NIHB Announces 2017 National Tribal Health Conference

September 25-28, 2017
Hyatt Regency
Bellevue, Washington

New Executive Committee Members

Vinton Hawley - NIHB Chair; Lincoln Bean - NIHB Vice Chair; Sam Moose - NIHB Treasurer; Lisa Elgin - NIHB Secretary; Marty Wafford - NIHB Member-at-Large
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NIHB Hosts Native Health Presidential Transition Summit

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) meets with NIHB Chair, Lester Secatero, and Alaska Area Representative, Lincoln Bean.
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IHS and VA Announce Extension of National Reimbursement Agreement

On January 17, the Indian Health Service (IHS) issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter announcing that Principal Deputy Director, Mary Smith signed an amendment with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to extend the period of a national reimbursement agreement for direct health care services through June 30, 2019.


NEW VIDEO: Tribal Leaders' Perspectives on Public Health Accreditation

CLICK HERE to watch.


Posted: March 26, 2017

House Leadership Pulls Modified American Health Care Act

Today, Congressional Republican leadership pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA), meaning the legislation will not receive a vote. Leadership had struggled over the past few days to get the required majority from their own caucus, as all Democrats were opposed. Some Republicans opposing AHCA were frustrated that the bill did not more thoroughly repeal the ACA, while others were concerned that the bill would lead to loss of coverage and higher premiums.

The bill would have greatly impacted the Indian healthcare delivery system as a whole, and NIHB had outlined our concerns with the AHCA in a letter to Speaker Ryan.

The President said last night that if the House were to reject the AHCA, his preferred alternative would be to leave the ACA in place and move on to other legislative priorities. It is unclear at this time how much political will exists to revisit reforms to the ACA. NIHB will continue to advocate for healthcare improvements in Indian Country and for the federal government to uphold the trust responsibility for healthcare to our people.

Posted: March 26, 2017

Call for Nominations for the Native Public Health Innovation Award

In an effort to honor individuals, Tribes, organizations, and programs that have enriched and improved American Indian and Alaska Native public health, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites nominations for the Native Public Health Innovation Award. NIHB created this award to recognize excellence, achievement, and innovations that are above and beyond the call of service. NIHB recognizes that public health is a Native traditional value, and that Tribes have led the way in creating and implementing public health programming and services that align not only with contemporary needs, but with cultural beliefs as well. This award will highlight the work and vision of a Tribe, individual, organization or program that has worked to improve health status, implement new programming, address long standing health disparities, and/or increase the visibility of public health concerns.

NIHB will present the award at the 8th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit in Anchorage, Alaska during a plenary session. All nominations should be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, April 14, 2017. The winner will be notified within two weeks upon close of the nominations.

When submitting a nomination, please consider the following:

  1. Contributions must be in the field of public health.
  2. Contributions should have helped to advance the state of Tribal public health policy or programming, or improved the nature of public health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives at the Tribal, Area, or national level.

Click here to nominate someone today!

Questions? Please contact Win Reilly at [email protected]

Posted: March 23, 2017

NIHB Health Care Reform Reference Guide

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has created a Health Care Reform Reference Guide comparing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to assist in understanding the various impacts of the proposed legislation on access to health insurance and health care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a full floor vote this evening, therefore it is crucial for Tribal members to voice their concerns to their Congressional delegation about the impact the legislation will have on health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In addition, NIHB and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) sent a joint letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) highlighting Tribal concerns in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) requesting the legislation be amended.

NIHB Health Care Reform Reference Guide

NIHB and NCAI Letter to Speaker Paul Ryan

NIHB and NCAI Joint Statement on American Health Care Act

Posted: March 7, 2017

Indian Health Care Improvement Act Not Targeted in House Health Reform Plan

On Monday night, House Republican leadership of two key committees, Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means, each released legislation to reform the nation's healthcare systems and change many aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

Crucially, neither committee's draft legislation included repeal of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act (IHCIA), which was passed in 2010 as part of the ACA but remains unrelated to the main structure of the law's healthcare reforms. Other Indian-specific pieces of the ACA are also left intact...

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Posted: February 13, 2017

NIHB and Tribes Celebrate Partial Relief from Memorandum on Federal Hiring Freeze

On February 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Deputy Secretary Colleen Barros issued a 2017 HHS Hiring Freeze Exemptions memorandum to provide implementation guidance for exemptions from the presidential memorandum directing a freeze on federal hiring. Certain Indian Health Service (IHS) positions are included among these exemptions...

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Posted: February 8, 2017

NIHB Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for SDPI

NIHB led a group of diabetes prevention and treatment advocates to Capitol Hill on February 7 to educate lawmakers and their staff about the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). A vital public health program, SDPI has helped cut the rate of End-Stage Renal Disease among American Indians and Alaska Natives by 54% since 1996. Even going without a funding increase since 2004, the program has helped over 300 Tribes and Urban Indian programs develop public health programs to combat diabetes. The SDPI Day Outreach teams met with 18 Congressional and committee offices to stress the importance of the program and the success stories it has caused.

The authorization for SDPI will expire on September 30th of this year, so Congress must pass legislation renewing the program or the progress made in combating diabetes in Indian Country will be at risk. You can learn more about the program here.

Posted: February 5, 2017

NIHB 8th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit
Together We Rise: Sustaining Tribal Public Health as a National Priority

June 6 - 8, 2017 | Anchorage, AK

Call for Proposals
Now Open!

Public health practitioners, researchers, and community-based service providers are invited to submit abstracts for 90 minute workshops and 60 minute roundtables.

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) encourages presentations highlighting evidenced-based, best, wise, or promising practices developed in and for Tribal communities.

Conference Tracks

  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Public Health Policy, Infrastructure and Capacity
  • Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health
  • Climate Change and Environmental Health
  • Empowering Youth Wellness

Click HERE for additional information or to submit your proposal today!

Deadline: March 17, 2017

Posted: February 2, 2017

NIHB Board Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Tribal Health

After their First Quarter Board Meeting, National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Members Chief Beverly Cook, Lisa Elgin, Andy Joseph, Jr., Sam Moose, Tori Kitcheyan, and Lester Secatero spent the day on Capitol Hill.The board advocated for the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act to be preserved as Congress considers healthcare reform; increased appropriations for the Indian Health Service; an exemption for IHS from the federal hiring freeze; long-term renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians; and improvements to quality of care at IHS.

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Posted: January 10, 2017

The National Indian Health Board is launching a new Tribal Youth Health Advisory Board (TYHAB) initiative

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is gearing up for the 2017 Native Youth Health Summit, "Youth Advocacy: Telling Your Story to Create Change" – but with an exciting new twist this year! The 2017 Summit will also serve as the inaugural meeting of the NIHB Tribal Youth Health Advisory Board on March 16-20, 2017 in Hanover, NH at the Dartmouth College.

For the very first time, the National Indian Health Board will be selecting an advisory board of 24 Native youth, ages 18-24, from around the country to engage throughout the year in Indian health policy and programming efforts. The inaugural meeting of the TYHAB will focus on developing the capacity of Native youth to engage in Indian health policy solutions, tell their personal story, and advocate for changes in the healthcare and public health systems important to Tribal communities. The TYHAB kickoff at the Native Youth Health Summit will provide youth with key opportunities for relationship- and skill-building that allows them to return home feeling empowered, connected to other Native youth and well equipped to be the next generation of advocates for Indian health...

Posted: January 10, 2017

CDC Vital Signs Report on Decreased Kidney Failure from Diabetes in Native Americans

Today, CDC released a report on the decrease in kidney failure from diabetes in Native Americans (American Indians and Alaska Natives) and how the Indian Health Service (IHS) used team-based and population health approaches to help accomplish this decline, which may be applied to all people with diabetes.

Native Americans have a greater chance of having diabetes than any other U.S. racial group. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure (otherwise known as end-stage renal disease, or ESRD-D), a costly condition that requires dialysis or kidney transplant to survive. The remarkable findings documented in the January 10, 2017 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reveal that among American Indian/Alaska Native adults (AI/AN), age-adjusted ESRD-D incidence decreased 54% during 1996–2013; by 2013, among adults with diabetes, the ESRD-D rate was the same in AI/AN as in whites...

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Posted: January 4, 2017

The Obama Administration Releases a Report Outlining Successes While Working with Tribes

The Obama Administration and Tribal Nations have made historic progress over the past eight years in improving the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and federally recognized Tribes. On January 2, the White House released a progress report titled: A Renewed Era of Federal-Tribal Relations ( outlining some of the successes of the Obama Administration while working on behalf of Tribes. The report sets a baseline of progress for Tribal Nations to reference in their ongoing work with the federal government, and outlines the priorities that the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) will continue to work on based on Tribal leaders’ recommendations.

During the Obama Administration, the federal government has sought to reinforce its treaty and trust obligations for healthcare to American Indian and Alaska Natives by securing permanent healthcare funding, striving to reduce chronic disease and childhood obesity, and focusing on behavioral health issues such as suicide and trauma. Historic gains in health and wellness for Indian Country were achieved in 2010 by the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which includes permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). The report highlights the following health and wellness achievements:

  • Creation of the Commission on Native Children
  • Responding to Behavioral Health Issues
  • Addressing Suicidal Behavioral in Tribal communities
  • Addressing Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Launching of the National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda (TBHA)
  • Improving Data Sharing Capability
  • Creation of the Tiwahe Initiative
  • Creation of IHS and Tribal Health Program Reimbursement Agreements
  • Tribal HUD-VA Supported Housing Demonstration Program
  • Supporting Traditional Foods in Indian Country

Posted: December 20, 2016

NIHB Hosts Native Health Presidential Transition Summit

Washington DC, December 9, 2016 - The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) convened over 170 Tribal leaders from across the nation to discuss strategy and the Indian health priorities for the new Congress and Administration during the Native Health Presidential Transition Summit on Thursday, December 8 in Washington, DC. Participants engaged with Members of Congress, including long-time Indian health advocate, Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), and recent Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)...

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