June 10, 2014  |  Issue 14-17




31st Annual Consumer Conference 

 Albuquerque, New Mexico

September 8-11, 2014 


NIHB 2014 Native Youth Health Summit

Navajo Nation

September 5-8, 2014


11th Annual Direct Service Tribes National Meeting

Albuquerque, NM

July 9-10, 2014


Genetics Symposium: A Spectrum of Perspectives: Native Peoples and Genetic Research

National Museum of the American Indian

June 23, 2014, 9-5 PM EDT 



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In This Issue



American Medical Association Adopts Resolution Supporting Advance Appropriations for IHS


Senate Confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services


STAC Recognizes Accomplishments of Secretary Sebelius


President Obama to visit Standing Rock Sioux


American Medical Association Adopts Resolution Supporting Advance Appropriations for IHS
NIHB Policy Director, Richard Litsey, testifies before the American Medical Association in support of Advance Appropriations for IHS.

Last weekend, NIHB visited the American Medical Association's (AMA) annual meeting to garner the organization's support for legislative efforts to propose Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS).  The AMA adopted a resolution in support of advance appropriations, which will be very helpful in advancing this issue in Congress. 


Advance appropriations for IHS will allow Tribes and the agency to know what their funding will be one year in advance.  This will mean IHS/ Tribal/ Urban sites will be better able to plan how to use their resources and provide a better continuum of care for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

There has been legislation (H.R. 3229 in the House of Representatives and S. 1570 in the Senate) introduced to provide for Advance Appropriations for IHS - but we need co-sponsors to help the legislation move forward in Congress.  How you can help:

  1. Tweet at your Member of Congress or Congressional Leader - "@___guarantee financial security for American Indians and American Indian veterans. #AdvanceIHS
  2. Cut and Paste this into Facebook: "Join me in telling Congress to protect American Indian and Alaska Native patients from Washington's budget battles. I'm taking action with NIHB to support IHS advance appropriations. #AdvanceIHS"  
  3. Send #AdvanceIHS postcards to your member of Congress - please email jdaniel@nihb.org to request postcards.

Click here to download NIHB's #AdvanceIHS flyer.


Senate Confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

On Thursday, June 5 the Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a bipartisan vote of 78-17.


Before her tenure as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), she was the president of the Wal-Mart Foundation and president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During the Clinton administration, the incoming secretary was deputy director of the OMB, chief of staff to the Treasury secretary and staff director of the National Economic Council.  NIHB looks forward to working with Secretary Mathews Burwell in the years ahead to advance the health for all American Indians/Alaska Natives.
STAC Recognizes Accomplishments of Secretary Sebelius

During the Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC)  meeting at HHS last week, Tribal leaders from across Indian Country addressed many issues including sequestration cuts; settlement of Contract Support Cost claims; a long-term solution on contract support cost funding; sanitation and facilities issues; mental health funding; the availability of federal grants to Tribal communities; Tribal-state consultation issues; the need for increased research and data in AI/AN communities; Dental health, including the Dental Health Aide Therapists program; advance appropriations for IHS; the Definition of Indian in the Affordable Care Act; and general ACA implementation issues.


This was the last STAC meeting for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  The outgoing Secretary visited with the committee on Thursday afternoon and expressed her support of Indian Country as well as gratitude for the work done by the STAC during her tenure.  The Tribal leaders also spent time thanking the Secretary and presented her with gifts from Indian Country. 

President Obama to visit Standing Rock Sioux
Last week, the White House announced that President Obama will visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday, June 13. This is his first visit to Indian Country since taking office. First Lady Michelle Obama will join him for the trip.


The President also wrote an op-ed in Indian Country Today last week. In the article, the President reinforced his commitment to "honoring the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country" and support for self-determination. He also highlighted the importance of the passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the new benefits afforded to American Indians and Alaska Natives in the law.


You can read the full op-ed here: https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/05/my-upcoming-trip-indian-country


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