public health law & policy, data & surveillance, public health communications, public health emergency preparedness, access to care, workforce development, and new research.


To register online now, click here:


On February 12, 2014, the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced that it will hold a consultation on Contract Support Costs (CSC) on March 11, 2014.  The consultation will take place from 9am-12pm at the Westin Washington City Center, located at 1400 M Street NW, in Washington DC. 


The consultation is in response to the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act which directed BIA and IHS to consult with the Tribes on the issue of CSC.   The Act also required that the agencies develop a work plan on how to move forward with this issue within 120 days.  This session will help inform the development of the work plan.


You can read the announcement here.

This week in Congress, all is quiet as both the House and Senate are in recess. However, last week was quite different, as many of you saw news break out of Washington D.C. regarding the debt ceiling. The House of Representatives, in an extremely close vote last Tuesday, passed a "clean" suspension of the country's debt limit in a bill allowing the Treasury Department to borrow normally for another 13 months. Twenty-eight Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, joined Democrats in the 221-201 vote.


The legislation then headed to the Senate, where it passed 67-31 with mostly Democratic votes and narrowly avoided a 60-vote procedural hurdle. The legislation was lauded by Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, who said that the measure provided "certainty and stability to businesses and financial markets and should add momentum to the economic growth forecasted in 2014." President Barack Obama signed the measure into law this past Saturday. With this final stamp of approval, the nation's debt ceiling will be suspended until March of 2015.  

Act Today: Contact Your Member of Congress to Renew SDPI

Since its establishment by Congress in 1997, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) has proven to be a good investment in the health of Indian Country. SDPI currently provides grants for 404 programs in 35 states. Each of these programs allow tribal communities to achieve improved outcomes with regard to diabetes, create comprehensive programs, and educate everyone youth to elders about prevention and ways to live healthier lives.


SDPI has forever altered diabetes prevention and treatment in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The have been many incredible clinical results and community outcomes achieved by SDPI initiatives, proving that SDPI funding empowered Indian Country to build one of the most comprehensive and effective diabetes programs in the country.


The program was reauthorized in January 2013, but only for one year. It is currently set to expire on September 30, 2014.  It is incredibly urgent that SDPI is renewed and the time to act is now.




1)      SDPI Post cards:  Postcards are a simple, cost-effective way to get the attention of Members of Congress.  The more we can demonstrate that this is a program that is deeply cared about - and is getting real results - the more likely we are to see it renewed!   To help NIHB with his campaign, we ask that you distribute these postcards to Tribes and SDPI grantees in your Area and have individuals fill out their name and address. To receive postcards please email your name, address and number of desired postcards to Jordan Daniel at jdaniel@nihb.org.


2)      Direct Contact with Member of Congress:  Please call or email your Representatives and Senators and urge them to push for a renewal of SDPI in the Medicare Extender package on the SGR Fix.  You can find your Representative by visiting www.house.gov or your Senator by visiting www.senate.gov


3)      Host an SDPI Site Visit:  NIHB asks that SDPI grantees contact their Member of Congress immediately to visit their program. By doing this, you will be able to demonstrate the excellent outcomes of the program and give congressional representatives first-hand information on the importance of SDPI to their constituents. Site visits are key if we want to turn a Member of Congress from just a supporter into an advocate.  NIHB has a tool kit development that provides a step-by-step guide available at www.nihb.org/sdpi/advocacy.php


4)      Send a letter from your Tribe: You can also send a letter from your Tribe to support SDPI.  Download the sample letter here.  


For more information on the NIHB's SDPI renewal campaign please visit www.nihb.org/sdpi or contact Caitrin Shuy, Manager of Congressional relations at (202) 507-4085 or cshuy@nihb.org.

There's A New Chair in Town: Tester Takes over SCIA 

Last Thursday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) became the new chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA). He replaced Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who had chaired the committee since February of 2013. This change in leadership resulted from Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who had been set to retire from the U.S. Senate this year, being recruited by President Obama to serve as a U.S. ambassador to China.


Senator Cantwell served as the first woman to lead the committee. She advocated for Indian Country on issues of healthcare, education and housing. She was a key player in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and a major architect in that legislation, which included provisions regarding violence against Native women and tribal law enforcement of non-Native violent offenders. Her tenure as chair will also surely be noted for her role in advocating for a change in the name of the Washington D.C., NFL team.


Tester has served as an Indian Affairs Committee member for seven years and looks forward to this new step in leadership.  In his response to the State of Indian Nations on January 30, Senator Tester expressed strong support for improving the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including support for advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service.  

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