Lincoln Bean, Alaska Area NIHB Board Member gives the opening blessing during the HHS Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda rollout event in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017.

Read the HHS press release here.
Access the final TBHA here

Statement from the Chairman of the National Indian Health Board on the 2016 Election Results

In light of the 2016 election outcome, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) affirms our mission and commitment to empower American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples to protect and improve health and reduce health disparities... Read More

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting a Tribal Health Presidential Transition Summit at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC on December 8, 2016. As we approach the dawn of a new Presidential Administration, Tribes and their advocates should think strategically of how to build upon the successes of the Obama Administration to improve the health status for American Indians and Alaska Natives. At the summit, participants will discuss how to develop and advance the Tribal health agenda in 2017 and beyond. Click here to register.

The Tribal Public Health Accreditation Advisory Board (TPHAAB) met on October 5, 2016 in Salt Lake City and concluded a year-long effort to review the Public Heath Accreditation Board’s (PHAB) Standards and Measures.

October 5, 2016 TPHAAB participants: Bridget Caniff, Carrie Sampson, Natasha Bitsui, Larry Voegele, Liza Corso, Kaye Bender, Aneva Turtle Hagberg, Philene Herrera, Vickie Bradley, Tom Anderson, Apryl Krause, Karrie Joseph. Not pictured: Jamie Ishcomer, Verne’ Boerne. Contact Karrie Joseph, [email protected] for more information.

On Sunday, October 9, 2016 the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) attended a Strategy Session and World Cafe hosted by the Indian Health Service (IHS) to generate concrete ideas to establish a framework for transformative change in the IHS that can be implemented immediately.

"This is a tangible step towards addressing the incredible workforce shortage the Indian Health Services currently faces." Stacy A. Bohlen, Executive Director of NIHB. Click here for the briefing presented by IHS.

On September 28 , 2016 the Veterans Administration (VA) held an in-person Tribal consultation session at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to discuss its recent proposal to consolidate multiple community care programs, previously known as non-VA care, into one standard program with standard rates. Representatives from the National Indian Health Board , Lester Secatero, Chairman NIHB BOD and Stacy Bohlen , Executive Director NIHB were present on behalf of the 567 Tribal Nations that may be impacted by this proposal.

Lisa Pivec, Sr. Director of Public Health receives a NIHB 2016 Area Impact Award for leading the Cherokee Nation to be the first Tribal health department to achieve public health accreditation! Read the press release. More about public health accreditation…CLICK HERE

John T. Hammarlund of CMS "Can you hear the dreams crackling like a campfire? Can you hear the dreams sweeping through the pine trees and tipis? Can you hear the dreams laughing in the sawdust?...."


At the Tribal Nations Health Conference of the National Indian Health Board, leading Senate staffers and Tribal leaders discussed legislative options to reform IHS. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Republican and Democrat staff participants included Emily Newman, Chairman Barrasso's Counsel (left), Caitrin Shuy, NIHB Director of Congressional Relations (center) and Kim Moxley, Vice Chairman Tester's lead health staff (right). "There is a real understanding that we can't be waiting around to make IHS improvements," said Newman.

NIHB Chairman Lester Secatero and Albuquerque Area Representative signs the Cultural Wisdom Declaration establishing the value and importance of AI/AN cultures to drive health policy


National Indian Health Board and Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board Meet to Discuss New Strategies to Improve Health Systems for American Indians and Alaska Natives.


National Indian Health Board and Public Health Foundation Collaborate to Improve Health in Indian Country

CLICK HERE to read the release.

NEW VIDEO: Tribal Leaders' Perspectives on Public Health Accreditation

CLICK HERE to watch.

The goal of this policy agenda is to set forth specific recommendations to improve the social, emotional, mental, physical, and economic health of children and youth, allowing them to achieve their learning and developmental potential. In short, this initiative calls on key stakeholders to put First Kids 1st. Click HERE to read the Native Children’s Policy Agenda

CLICK HERE for more information

NIHB Focus Areas


Posted: December 6, 2016

It’s Time for a National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda

By: Kana Enomoto, Principal Deputy Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Mary Smith, Principal Deputy Director, Indian Health Service

The story of American Indians and Alaska Natives is one of resiliency and survival. But high rates of interpersonal violence, depressive symptoms, substance misuse (alcohol and illicit drugs), and suicide among members of tribal communities offer a small glimpse into how social injustices- endured over the course of multiple generations- threaten tribal communities.

The National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda (TBHA) provides a blueprint to address current behavioral health issues and affect change for future generations...

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Posted: December 6, 2016

New Tribal Agenda Aims to Improve Behavioral Health in Native Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today has announced the release of the Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda (TBHA), a first-of-its-kind collaborative tribal-federal blueprint that highlights the extent to which behavioral health challenges affect Native communities, in addition to strategies and priorities to reduce these problems and improve the behavioral health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

There are 567 federally recognized and dependent sovereign American Indian and Alaska Native nations, tribes, rancherias, villages, and pueblos. American Indians and Alaska Natives represent 2 percent of the total U.S. population (6.6 million persons), but experience disproportionately high rates of behavioral health problems such as mental and substance use disorders. In addition, these communities' behavioral health needs have traditionally been underserved.

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Posted: December 6, 2016

NIHB Highlighted in Office of Minority Health Blog - Recognizing an Important Health Equity Milestone in Native American Heritage Month

As a special feature for Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Nadine Gracia featured the National Indian Health Board in the Office of Minority Health - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services blog roll yesterday for the work NIHB is doing to bring #healthequity to Tribal communities.

The changing landscape of public health, with a multi-disciplinary approach focused on the social determinants of health is a true opportunity to advance the well-being of AIAN communities. A commitment to advancing health equity by giving Tribes the resources they need to advance their public health system will lead to healthier, sustainable Native communities and decreased disparities for generations to come.


Read the blog now!

Posted: November 21, 2016

Funding Opportunity: Tribal Public Health and Climate Change
Applications Due November 30th, 2016

Building Tribal Capacity for Climate Change Resilience and Public Health Programs

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), with support from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate and Health Program in the National Center for Environmental Health, is pleased to announce a call for applications for a Building Tribal Capacity for Climate Change Resilience award. Designed to enhance the capacity of Tribes, this funding will provide up to three (3) Tribes with grants ranging from $75,000 to $89,000 for the opportunity to increase the level of programming, research, and/or coordination and communication between the Tribal programs, community, and key partners involved in addressing the health consequences of climate change. NIHB will assist in sharing lessons learned and best practices with the Tribal awardees, CDC's Climate and Health Program, Tribal Climate Change Workgroup members, and other key stakeholders… Read More

Posted: November 17, 2016

Congress to Fund Government with 3-Month Continuing Resolution

Congressional leaders today announced they would not move forward with any FY 2017 Appropriations bills until the next Congress. To fund the government, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said in a statement that they will begin work on a continuing resolution (CR), which will fund most federal agencies until March 31, 2017. The current CR expires on December 9, 2016...

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Posted: October 19, 2016

NIHB Applauds the Enactment of the Native Children's Commission Bill

On Friday, October 14, 2016, President Obama singed the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act into law. The Act authorizes the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission over a three-year period to evaluate and make recommendations regarding ways to improve Tribal, state, and federal programs serving Native children. The original bill was introduced by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)...

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Posted: October 12, 2016

Indian Health Service Hosts Joint Tribal Advisory Committees Meeting

On Sunday, October 9, 2016 the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) participated in a Strategy Session and World Cafe hosted by the Indian Health Service (IHS). The session was the first ever joint meeting between the Indian Health Services' Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee (DSTAC), Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee (TSGAC), and the Department of Health and Human Services' Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC). The purpose of this session was two fold: to generate concrete ideas to establish a framework for transformative change in the IHS that can be implemented immediately, and provide a forum to host a discussion among advisory committee members to share goals, objecties, and strategic plans of the DSTAC, TSGAC, and STAC...

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Posted: October 6, 2016

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution, Funding for Zika

Last week, Congress passed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government funded through December 9, 2016. The measure also provides $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus. Additionally, it provides for a full year of funding for the Department of Veterans' Affairs and military construction projects...

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Posted: September 30, 2016

2016-2017 Tribal ASI Awardees Announced September 29, 2016

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support is pleased to announce the selection of eight Tribal health departments for the Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (Tribal ASI). This is the third cohort of Tribal ASI awards, and NIHB is excited about offering a total support package of $84,000 going directly to the eight selected Tribes. Each of the Tribal ASI awardees have constructed their own individual workplan that will accomplish specific and concrete steps towards achieving one or more of the standards for public health accreditation.

Read the Press Release (PDF)

Posted: September 23, 2016

National Indian Health Board Stands with Standing Rock

Scottsdale, AZ - The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Board of Directors signed a resolution in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation at the National Tribal Nations Health Conference on September 22, 2016.

The NIHB is dedicated to assisting and promoting the health needs and concerns of Indian people. The prevention of harm to the health and well-being of Indian people is an essential aspect of the purpose of NIHB. The Board believes water is the foundation of all life on Earth and its preservation is essential to human survival...

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Posted: September 21, 2016

NIHB 2016 Heroes in Native Health Awards Gala

September 21, 2016 – Phoenix, AZ - The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) 2016 Heroes in Native Health Awards Gala was held to honor individuals and organizations from across Indian Country for their achievements and contributions that go above and beyond the call of duty to enrich and improve American Indian and Alaska Native health. This year, forty-five individuals and organizations were chosen to receive recognition for their dedication to improving health outcomes in Indian Country. Some of these award winners have done tremendous work on behalf of their local community, while others have gone to great lengths to advocate and serve on a regional or national level. Read More

Posted: September 21, 2016

Acknowledging Challenges, Authoring the Future for Indian Country

Today marks the close of the first official day of the National Indian Health Board’s (NIHB) National Tribal Nations Health Conference, also known as the 33RD Annual Consumer Conference. NIHB is pleased to report that more than 800 Tribal leaders and health professionals joined us for our official opening ceremony! Taylor Talbi’Denzhoone Susan, Miss Indian Arizona, began the events for the day with a blessing and song, wishing all attendees a productive and safe time while attending the conference.

Over the course of the opening plenary, several ground breaking announcements were made, such as Principal Deputy Director of the Indian Health Service, Mary Smith, announcing a telemedicine contract for the Great Plains Area with Avera Health. Avera will provide care across 10 different specialty areas for all 19 service units. The announcement was met with a standing ovation from the NIHB Board of Directors and Great Plains Tribal leaders in attendance. Patrick Marcellais, the NIHB Great Plains Representative and Councilman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, said, "This is a terrific move that will make a huge difference to the Tribes in the Great Plains."

While acknowledging the health challenges facing American Indians/Alaska Natives, the tone of the plenary was one of making progress and creating solutions. As Ms. Smith stated, “If we are not talking about the difficult things, then we are not moving forward.”...

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Posted: September 20, 2016

Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Native Youth!

With the launching of Generation Indigenous in 2014, the Obama Administration showed the American people the heritage, tradition, and perseverance of Native people in this country. But more importantly, this movement helped Native youth to recognize the responsibility of continuing this energy for generations to come.

The direct creation of Generation Indigenous is to help remove barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. While these barriers are numerous for many Native youth, the National Indian Health Board acknowledges that some of the most debilitating barriers to success that a young Native person faces are directly related to the health and wellbeing of themselves and their communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control the AI/AN youth demographic has drastic rates of diabetes type 1 and 2 among people younger than twenty years old . Furthermore, AI/AN adolescents are 50 percent more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to be overweight . These statistics illustrate large problems around obtaining quality of health and wellness for young people in Indian Country. Furthermore, they do not highlight the additional barriers unique to Indian Country for addressing these health disparities. These are, but not limited to, accessing affordable health insurance, proximity to quality healthcare providers, in addition to the high rates of health issues that impact Indian Country and its Native youth greatly.

This toolkit was created in generous partnership with the Indian Health Service. All content and materials within this toolkit are free for download and distribution.


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