April 7, 2014  |  Issue 14-10




AI/AN Public Witness Hearing

House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
April 7-8, 2014
Washington D.C.

Rayburn House Office Building in B-308


Public Health Congressional Briefing


April 8, 2014


Washington D.C. 

628 Dirksen Senate Office Building

In This Issue


TOMORROW: NIHB Chair Testifies Before Interior Appropriations Subcommittee 


SDPI Renewed for 1 Year


Hearing on Advanced Appropriation for IHS


SDPI Luncheon at Public Health Summit 


White House and HHS to Hold Tribal Outreach Call on the Affordable Care Act


ACF to Host Tribal Consultation  


TOMORROW: NIHB Chair Testifies Before Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

Today and tomorrow, Tribal leaders and representatives from national advocacy organizations throughout Indian Country will offer testimony before the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee in the American Indian/Alaskan Native Public Witness Hearing. NIHB Chairperson Cathy Abramson will be among those offering testimony. Abramson will underscore issues related to the health disparities American Indians and Alaska Natives face, the need for restoration of cuts caused by sequestration, and support for a number of items within the FY 2015 budget request such as advanced appropriation for the Indian Health Service.


For more information on the hearing, click here

SDPI Renewed for 1 Year

Last week Congress passed a one year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) was very pleased with this development.  Stacy Bohlen, NIHB's Executive Director stated, "American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer from the worst Type 2 Diabetes rates in the United States. We have four-year-olds presenting with Type 2 Diabetes - this has got to stop and SDPI is making that possible.  Today's victory is one more step in making this life-saving program permanent."


NIHB Chairperson Cathy Abramson (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Indians) released the following statement regarding the renewal of SDPI funding: "This is a critical victory.  We are thrilled at the passage of a one-year renewal for SDPI and recognize it as an important step in the continuous fight to treat and prevent diabetes in Indian Country. As happy as we are today - we will continue fighting for long-term renewal tomorrow.  SDPI saves lives and money!  We will continue fighting for the long-term renewal of this program so that improved prevention and treatment, hiring more health care professionals and health educators in Indian Country continues to grow," Abramson said.


NIHB will continue to fight for a long-term renewal for SDPI in the coming year to ensure that American Indians and Alaska Natives get the care that they need and deserve when it comes to treating and preventing Type 2 Diabetes.  

Hearing on Advanced Appropriations for IHS

On April 2, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing on five bills pertaining to Indian Country, including the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act (S. 1570).


"As this Committee well knows, IHS and the Veterans Administration are unique within the federal government because these two agencies provide direct medical services. For this reason, maximizing the effectiveness and integrity of the IHS system demands steady and predictable funding," said Natasha Singh, a Tribal judge from Stevens Village, Alaska. "Sharp and unpredictable funding swings cause severe disruptions and hardships, not just for IHS and tribal providers, but for the patients who depend on the IHS system as their only source of health care. The IHS system must not be forced into lock-down or suspension every time the annual appropriations cycle limps along to final enactment."


NIHB is hopeful that Chairman Tester will mark up the bill and send it to the full Senate in coming weeks. To find NIHB's sample resolution and letter of support for advanced appropriations here.  If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Caitrin Shuy, NIHB's Manager of Congressional Relations at cshuy@nihb.org or at 202-507-4085.

SDPI Luncheon at Public Health Summit 

Last week at the 5th Annual Tribal Public Health Summit, a Special Diabetes Program for Indians Lunch Panel convened. The panel featured SDPI grantees and highlighted the program impacts that have been made in each community. Also discussed were the ways Tribes and Tribal organizations can work with Congress to ensure SDPI is with us in the long-term. The recent one-year renewal is a great step forward, but Tribes are and should still fight for a 5 year renewal of SDPI. This will ensure the program continues in a stable and predictable way.

Rick Frey, Tammy Roundstone, Taryn Watson and Tekisha Everette made up the panel. Frey is the Director of Preventive Medicine at Toiyabe Indian Health Project in east central California, where he directs Community-Directed Diabetes and Healthy Heart Project grants as part of the Indian Health Service's Special Diabetes Program for Indians. Roundstone has spent the past 11 years as the Diabetes Coordinator of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. Watson serves as the Program Manager for the Gila River Health Care Diabetes Prevention Program. Everette is the Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs at the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  


The three SDPI grantee panelists discussed the important contributions that the SDPI program has made to their local communities. Dr. Everette noted that we must continue to work with Congress and their staff to make sure that they know the great things that are happening due to the important investment of SDPI.  

White House and HHS to Hold Tribal Outreach Call on the Affordable Care Act

Please join representatives from the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 3:00 PM EDT for a call with Tribal Leaders on the Affordable Care Act.  


Conference Call #: 888-552-9182

Pass code: 1598939


Monthly Call Schedule:

  • Tuesday May 13, 2014
  • Tuesday June 10, 2014
  • Tuesday July 8, 2014
  • Tuesday August 12, 2014
  • Tuesday September 9, 2014
  • Tuesday October 14, 2014

ACF to Host Tribal Consultation 

On Monday June 16th, 2014, the Administration for Children and Family (ACF) will host a Tribal Consultation at the Double Tree Hotel Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202.  ACF will begin hosting planning calls for this Consultation on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 3:00PM EDT.  Attached you will find a letter with the call information as well as a draft agenda for your review. 


ACF will host the ACF Native American Grantee Conference from June 17, 2014-June 19, 2014.   For more details on the event, click here.


If you have any questions regarding the Tribal Consultation, please contact Lillian Sparks Robinson, Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans at lillian.sparks@acf.hhs.gov or Kimberly Romine, Deputy Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans at kimberly.romine@acf.hhs.gov.  

926 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
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