March 29, 2016 |  Issue 16-11

IHS Contract Support Costs Workgroup Meeting
March 28-29, 2016
Washington, DC

Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee Meeting
March 30-31, 2016
Washington, DC

7th Annual NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit
April 11-13, 2016
Atlanta, GA 

Tribal Self-Governance Consultation Conference
April 24-28, 2016
Orlando, FL

HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
June 7-8, 2016
Nashville, TN

Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform Policy Committee Annual Spring Retreat
June 14-15, 2016
Nashville, TN

NIHB Annual Tribal Youth Health Summit
August 1-5, 2016
Location: TBD

Direct Service Tribes Annual Meeting 
August 30 - September 1, 2016
Rapid City, SD

HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
September 13-14, 2016
Washington, DC

33rd NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 19-22, 2016
Phoenix, AZ

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In This Issue

In this week's Washington Report: NIHB NIHOE partners host half-day training and face-to-face meeting in Atlanta, GA; NIHB's Public Health Summit Update; and NIHB is hiring! Disease Prevention and Control highlighted in Appropriations Hearing on Wednesday, March 23. New IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary Smith scheduled trip to Great Plains Area; and earlier this month the VA released a regulation for comment on the recognition of Tribal organizations for representation of VA claimants. A webinar will be held on April 4 on the impact of Commission of Dental Accreditation's (CODA's) decision to accredit dental therapy programs. The Office of Minority Health at HHS will be holding a health equity forum on April 7, 2016.

NIHB Updates
NIHB NIHOE partners host half-day training and face-to-face meeting in Atlanta!
As you may know, the National Indian Health Board is hosting the Tribal Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia from April 11-13. NIHB will be hosting a half-day training for the National Indian Healthcare Outreach and Education (NIHOE) partners the following day, April 14 from 8am-12pm. The training will cover the employer mandate, Tribal premium sponsorships and individual tax exemptions regarding American Indians and Alaska Natives.

There will then be a face-to-face meeting for the NIHOE partners following the training from 1pm-2pm. We are also looking for partners to highlight! If you have any good stories or happenings in your region, let us know! Any questions or concerns, contact Francys Crevier at 305-934-1918 or
NIHB's Public Health Summit Update
At the 7th Annual Tribal Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, NIHB will host four pre-summit institutes on Monday, April 11 from 8:30AM - 4:30PM. The institutes are as follows:
  • Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention Institute 
  • Strategic Planning for Health Equity
  • The Revolving door Between Culture and Health, and its Implications for Obesity in Indian Country
  • Special Diabetes Program for Indians Institute: Sharing a Culture of Wellness      
Over 30 exhibitors will be present in the Exhibit Hall at the Summit for attendees. An opening reception and Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) poster session will be held on Monday, April 11 and an SDPI Tribal caucus will be held on Tuesday, April 12 from 5:00PM - 7:00PM. For more information on the activities occurring during the Summit please refer to the draft agenda here.

Click here to register now!

To view information about registration, including rates: click here

For more information on the Tribal Public Health Summit visit or email
NIHB is Hiring!
The National Indian Health Board is hiring for several positions in its Washington DC office including:
  • Finance Director
  • Events Planner/ HR Manager
  • Director of Public Health Programs and Policy
NIHB is based on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and is at the forefront of all health policy effecting Indian Country.  Our growing staff represents a dynamic group of energetic professionals, and we are seeking candidates who are eager to help fulfill the mission of serving as "One Voice affirming and empowering American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to protect and improve health and reduce health disparities." 

For job descriptions and information on how to apply please click here.
Capitol Hill Updates
Disease Prevention and Control Highlighted in CDC Hearing
Last week, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Thomas Frieden, appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies.  This subcommittee provides annual funding for most HHS agencies (besides the Indian Health Service). 
During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), asked Dr. Frieden what the CDC is doing to support issues on a wide range of public health issues in Indian Country such as suicide, motor vehicle accidents, cancer, HIV and others. Dr. Frieden noted that CDC is proposing in its FY 2017 budget to strengthen capacity through the Tribal Epidemiology Centers and hopes to build on traditional practices that are healthy.  He also discussed ways that CDC can support families and communities. In response, Chairman Cole said that CDC often works "directly with state and local health departments, and quite often Tribes do seem left out of that equation by states. So having federal involvement to make sure there is some equity in those communities ... I think is very important."

Later in the hearing, Chairman Cole asked Dr. Frieden what the CDC's top priorities for program expansion were.  Of those top three topics listed by CDC, the third priority listed (after antibiotic resistance and prescription drug overdose) was "support for Indian Country."  Again, this response is a great indication that Indian Country is making headway to be part of the larger, national framework on disease treatment and prevention. 
You can watch the full hearing hereThe questions related to Indian Country are located at 1:18:30 and 1:57:33.

Dr. Frieden will address NIHB's 7th Annual Tribal Public Health Summit on Wednesday, April 13 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
Administration and Organizational Updates
New IHS Principal Deputy Director Schedules Trip to Great Plains Area
Last week, Principal Deputy Director Mary Smith, announced her intention to
travel to the Great Plains Area on April 5-6, 2016.  She plans to meet with Tribes in the region to address some of their concerns regarding the poor state of health care delivery in the region and the loss or potential loss of CMS accreditation at several IHS run hospitals in the Area.  Ms. Smith plans to meet with Tribal leaders, Tribal health directors, and other Tribal members to listen to their concerns and begin to craft some solutions.  There will be an IHS Update and Briefing session on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 that will focus on issues like staffing, staff quarters, telemedicine, delivery of services, and behavioral health.  On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 there will be Tribal delegation meetings as well.  Here you can find a copy of the Dear Tribal Leader Letter that went to Tribes in the Great Plains Area as well as an agenda for the trip. 

NIHB staff will be in attendance and information gathered will support NIHB's own independent efforts to construct a special task force to examine the poor state of health care delivery by the IHS. 

Click here to find the Dear Tribal Leader Letter outlining the event. 
Recognition of Tribal Organizations for Representation of VA Claimants 
Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter initiating Tribal Consultation on their effort to provide better access and assistance for AI/AN veterans in receiving their benefit claims.  The VA issued a proposed rule that would amend VA regulations to allow Tribal organizations and their representatives to be able to assist AI/AN claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of their VA benefit claims.  The proposed rule would also allow an employee of a Tribal government to become accredited through a recognized state organization.

The VA is currently accepting comments on the proposed rule, including concerns about potential compliance costs.  All comments must be submitted by April 11, 2016.  Comments can be sent to

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Devin Delrow, Director of Federal Relations, at
Upcoming Calls and Webinars
Webinar: The Impact of CODA's Decision to Accredit Dental Therapy Programs
When: Monday, April 4, 2-3pm EDT

Dr. Frank Catalanotto, Professor of the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and David Jordan, Advisor to the Dental Access Project, will present the background of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) decision to provide standards on the profession of dental therapy, the impact on the dental team and dental therapy and the standards and scope of practice.
Please register and kindly forward this information to your colleagues and encourage all interested partners to attend.
Please contact David Jordan at if you have any questions. 
HHS Health Equity Forum - April 7, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will host a Health Equity Forum (Forum) in recognition of National Minority Health Month 2016 and the 30th anniversary of the HHS Office of Minority Health.  During these observances, OMH will continue to build upon initiatives and campaigns initiated in 2015 during the 30th anniversary of the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health (Heckler Report).

The Heckler Report marked the first convening of health experts by the U.S. government to conduct a comprehensive study of the health status of racial and ethnic minorities, elevated minority health onto a national stage, and led to the establishment of OMH in 1986.  For 30 years, OMH has led efforts to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities. 

The Forum will highlight initiatives underway by the Obama Administration and HHS to reduce disparities and further efforts needed to accelerate health equity and expand opportunity for all.

WHAT:             HHS Health Equity Forum: "Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation"
WHO:              Featured speakers: Senior Administration and Federal Officials
WHEN:            Thursday, April 7, 2016; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
WHERE:          Join us live online.  Live-stream details and an agenda to come!

For questions or additional information, contact us at or 240-453-8833.  
910 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
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