National Indian Health Board
FALL 2015
Visions: A Tribal Perspective on Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention 
Have You Heard...
MSPI & DVPI In-Person Kick-Off Meeting
January 14-15, 2016
Denver, Colorado

Fundamentals of Evaluation for Public Health Programming
January 28, 2016
3:00 - 4:00 pm ET
April 11-13, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
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MSPI & DVPI In-Person Kick-Off Meeting Scheduled

The MSPI & DVPI In-Person Kick-Off Meeting has been scheduled to take place in Denver, CO on January 14-15, 2016 and it will be a full 2-day meeting from 9am-5pm MST each day.  All grantees and IHS Federal projects are required to attend the meeting per the Programmatic Terms & Conditions of the official Notice of Award.
Please complete the following steps in preparation for the meeting:
All participants should register HERE.

Registration will close on Friday, January 8, 2016. 
PLEASE NOTE: The Survey Monkey is set up so only one registration can be submitted per computer to prevent any duplicate registration submissions. To register multiple users: 1) Delete your cookies on your existing computer and then you will be able to access the registration 2) Use the same link on a different computer to register. If you would like to delete your cookies, go to your internet browser and on the top of your page you will see a toolbar. Select Tools and then Delete Browsing History. When you click, you will be able to check off cookies and then click delete.
Travel Arrangements
Reserve a hotel room: We have set aside a block of rooms at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel at a special rate of $119 per night. You may reserve your room under this block until Friday, January 8, 2016 using the "Indian Health Service" rate. After this date, the block will expire. You can anticipate lodging fees to be approximately $409.66 for a three-night stay including the hotel's room block rate and applicable taxes and fees.
Host Hotel Information:
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202
Reservations: 303-893-3333

for online reservations.

The Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel is approximately 25 miles/40 minute travel time to and from the airport. The two best options for transportation is either a Super Shuttle or a taxi.

Super Shuttle:
Average shuttle costs are $25-27 per person one way, and can be reserved through Super Shuttle via phone at 800-258-3826 or online HERE.

Taxi companies in the area generally offer a $55 flat rate each way from the airport to the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

Yellow Cab (303-777-7777)
Freedom Cab (303-292-8900)

Agenda Items
The draft agenda is forthcoming and will be distributed to all MSPI & DVPI Grantees & IHS Federal Programs upon agency approval.
If you have any additional questions regarding the meeting logistics, please email the Division of Behavioral Health at  
If you have any questions about the grant/program award, requirements for participation, or general programmatic questions please contact your assigned IHS Program Official for MSPI (Audrey Solimon: and/or DVPI (Sean Bennett ( 
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NIHB to Host MSPI Webinar: Fundamentals of Evaluation for Public Health Programming

January 28, 2016
3:00-4:00 pm ET
Evaluation is a key programmatic function, however, it often gets overlooked during program implementation, or confusion over how to conduct a good and thorough evaluation may lead staff to forgo such efforts. Evaluation helps us to make solid programmatic decisions and holds us accountable to ourselves, our funders and our communities.  This webinar will move through the different levels of process and outcome evaluation - clearly defining them and providing tips on how to conduct evaluations easily and successfully. We will also explore the components of an evaluation plan that align with implementation plans.

Audience: This webinar is designed for community health workers, prevention specialists, program directors, and evaluators that work specifically in the area of public health programming, and have a vested and sincere interest in conducting evaluation activities on their Tribal programs.  It would also be appropriate for a broader audience of individuals that interact regularly with such programs, including health administrators, grant writers, and contract monitors will also find benefit in this training.
Webinar Learning Objectives: By the end of this training, participants will be able to:  
  • Define common evaluation terms
  • Explain the difference between outcome and process evaluation
  • Describe at least three different evaluation methods
  • Describe the purpose of evaluation questions 
Tools and Resources
NIHB updated its MSPI website. On the website you can find:
  • Orientation and welcome materials
  • Information on technical assistance
  • Visions newsletter
  • MSPI program spotlights
  • Webinars

NIHB tries to disseminate information to all of our Tribal partners.  We have created some mechanisms in order to do that and want to make sure that all of our MSPI Partners are able to take advantage of this.  NIHB posts new and timely information regarding topics such as: training, webinars, funding, publications, conferences, meetings, legislation, Tribal consultation, and open comment periods all on our website as Behavioral or Public Health Alerts.  NIHB operates two separate alert lists to appeal to specific audiences.  We encourage you to check these posts often to remain abreast of current information and ensure that you have access to material in a manner that is timely enough to allow you to plan for it. 
Mission of the National Indian Health Board
One Voice affirming and empowering American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to protect and improve health and reduce health disparities.

About this Publication
This publication features information on suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and methamphetamine prevention, treatment and aftercare. We welcome your suggestions, questions and comments and invite you to submit materials for future publications.
Congratulations to MSPI Awardees!

Congratulations to all of the programs that were awarded funds as part of the Indian Health Service's (IHS) Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI). IHS awarded 118 Tribes, Tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, and IHS federal government programs to conduct important work under four different purpose areas: 
  • Purpose Area 1: Community and Organizational Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning
  • Purpose Area 2: Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention
  • Purpose Area 3: Methamphetamine Prevention, Treatment, and Aftercare
  • Purpose Area 4: Generation Indigenous Initiative Support
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) staff is delighted to, once again, be part of MSPI. In years past, NIHB provided training and technical assistance to all MSPI projects and outreach and education to a wider American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) audience. For this funding cycle, NIHB will serve as a training and technical assistance provider to Purpose Area 4 projects only. However, many of our resources are still available to all MSPI projects. IHS has funded other technical assistance providers to serve the other purpose areas. These technical assistance providers serve programs based on the IHS service areas.

We created this brief orientation packet to ensure everyone is aware of the resources that are available to you through the cooperative agreement that NIHB enjoys with the Indian Health Service.  Please  take a few moments to read through the packet in which we provide you with bio and contact information for NIHB MSPI staff, description of training and technical assistance opportunities, a listing of NIHB MSPI products and resources, and a contact list for all technical assistance providers. We hope that you find this information helpful, and we certainly hope that you will reach out to us so that we can continue to provide useful and meaningful assistance to you as you implement your methamphetamine and suicide prevention and treatment projects.
Wishing you much success,

The Importance of Meaningful Youth Engagement
In June of 2014, President Barack Obama made his first official presidential visit to Indian Country. The President and First Lady visited the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota, where they met with Tribal leaders, Tribal members, and youth. The visit, especially their interactions with Native youth, had a lasting impact on both the President and First Lady. Months after their visit, President Obama announced a new White House initiative, Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Gen-I seeks to improve the lives of American Indian/Alaska Native youth through new investments and increased youth engagement. Many Tribes and Tribal leaders are actively participating in the Gen-I challenge. How can Tribes and Tribal programs take part in Gen-I by improving and increasing their youth engagement? We will examine this question in a multi-part series that dives into engaging youth in meaningful ways.

Why engage youth?
The simplest and most obvious answer when considering why to engage youth is because they have the best understanding of their own reality. They are the ones with the lived experience, they are the experts on themselves. Sure, every adult was once a youth, but as times change, so does the way in which youth experience life. For example, let's consider "Small Town", which is experiencing an increase in youth-related vandalism during summer vacation. Adults in Small Town feel as if youth need jobs, like they had when they were young. If the adults spoke to the youth, they may find that there are not many opportunities for youth employment in Small Town. If youth want to work, they would have to get to "Slightly Bigger Town," ten miles away and most of the youth do not have access to transportation. Without youth input, the adults would have created a training program to help youth obtain jobs, without addressing the transportation need. When you treat youth as experts on themselves, programs are more comprehensive and tend to be more successful because of increased ownership and buy-in from the youth.
Youth benefit tremendously from participation in community activities, whether it be focus groups, advisory boards, or serving as peer educators. For instance, youth that serve on an advisory board with adults and other youth learn about meeting protocol, how to talk with adults, how to negotiate, public speaking, teamwork, and much more. As youth learn more about their community, they have a stronger connection and a vested interest in seeing the community thrive. This kind of interest often translates into lifelong engagement in community issues. For many youth, involvement in community activities can be empowering, giving them agency they might not have had otherwise.
Youth are not the only ones that benefit from youth participation - adults do too. Working closely with youth allows adults to better understand the capabilities and capacity youth have to inspire change within the community. Instead of thinking that youth need to be spoken for, adults are able to understand that youth are complex individuals that are capable making important decisions that affect the community. As an added benefit, it's not uncommon for adults working with youth to feel reinvigorated and refreshed by the energy and enthusiasm from youth.
What is meaningful engagement?
When working with youth, or any target demographic, it is important to engage individuals in a meaningful way. What does meaningful entail? According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, n.d.), meaningful engagement is:
  • Effective: participation has an impact on programs and is an integral part of achieving the organization's vision and mission.
  • Equitable: all stakeholder groups are engaged; representation is balanced; consumers are offered equivalent opportunities in activities and shaping decisions regarding the work.
  • Purposeful: consumers feel the relationship allows them to achieve their perspective goals; the organization respects consumer interests and uses their expertise.
When seeking engagement from youth and other community members, it is important to consider these three essential elements of meaningful engagement. Frequently, programs are eager for results and may inadvertently get caught up in their own planned process and desired outcomes. If a program comes to the table with a developed process and approaches youth for their opinion on clearly defined ideas, is the program truly engaging youth in meaningful way? No. In order for the engagement to be meaningful, youth should be involved in the process from the beginning, helping define how they would like to be involved, what steps they think should be taken, and what the ultimate desired outcomes should be. Youth need to have an equal part in the discussion, and this means more than a single (and sometimes "token") youth.  Meaningful engagement will both strengthen programs and encourage participating youth to continue their involvement.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (n.d.). Aligning forces for quality: Improving health & care in communities across America. Retrieved from
Call for Proposals Now Open for the 2016 National Tribal Public Health Summit!

Public health professionals, researchers, and community-based service providers are invited to submit abstracts for the NIHB 2016 Tribal Public Health Summit, taking place April 11-13, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

NIHB encourages presentations highlighting evidenced based, wise, best or promising practices developed in and for Tribal communities. NIHB is particularly interested in presentations that provide tools along with information and research, so that participants may leave with the tools they need to make the knowledge they gain actionable. This year's summit emphasizes achieving health equity, so please consider topics and content that will focus on key skills in one of the four summit tracks:
          • Accreditation and Capacity Building 
          • Behavioral Health and Substance Use 
          • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
          • Public Health Law and Policy
Proposals must be received by NIHB by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, January 8, 2016.

Click HERE for more information.
How to Recruit for Youth Engagement

The method in which programs recruit youth can significantly impact youth feedback and participation. A well-crafted recruitment strategy should consider what membership structure looks like, who members should be, and how to adapt recruitment messaging.
Keep in mind that recruitment can mean two things - recruiting for engagement in project management or recruitment for program participation. This article is speaking to recruiting youth early on in the project planning and management phase of program development. Before programs formally begin the recruitment process, they should develop a basic plan for what membership should look like. There are a number of important questions to ask, including:
  • What is being asked of the youth?
  • What is the target number of participants?
  • If a program is creating an advisory board, will there be an executive committee?
  • How will members be selected (e.g., application, interview)?
  • Who will ultimately decide membership status of interested youth?
  • How will youth be meaningfully engaged throughout the process?
It may be a good idea to target recruit 2-3 youth to serve an active role in the process from the very start. They can help decide what membership and participation should look like. They can also review applications, or sit in on interviews for potential participants.
Recruiting efforts should focus on creating a diverse group of youth. Often programs seek high-achieving youth to serve in some capacity in programming. While high-achieving youth are important and bring a significant amount of experiences to the table, they are not representative of all of the youth population. The experiences of an honor roll student are often significantly different than someone that dropped out of school, yet both voices matter equally - especially in prevention programs. Ideally a cohort of youth would include a mix of genders, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. to ensure a more robust representation.
One of the best places to start recruiting youth is within the school system. Programs should speak with school officials and teachers to discuss different opportunities. School officials may be inclined to allow programs into the school to speak at assemblies, host information booths during lunch time, or host meetings during lunch or after school. Teachers are great allies and resources. They likely have helpful suggestions for which youth to recruit. They also may be willing to partner for an in class presentation.
Outside of school, recruitment can also take place within youth-serving programs in the community. These programs can include faith-based organizations, community and youth centers, justice programs, elder groups, and youth-serving agencies within the community. Program messages can reach a wider, more varied audience. Many community-based programs work with youth that may not have participated in school based efforts, including individuals that dropped out, teenage parents, or youth in justice programs.
Regardless of where recruitment efforts take place physically, there should always be an online component of recruitment. Gone are the days when youth gathered around bulletin boards with flyers. Today's youth are socializing and obtaining information from the internet. Social media recruitment should not focus solely on Facebook-youth engage significantly on other social media networks as well, including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others.
Selling Your Program to Youth
Recruitment messaging should be adaptive to easily relatable for youth. No one enjoys dry presentations in which the presenter speaks at you, especially youth. Presentations and discussions should be interactive and make youth feel at ease. The Youth Advisory Coalition of Youth Advisory Councils recommends the following strategies when recruiting youth:
  • Chat about past projects and accomplishments. Many youth respond to success and accomplishment and desire to be part of it.
  • Discuss goals for the year.
  • Talk about any planned events or activities.
  • Provide food.
  • Hand out freebies (like pens, lanyards, water bottles, etc).
  • Involve other youth in recruitment
It is important to try a variety of approaches. The message that resonates most with one individual may not resonate with another. Recruiting individuals can be challenging, however the most important thing to remember is to cast a wide net and try a multitude of approaches.
Youth Advisory Coalition of Youth Advisory Councils. (n.d.). Creating and sustaining a thriving youth advisory council. Retrieved from
The National Indian Health Board welcomes your input! If you would like to submit materials for consideration, please contact the NIHB Public Health Department through Public Health Project Coordinator, Jackie Engebretson at or (907) 317-4858.