October 7, 2014  |  Issue 14-30





IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee Meeting

October 8-9, 2014

Washington, DC

Indian Health Service Budget Summit

October 13 and 14, 2014

Washington, DC


Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee Meeting

October 15-16, 2014

Washington, DC 


Medicare, Medicaid Policy Committee Face to Face Meeting

November 18, 2014

Washington, DC 


Tribal Technical Advisory Committee (CMS) Meeting 

November 19-20, 2014

Washington, DC

HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

December 4-5, 2014

Washington, DC 


NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit 

April 6-10, 2015

California Area


NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 21-24, 2015

Washington, DC

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In This Issue


Upcoming Event

Indian Health Service Budget Summit - October 13 and 14

On October 13 and 14, Tribes from across Indian Country will gather in Washington, DC to discuss strategies for increasing and improving the Indian Health Service (IHS) budget.

The 2014 IHS Budget Summit aims to engage Tribal leaders, technical advisors, academic experts, and Federal government representatives in strategic discussions about current and future budgets and appropriations for IHS. Throughout the two-day meeting, participants will discuss topics including:  the budget formulation process, current budget climate, budget priorities, and future recommendations for budget development. 


Indian Country is working together to develop the Summit agenda, bringing experts from across the branches of Government to identify strategies that reflect the needs of Tribal communities across the country.   

Click here for an updated agenda. 

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


Capitol Hill Updates

Senate Races to Watch in Indian Country

Congress is out of session until the November elections.  This means, little progress will be made on many national issues until they return in November, or possibly until January when the new members will be sworn in.  That being said, the 2014 elections could mean big changes in Washington and throughout the country. Along with races that may see those changes, several races are still considered "toss-ups." 


NIHB would like to take this opportunity to provide some information on races to watch in Indian Country:


  • Alaska: Senator Mark Begich (D) was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2008, defeating long-time Republican Senator Ted Stevens.  The Alaska Senate race has been close throughout the 2014 campaign, but recent polling shows Republican candidate Dan Sullivan with a slight lead.  This race is truly a toss-up.
  • Colorado: Democratic Senator Mark Udall also was first elected in 2008 in the swing state of Colorado.  While Mark Udall had an early lead, the Senator's approval ratings have gone down.  Senator Udall also faces a formidable candidate in Republican Representative Cory Gardner.  Recent polls show them neck and neck.
  • Kansas:  Kansas has elected Republican Senators for 80 years, but in 2014 they could select a non-Republican in Independent candidate Greg Orman.  The Democrat in the race has dropped out.  Kansas' current Republican Senator Pat Roberts made it through a primary challenge, but has been stymied by a controversy about his residence in the state.  The latest polls show Orman with a slight lead, and this could mean the first non-Republican Kansas has sent to the Senate since 1932. 
  • Michigan: While Michigan has been reliably Democratic in recent years, six term Democratic Senator Carl Levin is not seeking reelection, meaning this is an open seat.  Republicans have selected a solid candidate in former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. However, the Democrats also have strong candidate in former Representative Gary Peters.  The latest polls have Peters up by 5 percent.
For information about voting in Indian Country: http://www.nativevote.org/
Administration Updates

Budget Update from the Indian Health Service

On September 30, 2014, the Acting Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), Yvette Roubideaux, sent out a budget update after the President signed a Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year (FY) 2015.  IHS will be funded at almost the same level as FY 2014 except for a reduction of 0.0554 percent.  Direct service facilities will continue operations at the same funding level as the previous year consistent with the identified funding level in the CR.  It is hoped that Congress will pass the appropriations bill for the rest of the year as soon as possible.  Headquarters, Area, and Service Unit leaders and finance staff will receive further information and instructions soon.


Tribes and Tribal Organizations with Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Title I or Title V agreements starting during the CR period will receive a lump sum payment for the length of the CR, which is 19.73 percent of the annual funding, assuming last year's level minus the reduction.  IHS will make CR payments as quickly as possible in accordance with the negotiated terms of each Tribe's annual funding agreement.  


For questions, please contact Ben Smith, Office of Self Governance at 301-443-7821 or Chris Buchanan, Director, Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes at 301-443-1104.   


IHS Ebola Update Webinar Scheduled for October 9, 2014

The recent confirmed case of the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas has left the public with many questions and concerns. To answer some of these questions, the Indian Health Service (IHS) will be presenting a webinar to provide an update on Ebola. 

The two hour webinar will be taking place on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 1:00PM ET/12:00PM CT/11:00AM MT/10:00AM PT/9:00AM AKT. To participate in the webinar, go to
http://ihs.adobeconnect.com/roundsmisc, passcode: rounds


For up-to-date information regarding the Ebola virus, please visit the CDC's website 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking comments regarding their 2010 MOU with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and how it has impacted health care for Veterans.  The VA is also seeking input on reimbursement agreements and how reimbursement agreements affect health care for Veterans in Indian Country.  Reimbursement agreements are the agreements by which the VA reimburses the IHS or a Tribal Health Program for direct medical care provided to eligible and enrolled Veterans receiving care in IHS or Tribal Health Program facilities.


The VA's primary consultation session regarding their MOU with IHS was held at NIHB's Annual Consumer Conference on September 8th, 2014.  If you were unable to attend the consultation session or still want to submit written comments,  you are encouraged to do so.  Please submit comments to tribalgovernmentconsultation@va.gov.  


Comments must be submitted no later than Wednesday, October 8, 2014.  If you have any questions, please contact Devin Delrow, NIHB's Policy Associate for Medicare, Medicaid, and Healthcare Reform at DDelrow@nihb.org.  



White House Requests Suggestions on Breakout Sessions and Tribal Youth Ambassadors for Tribal Nations Conference

In preparation for the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference, the White House is seeking your input and recommendations on 1) Conference breakout session topics, and 2) nominations for Tribal Nations Conference Youth Ambassadors from your Tribe. Please find additional information below and in the two attached forms.  Please note that all recommendations are due by October 23rd, 2014.


Additional information on the new Youth Ambassadors Program:

At the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference (Conference), the Administration will be inviting a small, regionally diverse group of 30-40 high school-aged youth from Tribal communities across the country to participate in the Conference as Youth Ambassadors. These young people will participate in the Conference plenary and breakout sessions and receive mentorship and leadership training in addition to attending the Conference (the date of this fall's Conference will be released at a later date). They are asking every federally recognized Tribe to nominate one youth from their Tribe to be considered for the Youth Ambassadors program (please note that not all nominated youth will be chosen to attend the conference).


Click here for the Tribal Nations Conference breakout session topic recommendations form.


Click here for the Youth Ambassador nomination form.


Please email your completed forms and other required documents to IndianCountry@who.eop.gov by October 23rd, 2014.


Please feel free to contact IndianCountry@who.eop.gov with any questions. 


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