March 23, 2015 |  Issue 15-10





AI/AN Public Witness Day - House Interior Appropriations 

March 24-25, 2015

Washington, DC 


NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit 

April 7-9, 2015

Palm Springs, CA


Tribal Self-Governance Consultation Conference

April 26-30, 2015

Reno, NV


NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 21-24, 2015

Washington, DC

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In This Issue 

NIHB Updates

The National Indian Health Board's Tribal Public Health Summit will take place at the Agua Caliente Casino, Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California  from April 7-9, 2015.  The Summit has continued to grow each year, and now in its 6th year, this promises to be the largest Summit to date.  


REGISTRATION IS LIVE. You can click here for more information or call our offices at (202) 507-4070. 


Click here to view the draft agenda. 


Where does the Digital Divide end and Quality Health Care begin? How can Tribes use Innovation and Technology to get there? What reforms in policies and resources MUST HAPPEN so that "No Tribe is Left Behind" in the explosion of health technological advances? How can health care teams channel the power of the connected patient to improve community health outcomes?


This free day-long conference for Tribal leaders, Health providers, and Technical staff is intended to disrupt the traditional digital mindset within our Tribal Health Delivery System.  Tribal health organizations who "get it" will be steps ahead in their Self Determination journey to create healthy communities.

Not only will participants receive an overview of Health IT challenges and opportunities facing Tribes under healthcare reform, you will also have the unique opportunity to create a new vision for health care which embraces the latest technologies.  Join like-minded peers in small-group learning and problem-solving "think tanks," facilitated by national experts, to design our Tribal Health IT solution for the future.

Legislative Updates

House and Senate to Consider Budget Resolutions this Week

This week, both chambers of Congress will consider their Budget Resolutions.  The Budget Resolution is one important step in the annual federal budget process where Congress establishes an outline for the upcoming fiscal year.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Unlike the President's budget, which is very detailed, the congressional budget resolution is a very simple document.  It consists of a set of numbers stating how much Congress is supposed to spend in each of 19 broad spending categories... and how much total revenue the government will collect, for each of the next five years or more.


Last week, House and Senate Budget Committees released their budget plans.  There has already been disagreement among Republicans on how much to allocate for the Pentagon.  The a debate centers on how much to increase defense spending (and how to achieve that spending) without losing the votes of too many fiscal conservatives. Congress has an April 15 deadline to reach a deal on the Budget Resolution. After the Congress passes the Budget Resolution, the Appropriations Committees will then start working on specifics for FY 2016 spending.  


You can read more about the politics ahead of this week's Budget Resolution debate here.


To learn more about the Budget Resolution and Federal Budget process click here.



On Monday, March 16, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed HB 349, legislation that would increase access to affordable, quality dental care for all New Mexico communities, including Tribes and Pueblos, by adding providers known as dental therapists.  The measure was not considered by the New Mexico State Senate by the time it adjourned on March 21.


Dental Health Aide Therapists - or DHATs - are mid-level oral health practitioners that provide reliable, safe, and culturally appropriate dental care.  Almost all other industrialized countries already utilize DHATs. DHATs are supervised by a dentist and have a limited scope of practice that focuses on routine dental maintenance and prevention services.  This provider framework extends the ability of dentists to serve communities much in the same way that nurse practitioners or physician assistants extend the reach of doctors.


Tribes in Alaska pioneered the DHAT model in the United States in 2003.  In 2010, language was added to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to try and diminish Tribal sovereign authority to determine the delivery of health care services in Tribal Nations with respect to the DHAT program. This unprecedented interference has put up additional barriers for Tribes to pursue the program in Indian Country. 


To learn more about this important issue click here.

Administration Updates

IHS Announces FY 2015 Tribal Management Grant Availability 

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced a funding opportunity for Tribal Management Grants.  More information is below. 



The purpose of this Indian Health Service (IHS) grant announcement is to announce the availability of the Tribal Management Grant (TMG) Program to enhance and develop health management infrastructure and assist Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) in assuming all or part of existing IHS programs, functions, services and activities (PSFA) through a Title I contract and assist established Title I contractors and Title V compactors to further develop and improve their management capability. In addition, TMGs are available to T/TO under the authority of 25 U.S.C. 450h(e) for: (1) obtaining technical assistance from providers designated by the T/TO (including T/TO that operate mature contracts) for the purposes of program planning and evaluation, including the development of any management systems necessary for contract management and the development of cost allocation plans for indirect cost rates; and (2) planning, designing, monitoring, and evaluation of Federal programs serving the T/TO, including Federal administrative functions.


  • Application Deadline Date: June 3, 2015
  • Review Dates: June 22-26, 2015
  • Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 1, 2015
  • Signed Tribal Resolutions Due:June 19, 2015
  • Proof of Non-Profit Status Due Date: June 3, 2015

For more information, including how to apply, click here.


Upcoming Call with Treasury on New Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee

On Tuesday, April 2, 2015, the Department of Treasury will host a conference call with Tribal leaders regarding applications and recommendations for appointments by the Secretary of Treasury to the newly created Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee (TTAC).  The creation of the TTAC is a result of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014.  The purpose of TTAC is to "advise the Secretary on matters relating to the taxation of Indians."  TTAC will be made up of seven representatives: three members selected by the Department of Treasury and four members selected by Congress.  The conference call will be asking Tribal leaders for their input on the criteria that the Secretary should consider when selecting appointees to the Committee. 


If you would like to participate on the call, please use the call-in information below.  NIHB will be on the call and advocating that criteria for the TTAC members include knowledge and experience in and around the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This would be very beneficial to Tribes given the number of tax provisions in the ACA. 


When: Thursday, April 2, 2015 @ 4:00 PM EDT

Where: 888-324-6921, Code: 243027


If you would like to send an application or recommendation for the TTAC by e-mail, you can do so by e-mailing  The subject line should read: "Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee Member Recommendation/Application."  


Applications should include a cover letter and detailed resume.  Applicants will also be subject to a pre-appointment tax and criminal background investigation.  Nominations are due by April 28, 2015.


HHS Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tribal Consultation: Proposed Rules Required by Food Safety Modernization Act

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inviting Tribal leaders or their designees to engage in Tribal consultation on FDA's proposed rules required by FSMA. The Consultation will take place on Thursday April 9, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Green Bay, 2040 Airport Drive, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54313. The Consultation will be held from 2-4 PM EDT.  


The consultation session will provide a forum for Tribes to share their perspectives and concerns on  FDA's proposed rules required by FSMA, with a particular focus on the proposed rules entitled "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption" (the produce safety proposed rule), including the Draft Environmental impact Statement (EIS); "Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food" (the preventive controls for human food proposed rule); and "Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Animal Food" (the preventive controls for animal food proposed rule).


In addition, the FDA will be holding a national kick-off meeting on implementation of FSMA on April 23-24, 2015, at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center (775 12'h St, NW) in Washington, DC. Please contact FDA's Director of Intergovernmental  Affairs and Partnerships, Dr. Jeff Farrar, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, at  or 301-796-4925, if you plan to attend the consultation or have any questions.


Click here for the Dear Tribal Leader Letter announcement. 

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