NIHB Public Health Alerts

Posted: April 16, 2018

National Tribal Public Health Week Resources

Last week, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) celebrated National Tribal Public Health Week. Learn more about the resources NIHB shared as part of the celebration! For example, see the diagram below about how a bill becomes a law, from our webinar, Advocacy 101: Gaining Congressional Support for Tribal Public Health.

Check out all the Tribal Public Health Week resources HERE



Posted: April 16, 2018

NIHB Celebrated National Tribal Public Health Week
April 2-6, 2018

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to celebrate National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has expanded on the original idea to create National Tribal Public Health Week, which runs concurrently and focuses on the unique needs, priorities, strengths, and systems within Tribal communities in order to encourage everyone to celebrate the power of prevention, advocate for healthy and fair policies, share strategies for successful partnerships, and champion the role of a strong public health system.

NIHB celebrated from April 2nd-6th! Check out the events and resources NIHB hosted throughout the week.

Webinars

Articles

Social Media Contest: to share their stories and for a chance to win $100, people submitted pictures to show what Tribal Public Health means to them and how they see public health in action every day using the hashtag #ThisisTribalPublicHealth! Check out the submitted images here:

Social Media Project Posts: Check out our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for updates posted last week about some of our public health projects (including Zika, cancer, behavioral health, diabetes, and accreditation) and other posts celebrating Tribal Public Health Week. Look for the hashtag #ThisIsTribalPublicHealth.



Posted: April 16, 2018

Lower Sioux Indian Community (LSIC) Identified as Trailblazer by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota recently named the Lower Sioux Indian Community (LCIS) as a Trailblazer for their fantastic community health work. This information was shared in a newsletter from the American Indian Cancer Foundation.

Watch a brief video clip (around 2 minutes) from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MN about this Tribe's community health work, including diabetes and pre-diabetes prevention efforts and the strengths they draw from Dakota culture and community, HERE



Posted: April 9, 2018

Spotlight on Winnebago Tribe and Food Sovereignty

"When we take care of ourselves by going out there and planting something, harvesting it, preparing it, cooking it and eating it, then it's only going to help us," said Frank White, chairman of the Winnebago Tribe, as quoted in an Indianz.com news article. "We may not see results this generation, but the next generation will see it."

This news article discusses the journey of the Winnebago Tribe: first, living with a connection to the land and its natural resources; then, being forced away from the land where they could not live from gardens and food storage, which led to hunger; and finally, now, transitioning to "reclaim their [Tribal] lands and return their people to the fields, to grow their crops - the corn, the bean and the squash - that their people grew long before being forced off their lands."

Learn more by reading the article HERE



Posted: April 9, 2018

Impact of Public Health Accreditation Featured in May/June Supplement to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

With nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population now served by a nationally accredited health department, including all of Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, the breadth of accreditation's impact is captured in a special supplement to the May/June 2018 edition of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. The online edition of the special supplement is being offered with free access on the Journal's website.



Posted: April 9, 2018

Sex Trafficking in Indian Country: Victim/Survivor Resource Book

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute has release the "Sex Trafficking in Indian Country: Victim/Survivor Resource Book". The resource book addresses the need for a comprehensive guide due to the jurisdictional challenges related to safety planning and how networking through Tribal Coalitions assisting survivors can help.

Per their website, "This Resource Book is intended to provide Tribal Coalitions and [Tribal] advocates with basic information on sex trafficking as it impacts Native people and to provide access to direct services that may assist victims/survivors of sex trafficking. This resource contains a 900+ page victim/survivor services directory that is organized by state."

Please feel free to share with your colleagues working in forensic healthcare and domestic and sexual violence prevention.

Resource book available HERE



Posted: April 9, 2018

National Safety Council Releases Opioid Report: Prescription Nation 2018

Opioids are a critical issue in Indian Country. The National Safety Council just released a report, Prescription Nation 2018, with information about America's opioid epidemic. This report defines the issues, grades progress made by states, and recommends life-saving actions.

Read the report HERE



Posted: April 9, 2018

Heroin, Opioids, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) Inaugural Newsletter

The IHS National Committee on Heroin, Opioids, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) is pleased to release its inaugural newsletter to share important updates surrounding the IHS response to the opioid and heroin epidemic. The goal of the newsletter is to briefly highlight resources and share additional information with the healthcare workforce, employees, and Tribal stakeholders.

In this issue you will find information surrounding prescriber training, updates to our chronic pain management policy, opioid overdose reversal, and Medication Assisted Treatment.

Please submit any future content recommendations to LT Kristin Allmaras, HOPE Committee Communications Lead.

Please consider sharing this important information!

View the newsletter HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

Free Online Courses in Data and Public Health Epidemiology

Having a basic understanding of data, data organization, sources of error, statistics, and statistical tests can help tell the story of your community and public health needs. Epidemiology is a critical field in public health.

Online learning platform websites, Coursera and FutureLearn, offer several free courses related to these topics. Upgrades are available for purchase to provide additional features such as an official certificate or long-term access, but these are not required in order to learn.

Click here to learn more about the data course - Data to Insight: An Introduction to Data Analysis

Click here to learn more about the epidemiology course - Epidemiology in Public Health Practice

Note that both Coursera and FutureLearn offer a variety of other courses, so consider looking through their course catalogues to see what other subjects you might also like to explore. Courses also offer opportunity for discussion and interaction so you may find opportunities to share information about Tribal perspectives.



Posted: April 5, 2018

"Animals May Take Pity on Us": Using Traditional Tribal Beliefs to Address Animal Abuse and Family Violence Within Tribal Nations Article

"The relationship between Native people and animals has a rich, complex history," opens a journal article published in the Mitchell Hamline Law Review. This article discusses in detail the traditional beliefs and practices Native people held towards animals, the fundamental differences between these views and the views of European arrivals, and the ways in which these realities and differences have affected Native people and their relationships to animals continuing even today (for example, ranging from animals used as weapons against Native people and their spiritual beliefs, to modern-day animal abuse and neglect problems on reservations). Additionally, the article explores the relationships between domestic violence and animal abuse and offers potential solutions for these problems.

Learn more or read the article HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

A Matter of Trust: Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Native Americans

Colorectal cancer is a common cancer in the United States and one of the most common cancers for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. Unfortunately, only fewer than half of all AI/AN people are current on their recommended colorectal screenings. This happens for various reasons, including time and distance constraints, transportation issues, and competing priorities such as caregiving for children or elders. Learn more about this issue and what CDC is doing to help in a recent CDC blog post for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The National Indian Health Board is currently collaborating with the American Indian Cancer Foundation to try and reduce cancer disparities through CDC-funded cancer screening and colorectal cancer projects. NIHB looks forward to sharing work on forthcoming cancer toolkits in the future. Also, don't forget to apply for NIHB's funding opportunity: Tribal Health Systems Enhancement for Cancer Screening. Learn more about the funding opportunity HERE and note that applications are due tomorrow, March 30!

Read the CDC blog post HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

IHS Publishes Public Health Reports Article of HIV in Native Communities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indian Health Service (IHS) collaborated on a study that was recently published: Assessing New Diagnoses of HIV Among American Indian/Alaska Natives Served by the Indian Health Service, 20005-2014. The announcement states that the "objectives of the study were to use IHS data from electronic health records to analyze HIV diagnoses among American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and to identify current rates and trends that can support data-driven policy implementation and resource allocation for this population. Using provider visit data on IHS clients, the IHS/CDC research team found that the rate of new HIV diagnoses was stable from 2010 through 2014. The data indicate that AI/ANs aged 20-54, particularly men, may benefit from increased HIV prevention and screening efforts. These findings on HIV trends may help [Tribal], federal, and state health entities serving [Tribal] nations better target efforts on HIV prevention, screening, and linkage to care among AI/ANs."

Learn more HERE or read the study HERE

Access additional resources, including "Clinician's Guide: Working with Native Americans Living with HIV" HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

Community-Based Participatory Research in Indian Country Webinar
Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET

The American Indian and Alaska Native National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) Caucus at the NPA will host a webinar on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) on April 5 from 2-3 pm ET. This webinar will describe how CBPR principles can "address health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native communities. A brief overview of CBPR for health promising practices will be provided, as will definitions and specific examples of practices associated with outcomes for improving health equity. Webinar participants will be able to define CBPR, Community-Engaged Research, and promising practices in the context of the CBPR framework. The presenter will discuss the development of CBPR partnerships and will share practices and tools, connecting them to research implementation."

Learn more or register HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

Louisiana First to Purchase Land to Resettle Climate Change Refugees

Climate change is a critical issue facing the world and Tribal communities particularly are often the first affected due to reasons such as their closer relationship with the land. Climate change can lead to various issues affecting people, communities, economic well-being, subsistence lifestyles, safety, and health. Issues include flooding, asthma, unintentional injury, wildfires, increased vector-borne disease, and nutritional issues among many others.

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is a warm, coastal state with a long jagged coastline. Communities in this area are at risk for many harmful effects of climate change such as flooding and coastal erosion. A national news article from BISNOW provides information about the first "climate change-induced community resettlement project in U.S. history" which primarily affects members of the state-recognized Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe who are living on Louisiana's Isle of Jean Charles. According to the article, "The Louisiana government is set to purchase 515 acres of farmland that will become the new home for [the affected people]. The state will buy the land for $11.7 M [...] to resettle the residents of Isle de Jean Charles. The island community has received global attention focused on how other cities can address coastal flooding. Somewhere between 50 million and 200 million people could be forced to move out of flood-prone areas by 2050 due to climate change, according to the New York Times." Although individuals forced to relocate are technically internally displaced persons rather than refugees, this need for resettlement demands extensive resources and upends the lives of many people and communities.

Read the original article about Louisiana HERE



Posted: April 5, 2018

Spotlight on Maine Tribe Combating Opioid Addiction with Tradition

Tribal members at Penobscot Nation in Maine who "commit substance abuse-related crimes can enter a program called the Healing to Wellness Court, which operates something like a traditional drug court but offers a cultural curriculum."

"Recognizing that issues with substance abuse in native communities often arise from intergenerational trauma, the Penobscot Nation attempts to reacquaint criminal drug offenders with [Tribal] traditions and cultural practices to help them make a full recovery. [...] Guided by cultural advisers, participants are required to take part in activities that include sweetgrass picking, basket making, and sweat lodge ceremonies that offer both healing and spiritual benefits. Because addiction can lead to isolation from the larger community, these cultural activities allow offenders an opportunity to reconnect with the community and embrace their identity."

Learn more about this project HERE



Posted: March 19, 2018

New CDC Vital Signs Report Demonstrates a 30% increase in Opioid Overdoses from July 2016 through September 27 in 52 Areas in 45 States.

A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that emergency room visits for opioid overdoses rose by 30%. The largest increases were seen in the Midwestern region of the country, largely driven by a 109% increase in the state of Wisconsin alone. The CDC reported that overdoses increased for men by 30%, and 24% for women, while those between the ages of 35-54 saw the largest increase in opioid overdoses at 36%.

The complete report in addition to strategies and recommendations for responding to the growing opioid crisis can be found on the CDC website, available HERE.



Posted: March 15, 2018

APHA Opens Public Access to Firearms Research

On March 6, 2018, the American Public Health Association (APHA) announced that all research papers, commentaries, and analytic essays related to public health and firearms, and published in the American Journal of Public Health would be available free of charge.

APHA hopes that increasing public access to research on firearms will lead to reduced intentional and unintentional deaths and injuries, and better policy to stop the "epidemic of violence in our communities."

To read the full news release from APHA, click HERE



Posted: March 15, 2018

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meets with Acting IHS Director

Tribal leaders from eleven Indian Health Service (IHS) Areas participated in the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) meeting in Reno, NV on February 21-22, 2018. More than 40 people across Indian Country attended including local Tribal leaders, Tribal, IHS and Urban health program representatives, and members of regional and national organizations and committees. Presenters and Tribal leaders celebrated the reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), and discussed upcoming Tribal consultation in relation to SDPI.

The TLDC met with Acting IHS Director, Rear Admiral (RADM) Michael Weahkee, and discussed updating Tribal consultation policies, improving communication with federal partners, navigating the implications of the current administration's goal of creating more efficient programs, and encouraging the importance of culturally appropriate programs in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. Tribal leaders voiced their concerns with the reclassification of SDPI from mandatory to discretionary spending, as suggested in the President's 2019 budget. RADM Weahkee promised to work with others in IHS to insure that the messages of the agency reflected that of Tribal Leaders.

Stacy A. Bohlen, National Indian Health Board CEO and Vinton Hawley, NIHB Chair and Tribal Chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe presented TLDC members with updates on legislative issues of concern to Tribal leaders in regards to chronic disease prevention, including efforts for permanent SDPI authorization, the classification of SDPI funding from mandatory to discretionary spending, and advocacy on the Farm Bill to support AI/AN farmers and food sovereignty. Chairman Hawley emphasized that, "agencies want to hear directly from Tribal leaders. It is important we have collaboration and move forward with a unified voice." He challenged Tribal leaders to get involved with Native health issues both locally and nationally.

A common theme throughout the TLDC meeting was the need to improve data infrastructure, and to do a better job telling our stories about successful programs, particularly those that do not have federal data available to support them. The TLDC also heard from local SDPI programs. These stories, among many others, highlight the remarkable successes of SDPI in Indian Country, particularly those that, according to one of the SDPI presenters, "reincorporate traditional values into our lives... [and] keep traditions alive."

Follow the link HERE to view all of the Local Impact Stories submitted to NIHB by SDPI program participants and staff, or to submit your own.

To view highlights from the most recent TLDC meeting, click HERE

The next TLDC meeting will be held May 20-21 at the location of the 9th Annual Tribal Public Health Summit (May 22-24) at the Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake, MN. For more information about the Tribal Leader's Diabetes Committee, contact Karrie Joseph, [email protected].



Posted: March 15, 2018

Zika Summit in Louisiana Brings Together Tribes and their State and Local Partners

Communicating, coordinating, and collaborating with adjacent or overlapping governments can be daunting in the best of situations. Collaboration becomes especially complex when those partnerships get tested in public health emergency situations. Many Tribal governments face additional challenges, including the need to educate state and local partners on Tribal sovereignty, jurisdiction, and the status Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) hold as public health authorities. Nevertheless, Tribal-State-Local partnership are valuable and important - especially for emerging issues like Zika which can require emergency response as well as interdepartmental and cross-jurisdictional cooperation.

Keeping in mind that disease knows no boundaries and much public health work is local, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) hosted a Zika Summit, focused on collaboration with a theme of "Ensuring Healthy Tribes through State and Local Partnership" February 27-28 in Baton Rouge , Louisiana. Nearly 40 state, local, and Tribal representatives came together during this day-and-a-half event to learn about and discuss collaborative efforts to address Zika and other vector-borne diseases and ways to increase collaboration between Tribal, state, and local partners. Attendees stressed the potential benefits of partnership including the increased ability to share information and resources, to avoid duplication and waste, and to allow all stakeholders to contribute to program design.

NIHB led interactive activities designed to clarify values, discuss barriers to collaboration and possible solutions, and workshop through potential Zika scenarios that might affect Tribal communities in Louisiana. USET described Tribal health systems and the role of TECs to help non-Tribal staff better understand the Tribal health/public health framework. The Louisiana Department of Health staff discussed non-Tribal public health systems for Tribal attendees and also provided information about Zika and other vector-borne diseases. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) presented about partnerships and collaboration.

Participants shared best practices and identified opportunities for improvement that could lead to more successful communication, coordination, and collaboration including:

  • Ensure contact lists are up-to-date
  • Be consistent, transparent, and fair
  • Learn about each other - ask about needs and priorities, look at the data that does exist
  • Build relationships and consider phone or in-person meetings
  • Spend time in partnership before urgent needs arise; for example, work together during "friendly events"
  • Pair staff or liaisons at both Tribal and state/local level
  • Attempt formal and informal contact in different ways when reaching out
  • Use long term cross-jurisdictional sharing agreements
  • Solidify shared goals and objectives
  • Keep lines of communication open and ensure ongoing opportunities for discussion such as forums, summits, or partnership events

Over the next few months, working with our Area Indian Health Board partners, NIHB aims to host similar meetings in New Mexico and California. If you live or work in one of these states, please look out for additional information about these upcoming events.

To learn more about NIHB's Zika project, or to request technical assistance, please contact Angelica Colagreco, NIHB Public Health Project Coordinator at [email protected] or 202-507-4074 or visit the NIHB website HERE



Posted: March 15, 2018

Dear Tribal Leader Letter - Community Health Aide Program

The Indian Health Service Acting Director writes to Tribal Leaders to provide updates on efforts to expand the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP). This includes:

  1. Formation of the CHAP Tribal Advisory Group (TAG)
  2. Developing the policy and implementation plan. The CHAP TAG will convene for a two-day meeting March 21-22, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ.

View the Dear Tribal Leader Letter HERE.



Posted: March 15, 2018

Spotlight on Behavioral Health Interventions Using Indigenous Traditions

The American Psychological Association recently published an article entitled "The Healing Power of Heritage." The article describes the serious problem of suicide and substance abuse in American Indian/Alaska Native communities and the frequent attempts professionals made to address these problems using "Western evidence-based strategies that failed to recognize indigenous values - such as spirituality, the wisdom of elders and family relationships." The article also touches on other issues with these interventions - for example, Native people were most often excluded from helping develop solutions. More recently, However, it appears that progress has been made in more recent times by closely collaborating with indigenous people to include their heritage and values. "Many of the struggles Native communities face are caused by broken connections with their heritage," the article quotes Art Blume, PhD (Cherokee and Choctaw), psychology professor at Washington State University Vancouver. "Progress has been made over the last few years because we are combining the best indigenous cultural practices for healing with empirically supported interventions, plus we have enhanced the trust of the communities by working with them." The article then describes four communities with innovative and culturally-tailored programs to address these serious public health problems.

These communities and programs are:

  • Yup'ik Alaska Native: a toolbox for survival
  • White Mountain Apache: connecting spirituality to mental health
  • Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other Tribes: success with integrated care
  • Great Plains Indians: finding strength in the buffalo

Read the article HERE



Posted: March 15, 2018

CDC Releases the 2017 Diabetes Report Card

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2017 Diabetes Report Card, containing information on diabetes, prediabetes, diabetes preventive care practices, health outcomes, risk factors, and trends.

Overall, the rate of new cases in the US has decreased, and more adults and organizations are participating in the national Diabetes Prevention Program. However, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) had the highest age-adjusted rates of diagnosed diabetes among the racial and ethnic groups examined. AI/AN children aged 1-19 years old also had the highest rates of Type 2 Diabetes among the racial/ethnic groups, although the results were not representative of all AI/AN youth.

To read more about the 2017 Diabetes Report Card, click HERE



Posted: March 15, 2018

NIHB Webinar Slides Available

In the last several months, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has hosted some successful webinars with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the Climate Ready Tribes and Zika projects. This is a reminder that slides and recordings are currently available online, so please consider checking out these resources if you were unable to attend and sharing information with colleagues or partners who may also be interested.

The following webinars have slides available:

Thank you to all our previous attendees and presenters! Please keep an eye out for additional webinars from NIHB in the near future.

Posted: March 7, 2018

Clinical Guidance to Help Broaden Health Care Professionals' Understanding of Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published new guidance to help expand healthcare providers' understanding of using medications to treat people with opioid use disorder (OUD). Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63, Medications for Opioid Use Disorder, reviews the use of the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat OUD:

  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone
  • Buprenorphine

TIP 63 is the latest in a series of topic-specific best-practice guidelines that SAMHSA has developed to help educate and inform healthcare professionals of the most up-to-date practices for treating OUD, as part of the Agency's effort to combat the nation's opioid crisis.

Learn more and read TIP 63 HERE



Posted: March 7, 2018

Different Ways of Knowing: Successful Examples of Knowledge Co-production in Arctic Research

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) has posted a new webinar, entitled "Different Ways of Knowing: Successful Examples of Knowledge Co-production in Arctic Research." This webinar addresses traditional/indigenous knowledge.

This webinar recording is available HERE or HERE

Also, learn more about IARPC Collaborations or join the member space (free) to access many resources and events like this. Learn more HERE



Posted: March 7, 2018

SAMHSA New Behavioral Health Publications

Suicide Clusters within American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities
This paper examines what is known about suicide clusters within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and uses that information to provide recommendations for stakeholders working to prevent and contain suicide clusters within AI/AN communities. Inventory#: SMA17-5050.

Clinical Guidelines for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
This Clinical Guide provides comprehensive, national guidance for optimal management of pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder and their infants. The Clinical Guide helps healthcare professionals and patients determine the most clinically appropriate action for a particular situation and informs individualized treatment decisions. Inventory#: SMA18-5054.

Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
This fact sheet serves as a guide for individuals seeking behavioral health treatment. It provides three necessary steps to complete prior to utilizing a treatment center and the five signs of a quality treatment center, which include a review of the accreditation, medication, evidence-based practices, position on the role of families, and support networks. Inventory#: PEP18-TREATMENT-LOC.

View all new publications HERE



Posted: February 26, 2018

National Advisory Committee Policy Brief on Rural Suicide Now Available

The National Advisory Committee's Policy Brief on Rural Suicide is now available. In the document there are sections that discuss suicide in Indian Country as well as a section on IHS suicide prevention programs.

The policy brief can be found HERE



Posted: February 26, 2018

NIHB Shares Promising Practice for Zika Work: Spotlight on Cocopah Tribe

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is always pleased to highlight the successes of public health work occurring in Tribal communities. In case you missed it, NIHB recently shared an article about Zika preparedness work which the Cocopah Tribe is conducting in Arizona. The image above shows Michael Fila, Emergency Manager/Public Health Officer at the Cocopah Office of Emergency Management, conducting community outreach at a cultural celebration.

To read the original article, click HERE

Check out NIHB's Zika hub for other Zika-related information, resources, and more HERE



Posted: February 26, 2018

American Indian/Alaska Native-Specific Zika Posters and Brochure Available for Adapting, Printing, and Downloading

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has developed posters and brochures addressing Zika virus in Tribal communities. These materials were developed as part of NIHB's Zika project with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All materials are available on the NIHB website at no cost. These posters and brochure are designed to be shared online or printed. Some of the materials contain form field text boxes where you can enter your own contact information - for example, for your health facility so that individuals with questions or concerns can contact your Tribal clinic to make an appointment.

The Zika materials can be accessed HERE

Also be sure to check out the recently-updated NIHB Zika Hub with other Zika information, resources, webinars, and more.



Posted: February 26, 2018

Ask Questions or Request Technical Assistance on Zika Virus or Tribal Preparedness and Response

Depending on where you live, warm weather may be just around the corner! Now is the time to begin preparing for mosquito season. Do you have questions about Zika virus? Are you looking for information, or do you need assistance preventing Zika in your community or preparing for the possibility of Zika transmission?

NIHB offers technical assistance on Zika preparedness or response at no cost. To request technical assistance, email [email protected]

Submit your Zika questions HERE and check back to see answers posted



Posted: February 21, 2018

NIHB Releases Tools for Developing a Public Health Accreditation Elevator Speech

Many Tribal health departments are in the process of working towards Public Health Accreditation, the recognition that their department's performance meets a set of nationally recognized, practice-based, and evidence-based standards. Public Health Accreditation is valuable for health departments, but advocates may find it difficult to communicate the importance of Public Health Accreditation in a short and succinct manner when the audience may not understand the benefits, or even the definition of accreditation.

An elevator speech is a short, catchy way to put forth an idea in an amount of time that could be delivered during an elevator ride. They are often used to market an idea or initiative. You can use an elevator speech to convey meaningful information, and to grab an audience's attention. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has released a tool for developing an elevator speech that will increase the audience's understanding of a health department's public health accreditation efforts.

To view NIHB's "Creating an Elevator Speech Infographic", click HERE
You can use the "Creating an Elevator Worksheet" to record your ideas. View it HERE

To view these, and other accreditation tools for Tribes, visit NIHB's Tribal Accreditation Readiness Initiative (Tribal ASI) website HERE



Posted: February 21, 2018

FDA Releases the 2017 Food Code

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the 2017 edition of the FDA food code, a model regulation that provides all levels of government and industry with practical, science-based guidance and manageable provisions for reducing the known risks of foodborne illness.

The 2017 Food Code provides uniform standards for retail food safety, eliminates redundant processes for establishing food safety criteria, and establishes a more standardized approach in controlling food safety hazards within a retail environment.

View the Food Code HERE

View the Constituent Update for the release HERE



Posted: February 21, 2018

Suicide Clusters within American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

This paper examines what is known about suicide clusters within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and uses that information to provide recommendations for stakeholders working to prevent and contain suicide clusters within AI/AN communities.

Access full text HERE.



Posted: February 5, 2018

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald Resigns as Director of the CDC

Image: Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, from Politco.

On Wednesday morning, January 31st, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned her position as Director of CDC and ATSDR.  Dr. Anne Schuchat (RADM, USPHS) began as Acting Director. Dr. Schuchat previously served as acting CDC director from January-July 2017 and was director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases from 2006-2015. CDC remains committed to their mission of saving lives and protecting people.

For more details, click HERE



Posted: February 5, 2018

Enrollment is Open for Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Suppliers

What You Need to Know
MDPP supplier enrollment has now begun for eligible organizations as of January 1, 2018, as a result of the publication of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Final Rule. MDPP supplier applications can be accepted at any time. Delivery of and billing for MDPP services will begin April 1, 2018.

How to Enroll as an MDPP Supplier
There are two ways you can enroll in Medicare as an MDPP supplier: you can fill out and submit your enrollment application online using the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS), or you can submit a paper enrollment application to a Medicare Administrative Contractor. The MDPP Supplier Enrollment Application (paper form) is now available online through CMS.gov HERE. This application can also be accessed and submitted online through PECOS.

If your organization currently meets the requirements for enrolling as an MDPP supplier, including recognition and additional supplier standards, follow the steps below to begin the MDPP enrollment process:

  • Review the MDPP Orientation Roadmap to understand the MDPP supplier journey
  • For a more detailed introduction, watch the MDPP Orientation Webinar to gain a better understanding of MDPP - including requirements to enroll as a MDPP supplier, furnish MDPP services, and submit claims (please note registration is required to view the webinar)
  • Use the MDPP Enrollment Fact Sheet and the MDPP Checklist to guide you through the enrollment process

For more information, visit the MDPP website.



Posted: February 5, 2018

ASTHO Releases Profile of State and Territorial Public Health, Volume Four

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has released its new version (volume 4) of the ASTHO Profile of State and Territorial Public Health. This document examines funding levels, agency priorities, and the governmental public health workforce. It also identifies trends, challenges, and developments across public health agencies. Although this document focuses on states (and territories), Tribes may benefit from understanding more about the public health infrastructure in their states and identifying opportunities to increase collaboration that could benefit Tribal health. This document also identifies state priorities and contains statistics about information-sharing with Tribes.

Read the article HERE



Posted: February 5, 2018

Combating Trafficking: Native Youth Toolkit on Human Trafficking

American Indians and Alaska Natives are considered an at-risk population for human trafficking. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery, which includes forced labor, involuntary servitude, or forced commercial sex. Traffickers can be anyone, strangers, peers, friends, romantic partners, or family. They sometimes may make offers of false employment, and generally prey on individuals seeking better opportunities.

This toolkit offers Native Youth information about trafficking, tips for protecting themselves, and resources for preventing trafficking. The goal of the toolkit is to empower youth and their community to prevent and respond to human trafficking.

To view the toolkit, click HERE



Posted: February 5, 2018

2nd Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition Conference Report

Last fall, more than 500 Tribal officials, elders, youth, researchers, and practitioners from 37 states, four countries, and more than 50 Tribes attended the 2nd Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition in Prior Lake, Minnesota. This annual conference brings together indigenous and academic scientific knowledge on Native nutrition and food science. Building off the inaugural conference in 2016, last year's conference focused on traditional foods, community-university collaborations, environment, land, and nutrition.

To share lesson learned, a conference report was created. Inside the report you will find speaker information, key takeaways from presentations and panels, and testimonials from attendees. You can also find videos and presentations from the 2017 conference speakers HERE

Read the 2017 nutrition conference report HERE

Information on the 3rd Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition HERE



Posted: February 5, 2018

Safe to Sleep Campaign Stipends and Outreach Materials for American Indians/Alaska Natives

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has announced outreach stipends for Tribes and organizations serving American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities to have customized materials with Safe to Sleep Campaign messages printed by NICHD, utilizing the Healthy Native Babies Project Toolkit Disk. The Toolkit Disk allows individuals to design culturally appropriate and regionally specific materials with phrases translated into Native languages as well as photographs of Native families taken across the country.

For further information, please contact [email protected].

You can also click HERE to learn more about the campaign or click HERE to view a brochure for AI/AN populations.



Posted: January 26, 2018

Sponsor the NIHB 9th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

We invite you to contribute to Tribal public health by becoming an official sponsor of the premier national AI/AN specific public health gathering.

Our 9th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) offers key opportunities for allies, organizations and agencies to network, build relationships and establish partnerships with Tribal health leaders in an effort to address AI/AN health priorities.

NIHB is honored to welcome your support for TPHS. We offer a variety of sponsorship levels with many benefits included. Sponsoring the TPHS provides a great opportunity to elevate the presence and visibility of your organization and work, as well as your commitment to Tribal public health and healthcare needs.

To view more information about sponsorship opportunities, including our sponsorship packages, click HERE

For all questions, or to become an official sponsor, please contact NIHB Public Health Program Associate: Sarah Price at 202-507-4078 or [email protected].



Posted: January 26, 2018

American Psychological Association (APA) Releases Stress and Health Disparities Report

The American Psychological Association (APA) recently released a report entitled Stress and Health Disparities: Contexts, Mechanisms, and Interventions Among Racial/Ethnic Minority and Low Socioeconomic Status Populations. The report includes information about American Indians where available and identifies issues such as discrimination, higher poverty rates, and lessened life spans. The report's executive summary states that stress has been identified by the WHO (2008) as one of the top ten "determinants of disparities in health. This report presents a state-of-the-science overview of research examining stress as a driver of disparities in health. Stress occurs when individuals experience demands or threats without sufficient resources to meet these demands or mitigate the threats (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). We document disparities in stress exposures; explore biopsychosocial mechanisms that may link stress to health, with a particular focus on disparities in depression, cardiovascular disease, and cancer; and identify interventions on the individual, family, community, and national levels that may reduce stress and the effects of stress on health among health disparity populations. The aim is to identify actions that APA and others can take to reduce stress and stress-related health disparities."

Read the report HERE



Posted: January 26, 2018

Yup'ik Communities Turn to Indigenous Knowledge to Prevent Risk for Youth Suicide and Alcohol Abuse

"Culture plays a substantial role in reducing disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations; experts acknowledge culture's critical importance to intervention success and sustainability," begins a recently published article from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. "For more than a decade, researchers at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research have been collaborating with Yup'ik communities to address challenges facing Alaskan youth. The Qungasvik (qoo ngaz vik) or 'tools for life' prevention model is grounded in Yup'ik cultural and an indigenous knowledge framework. Through a self-determined, local community-developed and staffed intervention, the Qungasvik prevention model helps improve the lives and health of Yup'ik community members."

Click here to continue reading and learn about the qasgiq ("organizing structure and modeling system that reflects and transmits core Yup'ik principles, ideologies, and theories) and the Yup'ik "cultural model of intervention, community healing, and repair."

"We need the research to demonstrate that our culture [...] is our prevention, it is intervention," a man in the article states. "Every community has a local cultural process of coming together, of organizing its work, and of intervening effectively. In Yup'ik communities, this spirit of community is always present, and not only in times of problems and crisis."

Read the article HERE



Posted: January 26, 2018

Study Shows that Even Short Term Exposure to Air Pollution Increases Mortality among Elderly

As reported in a press release by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health on December 26, 2017, short-term exposures to fine particulate air pollution and ozone-even at levels well below current national safety standards-were linked to higher risk of premature death among the elderly. The importance of this study is that the US Environmental Protection Agency is required to reexamine its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) every five years and these results suggest that current national air quality safety levels may need to be reevaluated.



Posted: January 26, 2018

Alex Azar Confirmed as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

On January 24, 2018 the Senate confirmed in a vote of 55-43, Alex Azar as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Deputy Director, Eric Hargan has been serving as acting Director, following former Secretary Price's resignation on September 29, 2017.

Azar's previous experience includes work as a pharmaceutical executive and a twice-confirmed HHS official during the George W. Bush administration. Supporters of Azar have noted his oversight of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (which created Medicare Part D) and Medicare Advantage as evidence of his expertise.

During his Senate confirmation hearing on January 9, 2018, Azar pledged to prioritize lowering drug prices, tackling the Opioid Crisis, stated his in interest in moving towards value-based purchasing (away from the Fee-for-Service model) and suggested that he favored block grants for the Medicaid program.

Washington Post: Alex Azar Confirmed by Senate as New Head of Health and Human Services



Posted: January 18, 2018

NIHB Releases Call for Proposals for the 9th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit
Due Friday, February 23, 2018
Summit May 22-24, 2018 in Prior Lake, MN

Public health practitioners, researchers, and policy experts are invited to submit abstracts for 90 minute workshops and 60 minute roundtables for the NIHB 2018 National Tribal Public Health Summit, taking place May 22-24 at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota. NIHB encourages presentations highlighting evidenced-based, best, wise, or promising practices developed in and for Tribal communities. NIHB highly encourages dynamic, interactive sessions that will draw upon the skills, knowledge and experience of session participants. NIHB is particularly interested in interactive presentations that provide tools along with information and research, so that participants can make the knowledge they gain actionable. NIHB is also looking for presentations highlighting the social determinants of health (i.e. socioeconomic status, access to education and employment, the physical environment, etc.) as they pertain to the issues discussed.

This year's summit emphasizes balance, harmony, culture and health, so please consider topics and content that focus on these interconnections within one of the six summit tracks: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity, Public Health Policy, Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health, Climate Change and Environmental Health, and Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

For more information and to submit your proposal, CLICK HERE



Posted: January 18, 2018

Safe Sleep for Babies: Vital Signs Report Signals Need for More Caregivers to Follow Safe-Sleep Practices

The CDC analyzed Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data to describe sleep practices for babies. PRAMS is a state-based surveillance system that monitors self-reported behaviors before, during, and after pregnancy among women with a recent live birth since late 1980s. Date reported from 2015 about unsafe sleep positioning (i.e. placing the baby on his or her side or stomach to sleep), bed sharing, and the use of soft bedding (i.e. pillows, blankets, bumper pads, stuffed toys, and sleep positioners) were examined. Each year about 3,500 sleep related deaths occur among US babies.

In 2015, within states included in the analysis:
About 1 in 5 mothers (21.6 percent) reported placing their baby to sleep on their side or stomach More than half of mothers (61.4 percent) reported any bed sharing with their baby 2 in 5 mothers (38.5 percent) reported using any soft bedding in the baby's sleep area

Read the entire Vital Signs report HERE

For more information on safe sleep practices, see the AAP Policy Statement, "SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment," HERE

Parents may find it helpful to visit the Safe to Sleep® website® HERE for additional information and materials.



Posted: January 11, 2018

Job Opportunity: Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Health and Human Services Community Health Educator

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Health and Human Services Community Health Educator is responsible for influencing and motivating American Indian and Alaska Natives to adopt health lifestyles through promoting health care resources, products, services, policies, procedures, and planning for a variety of health related issues. The Tribal Health and Human Services department implements continuous quality improvement practices. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.



Posted: January 6, 2018

CDC Releases a HAN Advisory on Seasonal Flu Activity

CDC has released a Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory regarding seasonal Influenza A(H3N2) due to increased influenza activity. This advisory promotes considering treatment with an antiviral medication for patients earlier in the course of illness, particularly for high risk (elderly, pregnant, and hospitalized) patients. The advisory also encourages vaccination, as vaccines still remain the best tool to prevent influenza despite reduced vaccine efficacy.

To view the advisory, CLICK HERE



Posted: January 6, 2018

Apply to the CDC Public Health Associate Program as a Host Site or an Associate

Host site applications open January 2-18, 2018, and associate applications open January 2-8, 2018

The application period for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) will be open for potential host sites from January 2-18, 2018, and for potential associates from January 2-8, 2018.

PHAP is a two-year, paid training program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. PHAP associates are assigned to various public health agencies (host sites) across the United States and US territories, including Tribal health departments.

Tribes can benefit greatly from hosting a PHAP associate. Assignees bring their skills to the host agency, foster a partnership between their host site and CDC, facilitate access to CDC resources, trainings and subject matter expertise, and build Tribal capacity by filling human resource gaps. In return, the Tribe will offer the PHAP associate opportunities to grow as an early-career public health professional.

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) early-career professionals in public health should also consider applying to be PHAP associate. PHAP offers the opportunity for recent bachelor's and master's degree students to be recognized as a CDC employee, gain valuable skills in public health, receive mentoring from both their host site and from CDC professionals, and contribute to improving public health in their assigned community.

For more information, or to apply as a host site or PHAP associate, CLICK HERE



Posted: December 12, 2017

New Research: Investing in Public Health May Reduce Medicare Spending

Results from a new study published in the December issue of the journal Health Services Research by researchers at the University of Kentucky, suggest new directions for containing costs by aligning medical and public health programs. The findings suggest that the federal Medicare program could realize an average of $1.10 in savings for each $1.00 invested in local public health activities over time.

The researchers measured the amount of money spent annually by hundreds of local public health agencies in hundreds of communities, and linked these data with measures of Medicare spending per beneficiary in the same local areas, along with detailed information on demographic, economic and community characteristics. Using an advanced statistical methodology known as instrumental variables analysis, the researchers estimated how public health spending influenced Medicare spending over time, while controlling for other factors that tend to obscure the true causal relationship between these two types of spending. The results show that Medicare spending per beneficiary fell by about 1 percent for each 10 percent increase in public health spending per resident, with even larger offsets observed in low-income and medically underserved communities.

The article concludes that expanded financing for public health activities may provide an effective way of constraining Medicare spending, particularly in low-resource communities.

Read the press release



Posted: December 12, 2017

Success Story from Northwest Tribes: Native CARS (Children Always Ride Safe) Partnership to Improve Child Passenger Safety

In the beginning of the 2000s, Northwest Tribes noticed that vehicle accidents leading to injuries and death were impacting their communities. The Northwest Tribal EpiCenter (NWTEC) confirmed this disparity and noticed, finding that American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) were experiencing the highest death rate compared to other groups as a result of vehicle accidents. The NWTEC contacted experts and formed partnerships to investigate if this mortality rate might be connected to the low use of safety seats. Partnerships included the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC). The group explored this data for six Tribes and found that correct safety seat usage was low - between 25 and 55 percent only.

The six Tribes are: Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Klamath Tribes, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and Spokane Tribe...

Read More



Posted: December 12, 2017

Prevention and Unintentional Injuries in American Indian Communities: 5 Day Course
January 8-12, 2018 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health is offering a course on injury prevention. Injuries are the leading cause of death for American Indians ages 1-44 and the third leading cause of death overall. This 5-day day learning opportunity will explore the unique injury patterns experienced by American Indian communities and teach students how to design, implement and evaluate injury prevention initiatives in their community. Throughout the course, students will work to develop basic knowledge and skills relating to all core competencies of injury prevention. Although some competencies will be addressed in greater detail than others, students will be given as many opportunities as possible, within the constraints of the 5-day training, to practice these skills. Practical application sessions will provide hands-on, facilitated, skills-development experience.

Tuition: $1091 per credit for credit, $818 for non-credit.

For more information, CLICK HERE



Posted: December 5, 2017

Sexual Violence Resources

The recent #metoo social media campaign has highlighted important, but often overlooked, public health issues: sexual violence and intimate partner violence (IPV). In the US, Native Americans are at greatest risk of sexual violence and are twice as likely as all races to experience rape or sexual assault compared [source].

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published guidelines - for the first time - "to help front-line healthcare workers give high-quality, compassionate, and respectful care to children and adolescents [...] who have experienced sexual abuse." View the WHO document HERE or read a WHO article about the #metoo campaign and public health HERE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer additional, US-specific resources for sexual violence HERE.

Learn more about sexual assault or get help for yourself or someone you know at the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

IHSIHS FY2015 Report to Congress on Sanitation Deficiency Levels for Indian Homes and Communities

The purpose of the IHS FY2015 Report to Congress on Sanitation Deficiency Levels for Indian Homes and Communities report is to satisfy the requirements for Sanitation Facilities Construction (SFC) Program reporting under section 302 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), codified as amended at 25 U.S.C. § 1632(g). The information in this report to Congress is used by the Indian Health Service (IHS) to establish budgetary funding requests and to allocate funding resources received. Additionally, the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation utilize the information contained in this report to aid in the implementation of their programs that support Tribal water, sewer and solid waste infrastructure. Access the report HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice Articles Available

The most recent issue of the Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice contains information about the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). There are several articles available addressing health equity, funding, health equity mapping, capacity building, cross sector collaborations, and other important topics related to health disparities. There is also an article, "Achieving Health Equity for Indian Country."

Download the articles HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

November is Bladder Health Month - Bladder Health Information and Resources

November is Bladder Health Month. Bladder health can include a wide range of issues such as bladder cancer, incontinence, bedwetting, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) [source]. It is estimated that one in ten veteran injuries since 2003 have affected the genitourinary system [source]. Some people do not feel comfortable talking about bladder problems, although these problems may be common - and sometimes serious [source].

Learn more about these conditions, basic information about the bladder, and ways to keep your bladder healthy HERE and HERE.

Read a journal article about a bladder health research study conducted with American Indian women in South Dakota HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

Meeting Report: Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening for American Indians and Alaska Natives

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) recently published (November 2017) a report from a meeting co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society which was held in April 2016 in Michigan to discuss colorectal cancer screening in American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

The report "provides an overview of the burden of colorectal cancer among AI/AN, summarizes meeting presentations and discussions, and presents the participants' collaborative 'framework for change' tool that identifies goals, priority tactics, barriers, and potential communities of solution and roles."

Learn more or download the report HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

Advancing Health Equity in Tribal Communities through Public Health Accreditation

The Office of Minority Health and National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities has posted a webinar discussing public health accreditation and the work that has been done at the National and Tribal levels to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for AI/AN. The webinar features Karrie Joseph from National Indian Health Board and Carrie Sampson from Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.

You can view this webinar HERE.

For more information about public health accreditation and NIHB's Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI), click HERE.



Posted: December 5, 2017

IHS American Indian/Alaska Native Community Crisis Response Guidelines

The Indian Health Service (IHS) has announced the online publication of the IHS American Indian/Alaska Native Community Crisis Response Guidelines. This resource was developed by the IHS Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the Suicide Care Workgroup under the National Combined Council.

The guidelines are an effort to address the importance of federal and Tribal partnerships in addressing suicide behavior-related crises. These guidelines recommend responsibilities and procedures for Tribes, who receive services through IHS, in requesting assistance in suicide prevention and early/post intervention from the DBH.

You can view these guidelines HERE.

For questions, contact Pamela End of Horn at [email protected] or 301-443-8028.



Posted: December 5, 2017

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Request for Comment on Proposed Update to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy's Access Model for Genomic Summary Results
Deadline: December 12, 2017

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking public comments regarding a proposed update to the access procedures for genomic summary results under the Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy. Genomic summary results, also known as "aggregate genomic data" or "genomic summary statistics" are primary analyses of genomic research that convey information relevant to understanding genomic associations with traits or diseases across entire datasets rather than data specific to any one individual research participant. The goal of this proposed update is to align NIH's genomic data management procedures for genomic summary results with the current understanding of risks and benefits to research participants while at the same time trying to promote maximum public benefit from NIH-funded research investments.

Responses will be accepted through December 12, 2017.

To view the notice, click HERE

To submit a response, click HERE



Posted: November 30, 2017

Post-Doc Position Available: Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

The Center for Injury Research and Policy, located in The Research Institute of Nationwide Children's Hospital, is seeking applicants for a post-doctoral fellow in injury epidemiology. The center (www.injurycenter.org) is one of 10 CDC-funded Injury Control Research Centers...

Read More



Posted: November 27, 2017

Public Health Thank You Day

November 20, 2017 was Public Health Thank You Day. This time of year is a time for many people to reflect on gratitude. The Monday before Thanksgiving is set aside each year to thank public health professionals "who work tirelessly every day to protect the health of all people and all communities." The American Public Health Association has written a blog about the day and the importance of social determinants of health.

If you are a public health worker, thank you for your work benefiting Tribal communities!

Learn more about the day HERE or read the blog post HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

Keystone Pipeline Leak in South Dakota

On Thursday, November 16th, the Keystone Pipeline leaked about 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. According to David Flute, Tribal Chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, this leak took place approximately 20-25 miles from the Lake Traverse Reservation. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe is waiting to hear if any water sources were contaminated, particularly because some residents of the reservation use well water in their homes. Currently, South Dakota officials are stating that they do not believe there is any water contamination [SOURCE]. However, concern stems from previous oil and brine spills in the US, which have affected the drinking water of Tribal Nations [SOURCE].

This leak occurred before a Monday, November 20, 2017 vote by the Nebraska Public Service Commission to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline. There has been concern from many Tribal members regarding the Keystone XL, which would connect with the existing Keystone Pipeline. Dallas Goldtooth with the indigenous Environmental Network has pointed out that 15 Tribal nations live along the proposed route, and has suggested that it poses a risk to the drinking water of over 65,000 Indigenous people [SOURCE].

For more information:
New York Times Article: HERE
PBS News Hour Article: HERE
CBC News Article: HERE
National Indian Health Board Resolution 16-02, which lists previous oil and brine spills which affected the drinking water of Tribes: HERE
Indigenous Environmental Network: HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

Native News: Climate Discussions

Native News recently shared a radio blurb with interviews from several people working on Tribal climate health issues who were present at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual conference.

Listen to the blurb HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

CDC Report on Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Among Rural Adults

Rural communities often have worse health outcomes, have less access to care, and are less diverse than urban communities. Much of the research on rural health disparities examines disparities between rural and urban communities, with fewer studies on disparities within rural communities. This report provides an overview of racial/ethnic health disparities for selected indicators in rural areas of the United States.

Access the report HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

Health Disparities Among American Indians and Alaska Natives: Enormous Hurdles and Opportunities to Advance Health Status

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) recently published an "insights" post on health disparities in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. This post describes the disparities, socioeconomic effects, risk factors, recommendations, and strengths.

Read the article HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

Flu Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have flu resources available online - including brochures and posters. These materials can be downloaded or printed at no cost, and some materials can also be ordered and shipped to your facility.

View or access the resources HERE or learn more about seasonal flu HERE



Posted: November 27, 2017

Nature and Health Webinar Recording Available

Sally Jewell, former Secretary of the Interior, and her team "were deeply engaged in rebuilding a trusting, nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous communities in the U.S. She recently hosted a webinar through the Voices in Leadership series at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This webinar was recorded and can be viewed online.

View the webinar HERE



Posted: October 30, 2017

National Indian Health Board Celebrates Indigenous Pink Day on October 19, 2017

On October 19th, staff at the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) celebrated Indigenous Pink Day to support breast cancer awareness among American Indian and Alaska Native people. The American Indian Cancer Foundation reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer in AI/AN women and the second greatest cause of cancer death.

Learn more about breast cancer and Indigenous Pink Day HERE



Posted: October 30, 2017

President Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a Nationwide Public Health Emergency

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, President Trump, through the Public Health Services Act, directed the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan, to declare a nationwide public health emergency on the opioid epidemic. The opioid epidemic has been one of the most fatal public health epidemics in recent years, claiming roughly 140 lives nationwide every day, with over 33,000 opioid related overdose deaths in 2015 alone. Within American Indians and Alaska Native communities, there has been a fourfold increase in opioid related overdose deaths from 1989 to 2009.

This declaration falls short of a national disaster declaration under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Existence Act, which would have allowed for immediate access to additional federal funding to combat the crisis. Instead, the declaration will expand access to telemedicine services in rural communities, direct federal agencies to reduce administrative delays in administering existing grants, and redirect funds from other existing federal grants to combat the opioid crisis. The Trump Administration states that they will work with Congress to approve additional funding towards combating the epidemic. The National Indian Health Board is closely monitoring this developing declaration and will provide further updates as the direct effects of the declaration continue to evolve.

If you have any questions, please contact Shervin Aazimi, NIHB Public Health Project Coordinator, at [email protected] or at 202-507-4088.



Posted: October 30, 2017

Plain Language Resources and Health Literacy Information

Materials, information, and resources about plain language are available online from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These types of materials can help improve health literacy and help Tribes design posters, written texts, and other educational materials that patients can easily understand.

Health literacy is the ability to read and understand information about health. An Indian Health Service (IHS) paper from 2009 reports that nearly half the US population has low health literacy skills, particularly vulnerable people like American Indian/Alaska Native people, elders, and people in poverty; unfortunately, low health literacy can lead to worse health outcomes [Source].

View CDC links and resources HERE and HERE

Learn more about health literacy and American Indians/Alaska Natives HERE



Posted: October 30, 2017

Tool: Mapping Broadband Health in America

The Mapping Broadband Health in America platform allows users to visualize, overlay and analyze broadband and health data at the national, state and county levels. The maps are an interactive experience, enabling detailed study of the intersection between connectivity and health for every county in the United States. The resulting maps can be used by both public and private sectors, and local communities, to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and care.

Sample maps include: Rural Broadband and Physician Shortages, Broadband and Diabetes in Rural America, and Broadband Access and Obesity.

Learn more and view the mapping tool HERE



Posted: October 23, 2017

Major Hurricanes: Potential Public Health and Medical Implications

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) was created to meet the information and technical assistance needs of regional ASPR staff, healthcare coalitions, healthcare entities, healthcare providers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, and others working in disaster medicine, healthcare system preparedness, and public health emergency preparedness.[Source]

Since this year's hurricane season was so severe and since many areas of the US have experienced extreme weather and storms, ASTR TRACIE has developed a document of considerations for these circumstances. These considerations include:

  • Overarching concerns such as family reunification, behavioral health needs, and risk communication;
  • Immediate considerations such as lack of water or power, transportation needs, and medical care;
  • Short-term considerations such as worsened health for persons with medical conditions, mosquito abatement, mold, and food safety; and
  • Long-term considerations and recovery such as loss of providers or facilities, and changes to the baseline health in a community.

Preparedness is important. View the document HERE



Posted: October 23, 2017

Resources on Mass Violence

After the tragic and deadly mass shooting on October 1 in Las Vegas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a collection of resources on a variety of mass violence topics, intended to assist responders, clinicians, health care coalitions, and communities with planning for, responding to, and recovering from mass violence events.

The list includes extensive information about terrorism (increasingly transitioning to smaller attacks caused by individuals or small groups), workplace violence, disaster behavioral health, responder safety and health, explosives and mass shootings, and more.

View the resource list HERE



Posted: October 23, 2017

Climate Change and Health: A Framework for Action

The Public Health Institute's Center for Climate Change and Health developed a framework for action on climate health. Their website states: "Public health engagement is critical to ensure that the public health sector prepares for climate impacts, and that climate change strategies promote optimal health and reduce health inequities. Our research delves deeper into the complex barriers to this important work, and identifies a number of immediate opportunities for public health and partners to work together towards improved health, equity, and climate change outcomes. These research findings helped to guide us in development of the framework we present [...] and in our recommendations for action."

View the framework HERE or read the full accompanying report,
Climate Change, Health, and Equity: Opportunities for Action HERE

Learn more about NIHB and the Climate Ready Tribes project or view NIHB's list of climate health resources HERE



Posted: October 23, 2017

Indian Health Service Publishes a Paper Indicating AI/AN Childhood Obesity May Have Stabilized

Indian Health Service (IHS) published an article to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) reporting good news- the prevalence of overweight and obesity in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children may have stabilized for the past decade. This study is the largest and most comprehensive data set ever used to address obesity in AI/AN children. More than 184,000 children aged 2-19 years were included in each year from 2006-2015.

While the data still shows a higher prevalence of obesity in AI/AN children when compared to the greater population, this data will allow IHS, Tribal, and urban Indian programs to determine the best practices that ensure that all children have the opportunity for a healthy future.

To learn more about this study, click HERE



Posted: October 23, 2017

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meets with Acting IHS Director

Tribal leaders from nine Indian Health Services Areas participated in the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) meeting at the We-Ko-Pa Conference Center in Fort McDowell, AZ on October 16-18, 2017. More than 60 people from Tribal...

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Posted: October 12, 2017

New Report--American Indian and Alaska Native Communities and Genetics Research

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the NIH Tribal Health Research Office (THRO) put together a genetics research resource for the recent Tribal Data Sharing & Genetics workshop at the University of New Mexico. The resource includes brief descriptions of NHGRI-funded education and research projects with American Indians and Alaska Natives, definitions of terms used in genetics research, and links to more in depth resources. The resource can be accessed on the THRO website.

To read the report, click HERE



Posted: October 12, 2017

What is "One Health"?

"One Health" is a term that refers to the relationships between the health of animals, humans, and the environment. Did you know that OVER HALF of all infections in humans are spread by animals? One Health is an increasingly important idea discussed in public health. Since indigenous people often live in close contact with nature, One Health topics may be of special concern but may also already be well understood by many American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people according to traditional beliefs about health.

The image below shows how cows contaminated with bacteria E. coli can cause people to get sick or die from eating salad.

Image from CDC

Here are some other examples of the connections between the health of animals, humans, and the environment:

  • Bats and other animals infected with rabies can spread rabies to humans. Rabies is a fatal disease if not treated quickly after potential exposure.
  • Birds play an important role in West Nile virus. Birds infected with West Nile can spread the virus to other mosquitoes. Those mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus to humans. Unlike Zika virus, West Nile virus can not be spread from a human to a mosquito. Therefore, birds play a critical role.
  • Influenza (the flu) can be a serious illness. Pigs and chickens can play a role in spreading flu or creating new types of flu. Increased animal monitoring and greater compliance with farm standards can help prevent a pandemic - a worldwide outbreak of flu, which may be deadly. [By the way, don't forget to get your flu vaccine this year. Vaccines are now available.]

Learn more about One Health HERE



Posted: October 4, 2017

United Tribal Voices Advocating for Healthy Native People: NIHB's 34th Annual Tribal Health Conference
September 25-28, 2017

Tribal leaders, federal health partners, and Tribal health advocates came together this week in Bellevue, Washington for the National Indian Health Board's (NIHB) 34th Annual National Tribal Health Conference (NTHC). Every year, the NTHC brings advocates and stakeholders in the Indian Health System to discuss policy priorities, explore strategies, and share best practices in forming partnerships to advance Tribal health. This year, more than 600 people will participate in the conference with a focus on partnership. This year's theme is "Uniting Tribal Voices Advocating for Healthy Native People." The conference runs from September 25-28, 2017.

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Posted: October 4, 2017

CDC Call for Tribal Public Health Stories
Deadline January 15, 2018

Tribal nations are active and important contributors to public health, and Tribal cultures have long fostered health and wellness among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites you to share stories that show how you do just that, so they can be a part of an exciting new exhibit at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta.

Read More



Posted: October 4, 2017

Profile in Public Health Law: Valerie Davidson, JD

Valerie Davidson, JD, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services was featured in the September 2017 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Law News (PHLN). Davidson, an enrolled member of the Orutsararmiut Tribal Council, discusses how the State of Alaska is working to strengthen its relationship with the Alaska Tribes. Davidson also comments on Alaska's response to the opioid epidemic; Alaska Governor Bill Walker declared the epidemic a public health disaster. This formal declaration allows the State to respond as they would to any other public emergency or natural disaster, increases access to naloxone (a drug that can prevent death in the case of an overdose), and prioritizes the opioid crisis Statewide.

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Posted: September 7, 2017

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
October 22-28, 2017

October 22-28 is National Lead Poisoning Week. Young children under the age of six, are most at risk for lead poisoning. Fortunately, lead poisoning is preventable. Learn the facts about lead poisoning and test your child and home. The image below shows the goals of National Lead Poisoning Week.

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Posted: September 7, 2017

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). Unfortunately, many Americans are not well prepared for disasters and other emergencies.

Ready.gov has posted excellent information about National Preparedness month. This includes a social media toolkit, toolkits for different natural disasters, recorded webinars, training opportunities and courses, and information to help average individuals provide emergency help until additional help arrives.

The National Red Cross has also provided information about individual and family preparedness, such as creating a "family game plan" for emergencies. You can also view a family disaster plan template, learn about creating an emergency preparedness/survival kit (including first aid kit and many other items), and learn about CPR/First Aid and other training opportunities.

Information about Zika preparedness can be found in the resources section of this week's newsletter, HERE



Posted: September 7, 2017

Article Analyzes State Data and Finds American Indian Women with Medicaid are Less Likely to Use Mammograms

A mammogram is a screening test that can be used to detect breast cancer. Getting regular mammograms as recommended can detect breast cancer early and prevent death or suffering. A report published September 2017 in the journal Preventive Medicine used 2006-2008 Medicaid data to determine racial, ethnic, and geographic differences in mammography usage among women who have Medicaid coverage. Forty-four (44) states were studied, and while results varied by region, the study found that American Indian and African American women were significantly less likely to obtain mammogram screenings compared to while women. The study also concluded that disparities exist at the state level, suggesting that it is valuable to separate data by state and by type of insurance coverage; analyzing all data together at the national level can hide disparities and prevent recognizing populations that need additional assistance.

View the article HERE (abstract and highlights are free; may need to purchase full article)



Posted: September 5, 2017

"Tobacco: Honoring our Traditions and our Health," Video on Tobacco Prevention Efforts in Wisconsin Tribal Communities

The American Public Health Association and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council have announced a new video, Tobacco: Honoring our Traditions and our Health. This short video, produced by the Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank, depicts tobacco prevention efforts in Wisconsin Tribal communities, highlighting the importance of reclaiming traditional tobacco. The historical use of tobacco in Indian culture is explored in the video, and it also tells the story of an Indian casino going smoke-free and thriving.

To view the video, click HERE



Posted: September 5, 2017

National Partnership for Action (NPA) Blog Post, "Unintentional Injuries: Leading Cause of Death for American Indians and Alaska Natives"

Among the myriad challenges faced by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), unintentional injuries remains one of the leading causes of death. A number of factors may explain why this is the case. This blog addresses the greater challenge of how to reduce unintended deaths and injuries among AI/ANs.

To read the full blog post, click HERE



Posted: September 5, 2017

Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, "Achieving Health Equity in Indian Country."

The essence of health equity is giving resources where they are needed most. American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) continue to have the worst health outcomes, live in some of the most desperate of conditions, and lack access to even basic amenities that many other Americans could not survive without. Although Tribes have been plagued with social, economic and political injustice for centuries, there is an opportunity to put a stop to the systematic oppression and build up the first peoples of this country. A partnership between the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (HHS OMH) has taken a proactive and strategic approach to build the public health capacity of Tribal health departments through information gathering and dissemination, capacity building and awareness raising.

To download the report, click HERE



Posted: August 28, 2017

Comment on Proposed Revisions to the CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) Standards
Deadline Tuesday, September 12

CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) established and administers the National DPP's Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP), which recognizes organizations that deliver diabetes prevention programs according to evidence-based requirements set forth in the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recognition Program Standards and Operating Procedures" (DPRP Standards). Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expansion of CDC's National DPP was announced in early 2016, when the Secretary of Health and Human Services determined that the Diabetes Prevention Program met the statutory criteria for inclusion in Medicare's expanded list of healthcare services for beneficiaries. Written comments must be received by September 12. Read more HERE.



Posted: August 28, 2017

Mental Health and Spiritual Care in Emergencies Webinar
Tuesday, August 29 at 1pm ET

Preparedness is an important part of public health. Mental and spiritual health are also important parts of overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) are hosting a webinar to discuss topics including stress, stigma, isolation, populations more likely to be adversely affected by specific emergencies, and effective communication to address mental health concerns. The webinar will also discuss integrating principles of mental health into faith-based settings.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, August 29 at 1pm ET.

Learn more or join the webinar HERE



Posted: August 28, 2017

ZikaQuestionsAsk Questions About Zika!


Image from Pixabay

You may have heard information about Zika in the news or on social media. Some information may be incorrect or confusing, or maybe you have questions but are unsure where to find answers. NIHB would like to support you to access correct and reliable information about Zika. You can submit questions to NIHB's Zika Question and Answer box HERE

You can submit anonymously or provide name and email address for direct NIHB contact. Relevant questions will be posted anonymously and answered online at the Zika Frequently Asked Questions page on the NIHB Zika hub, located HERE



Posted: August 7, 2017

New report from the IHS and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, "Obesity and Overweight in American Indian and Alaska Native Children, 2006-2015"

The Indian Health Service (IHS) and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus released a joint paper on July 20 in the American Journal of Public Health, "Obesity and Overweight in American Indian and Alaska Native Children, 2006-2015." The report found that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children in this population may have stabilized. It is key to note that this is the largest, most comprehensive data set ever used to assess obesity in AI/AN children.

Read the full report HERE



Posted: August 7, 2017

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Receives an IHS Director's Award

Connie Barker, Chickasaw Nation Legislator and Co-Chair of the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC), accepted an IHS Director's Special Recognition Federal Partnership Award on behalf of the 2016 TLDC in a ceremony at IHS Headquarters in Rockville, MD on July 28, 2017.

An Indian Health Service (IHS) Director's Award recognizes service significantly advancing the IHS mission and goals through enhancements supporting IHS priorities. Priorities include: renewing and strengthening Tribal partnerships; bringing reform to the IHS; improving quality and access to care for IHS patients; and ensuring transparency, accountability, fairness, and inclusion.

The Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) consists of Tribal leader representatives from each of the twelve IHS Areas, one federal co-chair, and five advisers. The TLDC provides leadership, guidance, and recommendations to the Indian Health Service (IHS) on issues related to diabetes and related chronic health conditions among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The TLDC has been providing recommendations to the IHS Director for close to 20 years on the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) since the program was first authorized by Congress in 1997. SDPI has been one of the more successful chronic disease treatment and prevention programs in the nation and certainly in Indian Country. However, despite the impressive clinical outcomes, the program is at risk. SDPI will expire next month in September 2017 if not reauthorized by Congress.



Posted: August 7, 2017

Food and Drug Administration Announces New Comprehensive Plan for Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation

On July 28, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new, comprehensive tobacco framework to significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. The approach places nicotine at the center of the agency's harm reduction efforts and ensures the FDA has the proper foundation to efficiently and effectively implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Since nearly 17.3 million Americans are predicted to die prematurely from cigarette smoking by mid-century, this announcement has significant public health implications, particularly for young people. The framework is intended to protect children and reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

The tobacco homepage on FDA.gov will be updated with new information regarding this announcement, including a link to the Commissioner's speech.

Read the full press announcement HERE



Posted: August 7, 2017

Fact Sheet Infographic: Special Diabetes Program for Indians, Changing the Course of Diabetes diabetINFOg

Download the Fact Sheet Infographic



Posted: August 7, 2017

Infographic: Medical High Utilization - A Complex Challenge That Can Be Prevented

In this resource, the Prevention Institute breaks down what high utilization is, how it comes about, and what can be done to lower it. Improving community conditions can complement existing healthcare strategies focused on reducing medical high utilization and its associated costs.

Download the Infographic



Posted: January 8, 2017

NIHB Announces Tribal-focused Zika Virus Summits

Zika Virus Response and Planning

The Zika Virus continues to emerge as an imminent public health threat to Tribal communities and families in southern regions of the United States. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) seeks to assist with capacity building and prevention planning to target this issue. The Zika Virus is especially concerning for expectant mothers and their fetuses. To target this serious health threat, the NIHB is striving to share information and resources and to provide support for Tribal-specific mitigation strategies.

To learn more, please see the Save-the-Date Announcement



 

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