August 5, 2014  |  Issue 14-25

 

 UPCOMING EVENTS  

 

31st Annual Consumer Conference 

September 8-11, 2014

 Albuquerque, New Mexico 

 

NIHB 2014 Native Youth Health Summit

Navajo Nation

September 5-8, 2014

 
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In This Issue

 

 

NIHB's Congressional August Recess Guide 

 

 

NIHB 31st Annual Consumer Conference Information and Current Updates 

 

Capitol Hill Updates

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August Recess Resource Guide for Indian Health

At the end of last week, Congress headed back home for the "August Recess." But just because it is called "Recess" doesn't mean that they'll be on vacation. Congress spends most of this time working - traveling their districts, holding town halls and meeting with constituent groups. This is a key opportunity for you to meet with your member of Congress and tell your story!

 

Members of Congress are worried about one thing this year - reelection. Despite all the criticism of Congress these days, most just want to respond to their voters. That means, that YOU will have a critical voice in shaping the attitudes of your representative and senators towards Indian health. By sharing our experiences we can turn an opponent into a supporter and a supporter into a champion!

 

The National Indian Health Board is here to serve as your resource for congressional outreach when it comes to health issues in Indian Country. We all share the goals of eliminating health disparities in Indian Country, but we can only achieve what we can imagine when we are, communicating, engaged, participating and unified.

 

Here are some ways that you can be involved:

 

  1. Attend a Town Hall Meeting: During August, members of Congress often hold Town Hall meetings with their constituents. These meetings work like an open forum where voters are able ask questions about issues important to them. You can find out if there are town halls in your area by contacting the Congressman's local office. This information should be published on their website. You can find your Representative by visiting www.house.gov or your Senator by visiting www.senate.gov.

     

  2. Schedule meetings or site visits with your Congressman or Senator: With Members of Congress at home, many are taking meetings with constituents. This is a great time to get one-on-one conversations with your representatives on key issues, including funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS); advance appropriations for the IHS; and Expanding Medicare Like Rates for non-hospital services at IHS Renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.

     

    You can also schedule a Site Visit to your Tribal health program to demonstrate the good things that federal resources are doing in your community and to illustrate what Congress needs to provide to make things better. On the site visit, make sure to use real-life impact stories and show specific areas where need exists. One great example of site visits is for the Special Diabetes program for Indians which expires on September 30, 2015. You can download the SDPI site visit toolkit here.

     

  3. Submit a letter to the editor or op-ed: Letters to the Editor of your local newspaper are useful ways to draw attention to important issues in Indian Country. Contact your local newspaper and ask for the editorial page editor to find out the policy on submitting op-eds. Contact NIHB for help drafting an op-ed or for advice on where to place it.

 

Click here to read our full August Recess Guide.

 

If you have any questions please contact NIHB's Director of Congressional Relations, Caitrin Shuy at (202) 507-4085 or cshuy@nihb.org.  

Administration Update
IHS Announces Tribal Self-Governance Funding Opportunities: Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014 the FY 2014 Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements were published in the Federal Register.  Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) provides the Office of Tribal Self-Governance (OTSG) statutory authority to offer Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements.  These funding opportunities assist Tribes in planning and negotiations activities associated with the Indian Health Service (IHS) Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP).  A Cooperative Agreement is a form of grant, and all of the same requirements and procedures apply; however Cooperative Agreements involve much more substantive Federal program specific involvement than a grant.  Click here for more information.  

NIHB Updates
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The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites proposals for the 2014 Annual Consumer Conference, "Advancing Health Care through Consultation, Technology and Tradition." This year's conference will focus on the following tracks:

 

Medicare, Medicaid and Health Care Reform 

Strategic Action: Budget, Policy and Advocacy
Health Information Technology
Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
Youth Health and Public Health
Tribal Oral Health

 

NIHB encourages presenters addressing the top Tribal health priorities, as identified by American Indians and Alaska Natives.  Click here for online application and more information at www.nihb.org.

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NIHB Traveling to Indian Country for Affordable Care Act Training

This summer, NIHB will be traveling to many locations in Indian Country to provide training on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law offers new opportunities for Indian Country because it allows American Indians and Alaska Natives increased access to those health services not provided onsite at the IHS facility, and will increase the continuity of care.  The ACA also reinforces the government-to-government relationship that Tribes have with the Federal Government, as it permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which is a vital component of our health care delivery system.

 

This summer NIHB will be holding several training sessions across Indian Country including locations in Omaha, Nebraska at the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board 4th Annual Health Summit and at the Oklahoma Area City Intertribal Health Board (Shoni).  Topics in the training include:  

  • Overview of Affordable Care Act (ACA)

  • Health Insurance Marketplace

  • Medicaid Expansion and CHIP

  • Exemption Waivers

  • Large Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the ACA

  • New Opportunities for Direct Service Tribes with 638 and Purchased/ Referred Care

  • Implications for Tribal Communities and Individuals 

You can view the full schedule here.  


 

If you are interested in requesting a training for your area or community, please contact Dawn Coley, Tribal Health Care Reform Outreach and Education Program Manager, at dcoley@nihb.org or April Hale, Tribal Health Care Reform Outreach and Education Communications Coordinator, at ahale@nihb.org, or call NIHB at 202-507-4070. You may visit www.nihb.org/tribalhealthreform for information about the trainings.  

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