NIHB Public Health Alerts

Posted: June 6, 2019

Pain Management Task Force Releases Final Report on Best Practices for Pain Treatments

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force recently passed its Final Report recommendations for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. This thorough and necessary report addresses important issues such as stigma, risk assessment, access to care, and education in pain management all while focusing on a patient-centered approach. The report also highlights disparities and recommendations for special populations, including American Indian and Alaska Natives. Read more here.

Posted: June 6, 2019

CDC Offers Climate and Health Resources

Have you checked out the climate and health resources for public health professionals on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website? This page offers new materials, guidance and trainings, webinars, data and tools, videos, and more.

Posted: May 30, 2019

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Tribal Public Health

On Wednesday May 22, 2019, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) participated in a roundtable discussion “Advancing Tribal Public Health Partnerships”, before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The session was led by Chairman John Hoeven (R-ND) along with Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). NIHB Deputy Director and Director of Public Health Policy and Programs, Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle, participated on behalf of NIHB. Panel participants included...

Read more

Posted: May 30, 2019

A 5-Year, 200 Million SDPI Renewal Bill Introduced in House of Representatives

Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) has introduced legislation ( H.R. 2680 ) to renew the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for another five years at $200 million per year. Since 1997, SDPI encourages Tribes and Tribal organizations to develop community level programs in preventing and treating diabetes through community engagement. With a funding increase of $50 million, H.R. 2680 aims to adjust for medical inflation and provide greater access to the program. To learn more about the National Indian Health Board’s efforts to support the highly successful SDPI, please contact Brett Weber at [email protected].

Posted: May 30, 2019

1 in 6 American Indian/Alaska Native Adults Reported Experiencing Subjective Cognitive Decline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released statistics from its 2015-2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) regarding subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN). This survey reached AI/AN adults 45 years and older in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To address cognitive decline and other dementias, public health and healthcare professionals can use the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map for Indian Country guidebook. Read more here.

Posted: May 30, 2019

NIHB Awardee Swinomish Releases Open-Access Learning Modules to Help Tribes Assess Health and Adapt to Climate Change

Over the past several years, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has worked with Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Swinomish) as part of the Climate Ready Tribes (CRT) project funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the project, Swinomish indigenized the CDC Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) health assessment framework to better reflect indigenous health definitions and priorities. Now, NIHB is delighted to announce that Swinomish has developed a series of online, freely accessible modules that describe why and how Swinomish modified BRACE ( module 1 ), and provide an example of how Swinomish used the indigenized BRACE framework in a climate change and health assessment project ( module 2 ). Swinomish hopes that other Tribes may tailor the process and methods f or use in their own communities. Read more here.

Posted: May 30, 2019

Office on Women’s Health Trauma-Informed Care Tool

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health provides a training tool for a broad range of professionals to learn about the prevalence and impact of trauma and how to integrate the principles of trauma-informed care into practice. Read more here.

Posted: May 23, 2019

What do Native People Want from a President?

The Washington Post recently published a front page article discussing the "hopes and dreams" Tribal citizens have and raising the question: Will the 2020 presidential candidates hear them? This article addresses issues such as access to healthcare, environmental health, health disparities, treaty obligations to Tribes, underfunding, and the relevance of these discussions to an election where healthcare is a top priority...

Read more

Posted: May 23, 2019

Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu

Climate change has impacted and will continue to impact indigenous peoples, their lifeways, culture, and the natural world in unpredictable and potentially devastating ways. Many climate adaptation planning tools fail to effectively address the unique needs, values, and cultures of Indigenous communities. This Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, which was developed by a diverse group of collaborators representing Tribal, academic, inter-Tribal and government entities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, provides a framework to integrate Indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, language, and history into the climate adaptation planning process.

Read more

Posted: May 23, 2019

Opportunity to Participate in Evaluation of the Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials

The guide, Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials, was published by state and federal partners in 2016 and is publicly available at the link above. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is interested in your feedback. There is an opportunity to provide general feedback and an opportunity to participate in an evaluation of the guide. Contact [email protected] for more infor mation and learn how you can make sure Tribal perspectives are included.

Posted: May 23, 2019

Evidence on the Use of Integrated Mosquito Management to Reduce the Risk of West Nile Outbreak After a Flooding Event

The Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a guidance document about mosquito management, West Nile, and flooding. This can be used to help provide information useful surrounding environmental/climate-related flooding emergencies.

Read more

Posted: May 23, 2019

A Guide to Requesting Health Data Reports within a Federally Recognized Tribe

This guide describes how Tribal staff in various programs can request health data to better understand and describe the scope of public health issues that affect the Tribes they serve. This document was created by staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with review from staff at Tribal and Tribally-serving organizations.

Posted: May 23, 2019

NIHB Climate and Health Webinar Archives Available

Have you missed any of NIHB's recent Climate and Health Learning Community webinars? Great news! They are available in the archive (along with other helpful resources) here, under the "NIHB Resources" section, "Webinars" subheading.

Posted: May 23, 2019

Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map for Indian Country

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Population Health has released the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map for Indian Country . This document is the first-ever public health guide tailored for leaders of American Indian/Alaska Native communities as they develop a broad response to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Read more

Posted: May 23, 2019

Traditional Foods Project: Stories and Teachings

Using Traditional Foods and Sustainable Ecological Approaches for Health Promotion and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities was a 6-year cooperative agreement (2008-2014) that championed 17 Tribal programs. Those involved worked to restore access to local, traditional foods and physical activity to promote health. Although the funding period has ended, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain web pages on this project to share lessons learned and other relevant information as an example.

Read more

Posted: April 25, 2019

Opioid Use Creates "Public Health Emergency" for Pregnant Native Women

A recent article from Indian Country Today highlights the Indian Health Service's work with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to develop an opioid treatment program for those most at risk for dying of opioid overdose: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, who already face special barriers and challenges. This treatment specifically targets AI/AN women who are pregnant or of childbearing age. Integrating culture and tradition, as well as trauma-informed approaches, is key. Read more here.

Posted: April 25, 2019

World Health Organization Releases Recommendations on Digital Interventions for Health Systems Strengthening

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released guidelines for digital interventions designed to strengthen health systems. "Today we have more health information – and misinformation – at our fingertips than any generation in history. Before we ever sit down in a doctor’s office, most of us have Googled our symptoms and diagnosed ourselves – perhaps inaccurately," Dr. Ghebreyesus, Director-General, states in the forward. "A key challenge is to ensure that all people enjoy the benefits of digital technologies for everyone. We must make sure that innovation and technology helps to reduce the inequities in our world, instead of becoming another reason people are left behind. [...] That's what this guideline is all about." Read more here.

Posted: March 29, 2019

Communicating in Indian Country: Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the International Association for Indigenous Aging are honored to announce the release of ready-to-use communication materials about heart and brain health among American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Learn more about these materials, how you can use them, and how they can increase your knowledge of Tribal sovereignty and contributions. Read more here.

Posted: March 29, 2019

Health Initiative: OMH Active & Healthy Challenge for National Minority Health Month

Register now! Challenge begins April 1, 2019-April 30, 2019

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) launched the Active and Healthy Challenge, intended to encourage individuals, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, to be more active. The challenge is open to individuals or teams and allows people to report various types of physical activity – from walking or running to biking, dancing, or even swimming. Read more here.

Posted: March 29, 2019

Guide: Developing a Competitive SAMHSA Grant Application

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) held a webinar for Tribes on how to develop a competitive SAMHSA grant application. A recording of the webinar will be available here. To access the manual around which the webinar was structured, click here.

Posted: March 21, 2019

Tribal Action Plan Training

Deadline to submit nomination forms: Friday, March 22, 2019 *TOMORROW*

The US Department of Justice's National Indian Country Training Initiative (NICTI), together with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is pleased to announce the Tribal Action Plan (TAP) Development Workshop. This free workshop is designed to provide Tribes with the tools and guidance to assist in developing a TAP. Tribes who are chosen to participate will send five representatives. Suggested disciplines include leadership, behavioral, public, or community health; the criminal justice system; and education. Read more here.

Posted: March 21, 2019

Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan Deadline Extended!

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is pleased to announce the Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS) deadline will be extended to July 31, 2019. The purpose of this scan is to increase the knowledge of Tribal and federal health leaders and advocates through the creation and dissemination of a national-level, comprehensive profile of the public health system and infrastructure in Indian Country. The profile will be informed by a national assessment of Tribal public health systems, functions, workforce, issues, gaps, strengths, and leadership. Read more here.

Posted: March 21, 2019

New Research Released on Climate Change, Heat Exposure in Pregnancy, and Congenital Heart Defects

Climate change is leading to an increase in extreme temperatures throughout the United States. Rising temperatures can cause a variety of health impacts. This article discusses how exposure to extreme heat during pregnancy can cause birth defects including congenital heart problems, preterm birth, and low weight at birth. This new research considers predictions for extreme heat, predictions for births, and how these predictions imply an increase in birth defects. This is another way that climate change can harm the next generation. Read more here. Learn more about NIHB's climate health work here.

Posted: March 14, 2019

NIHB to Celebrate National Tribal Public Health Week
Monday to Friday, April 1-5, 2019

In recognition of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) National Public Health Week, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is celebrating Tribal Public Health Week from April 1st-5th! Join us throughout the week by participating in one of our activities. See the list of events here.

Posted: March 14, 2019

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day raises awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, as well as promotes HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment in the United States and territorial areas. Read more here.

Posted: March 14, 2019

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is most often found in people who are 50 years old or older and disproportionately impacts AI/AN people. CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign raises awareness about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests for men and women aged 50 years and older. Read more here.

Posted: March 14, 2019

Online Course: Environmental Justice in Indian Country

The Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) is offering a course on Environmental Justice in Indian Country. It is designed not only for people who are serious students of Native American and Indigenous/Fourth World studies, but also for people who may be members of Tribal communities who could benefit from a broader understanding of what environmental justice is and how it affects their communities. Read more here.

Posted: March 14, 2019

Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank and Report

The APHA Center for Public Health Policy hosted a Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank with support from the CDC. Click below to learn more about the Think Tank and their report, Priorities in Tribal Public Health. Read more here.

Posted: March 11, 2019

NIHB Elects New Executive Board, Takes to Capitol Hill

On February 26, 2019, during the National Indian Health Board (NIHB)'s 2019 quarterly Board of Directors Meeting, members of the Board held elections for the positions of Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Member-at-Large, and Secretary.

The new NIHB Executive Committee Members are:

  • Chairperson (2019-2021): Victoria Kitcheyan, Great Plains Area, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
  • Vice-Chair (2019-2020): William Smith, Alaska Area, Valdez Native Tribe
  • Secretary (2019-2021): Lisa Elgin, California Area, Manchester-Pt. Arena Band of Pomo Indians
  • Member-at-Large (2019-2020): Andrew Joseph Jr., Portland Area, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
  • The position of Treasurer is continuing its current term and is held by Samuel Moose, Bemidji Area, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Posted: March 11, 2019

New Paper Provides More Evidence for Traditional Native Diets

A recent study of patients with diabetes indicated that eating more nuts- particularly tree nuts- is positively correlated with lower risk of developing and dying of heart disease. Many indigenous diets traditionally incorporated various types of nuts, such as pine nuts in the Southwest, or acorns in California. Studies showing the health benefits of traditional Native American diets indicate that science is catching up to what indigenous people have always known about eating a healthy and balanced diet.

To view the study, click here.
For more information on various nuts that are indigenous to the Americas, and their use in traditional diets, click here.

Posted: March 11, 2019

Environmental Justice in Indian Country Course

The Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) is offering a course on Environmental Justice in Indian Country. It is designed not only for people who are serious students of Native American and Indigenous/Fourth World studies, but also for people who may be members of Tribal communities who could benefit from a broader understanding of what environmental justice is and how it affects their communities. Read more here.

Posted: March 11, 2019

"Realistic Ways You Can Combat Climate Change, Today" Resource Guide

The online Master of Public Health Program at George Washington University recently published a resource guide titled “Realistic Ways You Can Combat Climate Change, Today.” The guide provides some effective ways that an individual can help the planet day-to-day, and includes low-cost, low-time, low-burden options. This resource is not specific to Tribal communities and some information may be more or less relevant. View the guide here.

Posted: February 28, 2019

NIHB Announces 2019 Climate Ready Tribes Awardees and New Fact Sheet

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to announce that four awardees have been funded through the Climate Ready Tribes Initiative and have begun projects to tackle local climate and health work in their communities. Three awardees were funded at up to $50,000: Lummi Nation (Washington State), the Pala Band of Mission Indians (California), and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska (Alaska). For the first time, one awardee was funded for a mini-award of $5000: Kaw Nation (Oklahoma). Read the announcement here. A map is available above showing the current and previous cohorts of funded Tribes. Additionally, a new fact sheet for the Climate Ready Tribes Initiative is now available – view the fact sheet here!

Posted: February 28, 2019

Juul’s Latest Tactics on Sovereign Tribal Nations

Webinar Wednesday, March 6th, 4:00 pm ET

JUUL sent company representatives to the Cheyenne River Sioux, Tribal health committee, giving out free samples and then seeking approval for a “smoking cessation” program with free JUUL starter kits and a full-time program director “at no cost to the Tribe”. The proposed partnership with JUUL would not only provide a company being investigated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) with unprecedented data on Tribal members, but also the potential to undo years of tobacco prevention progress on Tribal lands.

Join American Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) Foundation, National Native Network, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board and Rae O’Leary, Cheyenne River Sioux, Canli Coalition to talk about the most recent tactics by JUUL.

Join by Zoom Meeting here, or dial +1 646 876 9923

Posted: February 28, 2019

Report: Advancing Tobacco Prevention and Control in Rural America

Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Rural communities continue to bear a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related health harms. This comprehensive report examines rates and patterns of commercial tobacco use across rural subpopulations; explores aspects of the rural context that may affect tobacco prevention and control efforts; and presents challenges and opportunities for improving rural health through tobacco prevention and control. Read the full report here.

Posted: February 21, 2019

Representative Deb Haaland to Speak at NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit

Monday, May 13th, 2019

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is delighted to announce that Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be speaking at the Tribal Public Health Summit's first plenary, on Monday, May 13th. She is planning to share remarks on how Tribes can work with Congress to improve public health outcomes in native communities. Representative Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage. In 2014, Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party and was recently elected as one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. Read More here.

Posted: February 21, 2019

Education and Training in the Arctic

The University of the Arctic and Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat organized a panel to discuss education and training needs for Arctic Indigenous Peoples during the UArctic Congress 2018 in Oulu, Finland, Autumn 2018. The panelists represented each of the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ organizations – also known as Permanent Participants – and addressed questions, including traditional knowledge. Read more here.

Posted: February 14, 2019

New Publication: TIP 61: Behavioral Health Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Tuesday February 19, 2019, 12PM-1PM PST

SAMHSA’s new Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP), “TIP 61: Behavioral Health Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives” (TIP 61), provides practical and culturally relevant guidance on how best to provide effective behavioral health services to clients in this population. TIP 61 is divided into three parts. Read more here.

Posted: February 14, 2019

Community Health Maps

Developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Community Health Maps (CHM) provides information about low/no cost mapping tools with a focus on increasing capacity within under-served and other at-risk communities. The CHM workflow can also be used by individuals and organizations needing to collect, analyze, and visualize mapping data. An online tutorial is available. Read more here.

Posted: February 14, 2019

Indian Health Surveillance Report — Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2015

The IHS National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) program and the IHS Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention are announcing the release of the Indian Health Surveillance Report — Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2015. The report presents statistics and trends for STDs among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in the United States and represents a unique collaboration and partnership between IHS and CDC. The report highlights disparities among AI/AN with national data indicating that in 2015 AI/AN had the second highest rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea and the fourth highest rates for syphilis among all racial and ethnic groups. Read the report here.

Posted: February 14, 2019

IHS announces new IHS Division and Area Directors

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is pleased to welcome Tamara James, PhD as the Acting Director for the IHS Division of Behavioral Health (DBH). Dr. James is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In her role, Dr. James will serve as the primary source of national advocacy, policy development, management and administration of behavioral health, alcohol and substance abuse, and family violence prevention programs. DBH coordinates national efforts to share knowledge and build capacity through the development and implementation of evidence/practice based and cultural-based practices in Indian Country.

IHS is also pleased to announce Beverly Cotton, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, as the new director of the IHS Nashville Area. Dr. Cotton, an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, served as the Acting Director of the IHS Headquarters Office of Clinical and Preventive Services since April 2018. She joined IHS in 2011 as the national sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) coordinator and served as director of the IHS Division of Behavioral Health from 2013 to 2018.

Posted: February 11, 2019

February is American Heart Month

American Heart Month is observed every February to raise awareness about heart disease and the importance of reducing the risk through healthy lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and healthy eating. Heart Disease is one of the leading causes of death American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is launching the #OurHearts national initiative to encourage heart healthy habits. Read more here.

Posted: February 11, 2019

The Many Dimensions of Knowledge

The National Park Service recently published a blog post by Henry P. Huntington on different types and systems of knowledge, including indigenous knowledge, and the related opportunities and challenges. Read more here.

Posted: February 11, 2019

Report on Tribal Nursing Homes Best Practices

A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sponsored report on trauma and person-centered care practices of three tribal nursing homes in Nebraska, Alaska, and South Dakota. Discusses best practices for caring for patients dealing with the repercussions of elder and child abuse, sexual assault, and historical trauma, among other traumatic experiences. Read more here.

Posted: February 4, 2019

Social Determinants of Health in HIV Care for American Indian/Alaska Native Adults

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities have long been disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic with AI/AN infection rates increasing by 70% between 2011 and 2016. The CDC recently published an article on behavioral characteristics of American Indian and Alaska Native people living with HIV. The article paints a demographic picture of those living with HIV, but potentially more importantly calls attention to the social determinants of health and risk co-factors exhibited by those that participated in the study and justifies a more comprehensive wrap around approach to HIV services. Read the full article from CDC here.

Posted: February 4, 2019

Climate Opinion Maps 2018

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication hosts maps based on opinion data. Public opinion about climate change is an important influence on decision making about policies to reduce global warming or prepare for the impacts, but American opinions vary widely depending on where people live. This tool allow users to explore beliefs, perceptions, and policy support for climate-related issues nationally or in states, counties, congressional districts, or metro areas. Read more here.

Posted: February 4, 2019

Report on Motor Vehicle & Pedestrian Safety

A new report from Smart Growth America describes the state of pedestrian fatalities and emphasizes the need to build safer streets. The report includes important stats on how AI/ANs are disproportionately impacted by pedestrian deaths, and spotlights how the Kalispel Tribe in WA state is addressing this disparity. Read the report here.

Posted: January 24, 2019

Otoe-Missouria Youth Become First Tribal Youth Preparedness Council and First Tribal CERT Instructors in the Nation

Thirteen Otoe-Missouria youth were trained as a Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and four went on to become Teen CERT Instructors. Both the team and instructors were the first Tribal youth in the nation to achieve these status. They plan to train other teens from their Tribe as well as other Tribes this summer. Read more about the CERT team here and the instructors here.

Posted: January 24, 2019

Social Determinants of Health Training Plan

The Public Health Foundation (PHF), through its TRAIN Learning Network, has created a training on Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). The training will help describe the fundamental aspects of SDOH, explain social contexts and effects of SDOH on specific populations, and apply SDOH knowledge to design targeted interventions for improving public health. You can register and work at your own pace. Read more here.

Posted: January 18, 2019

For First Time in U.S. History, Americans more Likely to Die From Opioid Overdose than Motor Vehicle Crash

A new report from the National Safety Council found that Americans have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, while the probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103. The rising rates of overdoses is part of an overall trend of a Americans dying from preventable, unintentional injuries that has increased over the past 15 years. Read more here.

Posted: January 18, 2019

Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer Factsheet

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Worldwide, Cervical cancer remains one of the gravest threats to women's lives and American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are disproportionately affected in the U.S. We can eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem through intensified vaccination against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), screening and treatment. Access a factsheet on HPV and Cervical Cancer here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

Oneida Nation in Wisconsin is the Second Tribal Health Department in the US to Achieve Public Health Accreditation

On November 20, 2018, the Oneida Nation received national public health accreditation recognition. The Oneida Nation is only the second Tribal nation to be accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Public health accreditation is a voluntary process that measures the performance of Tribal, state, territorial, and local health departments against national public health standards for the delivery of quality programs and services for their communities. Read the PHAB press release here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

Public Comment for Healthy People 2030

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding the Healthy People 2030 objectives. The public comment period will be open from December 3, 2018 through January 17, 2019. To comment, read more here. NIHB is preparing to submit comments. Contact Shervin Aazami, [email protected] for more information about NIHB’s comments or if you have comments to share and would like them included in NIHB’s submission.

Posted: January 11, 2018

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Indian Cancer Foundation, nationally, American Indian and Alaska Native women are 1.5 times as likely to develop cervical cancer and 2 times more likely to die from the disease compared to white women. Read more here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

Family Spirit Home Visiting Program Featured in NHVRC Video

The National Home Visiting Resource Center (NHVRC) recently spotlighted the Family Spirit Home Visiting Program as delivered by the Arapaho people on the Wind River Indian Reservation, in Wyoming. The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health shared this video, stating that Family Spirit is the only evidence-based home visiting model designed specifically with and for Native Americans. These programs can greatly impact health and wellbeing. Watch the video here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

Report on Behavioral and Clinical Characteristics of American Indian/Alaska Native Adults in HIV Care

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published findings from the medical monitoring project detailing the behavioral and clinical characteristics of AI/AN Adults seeking HIV treatment. Read more here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

myPlan Intimate Partner Violence Survivor Tool

myPlan is a tool that survivors of intimate partner violence (and others with concerns about healthy relationships) can use to help them make decisions about safety. This tool is a discreet and confidential smartphone app or web-based tool; it is not meant as a replacement for expert advice, but is designed to encourage the majority of people who may never seek services. Staff can also use myPlan with clients to help facilitate discussions about their level of danger and their priorities when making safety decisions. Read more here.

Posted: January 11, 2018

Invitation to Contribute to Tribal Resource Tool

The Tribal Resource Tool needs is a web-based map and searchable database to connect American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) survivors of crime and abuse to resources. If your organization provides services to AI/AN survivors recovering from crime and abuse, submit your information to Tribal Resource Tool and find out how to get involved by visiting the website here.

Posted: December 17, 2018

WHO Publishes COP24 Special Report: Value of Health Gains from Climate Action Outweigh Cost of Mitigation Policies

Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. A World Health Organization (WHO) report launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) last week says that the value of health gains from climate action would far outweigh the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.

The report highlights why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policy makers. Read more here.

Posted: December 17, 2018

CDC Releases Report on “Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Drug Overdose Deaths: United States, 2011–2016”

A recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies patterns around the specific drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths in the US from 2011 to 2016. Read more here.

Posted: December 10, 2018

NIHB Announces Public Health Preparedness and Response Initiative

NIHB is pleased to announce a Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (PHEPR) initiative. NIHB will support capacity building of Tribal Governments to ensure effective and efficient emergency preparedness planning and response. This will include, but not limited to:

  • Sharing information, tools, and resources with Tribal Governments across Indian Country to improve identification of best practices
  • Supporting the implementation of evidence-based programs and services
  • Supporting enhanced surveillance and data sharing between states and Tribes
  • Supporting engagement and partnerships between stakeholders to improve capacity of Tribal governments to prepare, respond, and recover from public health emergencies.

Read more here

Posted: December 10, 2018

Join NIHB’s New Climate and Health Learning Community

Sign up to join the new Climate and Health Learning Community at the National Indian Health Board (NIHB). This learning community will offer resources and activities for learning, networking, and information sharing. Activities may include webinars and an optional in-person event at NIHB's Tribal Public Health Summit. NIHB will offer a certificate to each learning community member who attends at least two of the community calls or webinars.

Read more here

Posted: December 10, 2018

NCAI Policy Brief: Climate Change and Global Warming

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) recently released a policy brief on climate change and global warming. The brief includes definitions, how climate change affects different geographical areas, and available databases to track climate change in your area.

Read more here

Posted: December 3, 2018

NIHB Announces Additional Climate and Health Opportunities and Resources

NIHB is pleased to announce new resources and opportunities related to Tribal climate health. These include:

Read more here

Posted: December 3, 2018

Report Released Detailing Climate Change's Impact on Tribes

On Friday November 23, 2018, the Trump Administration released a major scientific report on the current and projected long-term impacts of climate change. The report also has a chapter devoted to the impact of climate change on Tribes and Indigenous Peoples, which documents existing and projected impact of climate change on Tribal health, livelihoods and economies, and adaptive capacity. The chapter also makes the case for incorporating Indigenous knowledge and wisdom towards developing solutions to mitigate climate change-related disasters. Read more here.

Posted: December 3, 2018

Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI)-Oregon State University just released the Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook, with steps and recommendations for Tribes interested in climate adaptation planning and highlighting Tribes from across the country in case studies. Read more here.

Posted: December 3, 2018

Diabetes Awareness Month: Who is the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee?

The Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) serves as an advisory body to the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) and is a direct voice to the IHS on diabetes and related chronic diseases affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives. Learn more about the TLDC and find out who the Tribal laeder representative is for your IHS service area. Read more here.

Posted: November 30, 2018

2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey Shows Dramatic Increase In e-cigarette Use Among Youth Over Past Year

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in 2018, a dramatic increase of more than 1.5 million students since last year. According to the results published in last Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, youth who use e-cigarettes also are using them more frequently and using flavored products more often than last year. The sharp rise in e-cigarette use has resulted in an increase in overall youth tobacco product use, reversing a decline seen in recent years, and is prompting a series of steps by the FDA to curb youth use trends. Read more here.

Posted: November 14, 2018

Final Report on Evaluation of Alaska’s Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO) Program

A recently published report, “An Innovative Response to an Intractable Problem – Using Village Public Safety Officers to Enhance the Criminal Justice Response to Violence Committed Against Alaska Native and American Indian Women in Alaska’s Tribal Communities” is available HERE

The principal goal of this project was to empirically document and evaluate the impact Alaska’s village public safety officer (VPSO) program has on the investigation and prosecution of those who commit acts of sexual and domestic violence against Alaska Native and American Indian women in Alaska’s Tribal communities. Results show that the men and women who constitute Alaska’s VPSO program play a central role in the criminal justice response to incidents of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence committed in Alaska’s Tribal communities. This study documents the many ways that VPSOs not only serve as a “force multiplier” for Troopers by serving as first responders and assisting with investigations. VPSOs also serve victims and their communities by providing crucial post-incidents support and services in the aftermath of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence incidents.

Posted: November 14, 2018

NIHB Releases Tribal Public Health Accreditation Readiness Case Study featuring Chickasaw Nation

NIHB supported Chickasaw Nation to conduct accreditation and performance improvement activities in their health department through the Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI) grant. Chickasaw Nation used the Accreditation Readiness Model (ARM), a tool developed by NIHB, to measure both improvements and challenges, as well as to set priorities, and determine which initiatives are most successful. NIHB has released a case study highlighting how Chickasaw Nation used the ARM to support their public health accreditation efforts. This case study illuminates the importance of using a readiness tool when making a system-wide change.

Read more

Posted: November 14, 2018

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meets in Oklahoma City

The Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) met in Oklahoma City, OK, on September 17-18, 2018. TLDC members reaffirmed the importance of collecting diabetes data, discussed the upcoming SDPI data infrastructure budget, and considered the role of SDPI in international indigenous health conversations.

Read more

Posted: November 14, 2018

Blackfeet Nation Environmental Director Receives 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources

Mr. Gerald Wagner, Director of the Blackfeet Environmental Office and pictured right in the image, was recently an honored recipient of the 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources Award, in the Tribal Government Category, at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting.

With support from the National Indian Health Board’s Climate Ready Tribes Initiative, Mr. Wagner received this award for leading the Blackfeet Nation’s first-ever climate change adaptation planning initiative, bringing together natural resource managers to complete the Blackfeet Nation Climate Change Adaptation Plan in April 2018.

Read more

Posted: November 14, 2018

A Portrait of American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Families

There is little national data about the need for early childhood and health services for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children. The American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment project was initiated in 2015 to develop three designs for future studies to inform a national early childhood needs assessment for AI/AN children.

This brief summarizes findings from the implementation of the first design, which used existing data to create a national picture of the AI/AN population of young children and their families, and their access to and participation in early childhood services using the 2010–2014 American Community Survey.

Click here to learn more and view the report.

Posted: November 14, 2018

Gene Mutation Points to New Way to Fight Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease

A news release from the National Institutes of Health on October 9, 2018 reports that researchers say they have discovered a gene mutation that slows the metabolism of sugar in the gut, giving people who have the mutation a distinct advantage over those who do not. Those with the mutation have a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and even death. The researchers say their finding could provide the basis for drug therapies that could mimic the workings of this gene mutation, offering a potential benefit for the millions of people who suffer with diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

The study, which is largely supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Read more

Posted: November 13, 2018

Not Enough Fruits, Vegetables Grown to Feed the Planet, Study Reveals

Researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada compared global agricultural production with Harvard University nutritionists’ healthy eating recommendations and found that if everyone on the planet wanted eat a healthy diet, there wouldn’t be enough fruit and vegetables to go around. A shift in production is needed to align with healthy diet recommendations and would require 50 million fewer hectares of arable land. Read more here.

Posted: November 13, 2018

Reshaping the Journey: American Indians and Alaska Natives in Medicine

A new report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) advocates for diversity in education and training and explores slow and uneven growth among the number of individuals who identify as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) applying to and enrolling in medical school. Read more here.

Posted: November 9, 2018

November is National American Indian Heritage Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

Read more about the month’s events and highlights here.

Posted: November 9, 2018

PHICCS Pre-Launch Webinar Recording Now Available!

NIHB, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is pleased to announce the Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS). The purpose of this scan is to increase the knowledge of Tribal and federal health leaders and advocates through the creation and dissemination of a national-level, comprehensive profile of the public health system and infrastructure in Indian Country. The profile will be informed by a national assessment of Tribal public health systems, functions, workforce, issues, gaps, strengths, and leadership.

To learn more about this scan and to receive instructions on completing the web-based tool, view the recording from our pre-launch webinar HERE.

Click here to read more

Posted: October 18, 2018

Technical Assistance Available for Tribal Domestic Violence Programs and Shelters

Application deadline: Friday, November 16, 2018

The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center is offering three-day training to up to four Tribal domestic violence programs and shelters. This training is meant to build capacity to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and sex trafficking. Learn more here.

Posted: October 18, 2018

Valerie Davidson Sworn In as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska

On Tuesday October 17, Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson was sworn into office in Anchorage to replace Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who resigned earlier in the day. She is the first Alaska Native woman to serve in statewide office in Alaska's history...

Read More

Posted: October 18, 2018

EPA Indoor Environments Newsletter Subscription Invitation

Want to learn more about why the quality of the air matters in your home, school, or office and how to improve it? Join more than 89,000 other subscribers receiving important messages about IAQ [indoor air quality] and health from the Indoor Environments Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Give it a try HERE.

Posted: September 10, 2018

Public Health Professionals Gateway

The CDC State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Professionals Gateway is becoming the "Public Health Professionals Gateway." There is a new home page, a link to directly contact the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) for immediate help, and other improvements to content and organization. Click here to view the new gateway!

Posted: September 10, 2018

PolicyLink: Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), this report recommends changes and improvements to the conduct of research and data collection on race/ethnicity and to the government and corporate policies that define priorities and allocate resources.

The PolicyLink preface states:

"As the U.S. population becomes ever more diverse, our country is strengthened in many ways by its remarkable array of races, ethnicities, cultures, and languages. For us to fully benefit from that diversity, to fully unlock our promise, we need to be able to document, measure, and appreciate the economic conditions and the nuances of life experience of people of all backgrounds. The inequities in health outcomes that persist in American society do not show up just at the level of broad racial categories but as disparities experienced by more specific groups. When Americans of Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds make the case to be recognized, not obscured within a much larger, undifferentiated Asian American category, they are seeking information about their own community and also to be a more visible part of the American fabric. When members of individual American Indian nations, or refugees from a Middle Eastern country, or immigrants from nations in Central America or Africa, seek to be counted and have their life circumstances documented, theirs is a call for visibility and full inclusion as well.

Creating that visibility is the power of disaggregated data when it is meant to advance health equity. It is the basis for systemic change and the empowerment of groups that have often not been heard. That is why, at PolicyLink, we have been honored to work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to bring clarity to the issues, ideas, and best practices in data disaggregation and to carry those insights to new audiences.

The researchers, advocates, and policymakers who participated in this project have proposed and are ready to move forward with practical actions that can improve the quality, availability, and utilization of disaggregated data. Federal policies about the collection and use of data, from the census to the array of health surveillance surveys, will need to be more responsive to the need for disaggregation by race and ethnicity. Well thought out, scientifically sound proposals for such changes are now available. States, several of which have already taken important steps, will need to reconfigure key data sources about health, education, and other services to reflect their growing diversity. And for all levels of policymaking, good ideas and the drive for positive change will continue to come from local, grassroots leaders in health equity, immigrants' rights, racial justice, and other struggles. This report is intended to support all those who are seeking to bring about those changes."

Specific to Tribes, this report mentions that members of the 573 federally-recognized Nations have diverse ethnic, cultural, and language backgrounds and may have very different life experiences such as living on or off reservations. This document also emphasizes Tribal sovereignty: "The relationships between the U.S. government and the American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes should protect and build the integrity of research activity and data collection about Tribal areas and Tribal citizens. These practices should continue to grow and value the Tribal sovereignty of data and information about Tribal communities." [All "Tribe" and "Tribal" words have been capitalized by NIHB.] Additionally, the document addresses research protocols and standardization for working with Tribes, data sovereignty for indigenous peoples, and other issues such as challenges with racial classification.

Click here to learn more or view the document.

Posted: September 10, 2018

Evaluation of Telemedicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Diseases in the Alaska Native Population

Click here to download a presentation of telerheumatology outcomes research from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Posted: September 10, 2018

Community Commons Spotlights Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The Community Commons website hosts a series of Spotlight Stories, featuring "examples of how people across the country are working creatively and effectively to enhance well-being for themselves and to leave a legacy of well-being for generations to come. These are stories from communities creating lasting legacies identified through the Well Being Legacy Initiative."

A recent spotlight highlighted the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota Nation, in South Dakota. The article spotlights some of the health issues the Tribal community faces and identifies the systemic and historical circumstances that have affected the Tribe. Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) was a response to these challenges and inequalities and grew out of a small community discussion among Lakota young people. TVCDC has staff from each of the nine districts on the reservation, working together to address key issues, such as housing. Thunder Valley works as "a convener and connector, building relationships with federal partners, foundations, and districts on the Reservation" to build infrastructure and community. This type of partnership and organization can build community and improve health and well-being in many different ways.

Read the Community Commons article here.

Posted: September 5, 2018

New CDC Analysis Shows Steep and Sustained Increases in STDs in Recent Years

Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2017, according to preliminary data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the National STD Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C. This surpassed the previous record set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases and marked the fourth consecutive year of sharp increases in these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The CDC analysis of STD cases reported for 2013 and preliminary data for 2017 shows steep, sustained increases:

  • Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent overall (from 333,004 to 555,608 cases according to preliminary 2017 data) and nearly doubled among men (from 169,130 to 322,169). Increases in diagnoses among women - and the speed with which they are increasing - are also concerning, with cases going up for the third year in a row (from 197,499 to 232,587).
  • Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent (from 17,375 to 30,644 cases). Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) made up almost 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases where the gender of the sex partner is known in 2017. Primary and secondary syphilis are the most infectious stages of the disease.
  • Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to CDC. More than 1.7 million cases were diagnosed in 2017, with 45 percent among 15- to 24-year-old females.

For more information, visit the CDC release here.

Posted: August 31, 2018

Travel-Associated Zika Cases and Threat of Local Transmission during Global Outbreak, California, USA: Article Published

Experts at the California Department of Public Health recently published an article about travel-associated Zika cases and the threat of local transmission. The abstract states:

"Zika and associated microcephaly among newborns were reported in Brazil during 2015. Zika has since spread across the Americas, and travel-associated cases were reported throughout the United States. We reviewed travel-associated Zika cases in California to assess the potential threat of local Zika virus transmission, given the regional spread of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. During November 2015-September 2017, a total of 588 travel-associated Zika cases were reported in California, including 139 infections in pregnant women, 10 congenital infections, and 8 sexually transmitted infections. Most case-patients reported travel to Mexico and Central America, and many returned during a period when they could have been viremic. By September 2017, Ae. aegypti mosquitoes had spread to 124 locations in California, and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes had spread to 53 locations. Continued human and mosquito surveillance and public health education are valuable tools in preventing and detecting Zika virus infections and local transmission in California."

View this article in its entirety HERE. You can also check out NIHB's Zika hub to learn more and view other resources HERE.

Posted: August 31, 2018

Continuing Education Activity: HIV Testing Intervals for At-Risk Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and Medscape are proud to introduce a new Continuing Education (CE) activity that describes compliance with recommendations from the CDC for HIV infection screening among persons at increased risk, based on an analysis of 2006-2016 data from the General Social Survey (GSS).

This activity is intended for family medicine practitioners, internists, obstetrician-gynecologists, infectious disease clinicians, pharmacists, public health officials, nurses, and other clinicians involved in HIV infection screening.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will

  1. Assess the percentage of adults who were ever tested for HIV infection and the interval since their last test, based on an analysis of General Social Survey data from 2006-2016
  2. Identify factors associated with compliance with recommendations from the CDC for HIV infection screening
  3. Determine the clinical implications of findings regarding decreased compliance with CDC recommendations for HIV infection screening

To access this FREE MMWR / Medscape CE activity, click HERE

Posted: August 31, 2018

New Diabetes Education Tool: Low Blood Sugar

This diabetes education tool from Indian Health Service (IHS) describes the symptoms of low blood sugar and how to treat it.

View the tool HERE

Posted: August 16, 2018

Opioid Use Among Pregnant Women Quadrupled since 1999

In the August 10, Mortality and Morbidity Weekly report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that opioid use among pregnant women quadrupled from 1999-2014. Opioid use during pregnancy has been associated with a range of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, including maternal death, preterm labor, stillbirth, and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Read more here.

Posted: August 16, 2018

Managing Diabetes and Mental Health

CDC released a new spotlight linking diabetes and mental health. Managing mental health is an important priority when also managing diabetes. People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression than people without. In addition, stress and discouragement during diabetes treatment can make diabetes more difficult to manage.

Native American adults are at a higher risk of diabetes than any other population, although successful programs such as the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) have led to excellent outcomes, including the greatest reduction in kidney failure rates of any race or ethnicity. Native people also face disparities in mental health. With the link between diabetes and mental health, it is important that treatment plans for diabetic patients are holistic.

To read more about the mind- body connection, and how managing both diabetes and mental health can help you or your patients lead a healthier life, click here.

Posted: August 9, 2018

NIHB Zika Resources are Available!

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) published a final Zika newsletter on August 7, 2018, with a summary of some of the resources created throughout the NIHB Zika project. This project was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Throughout the project period, wrapping up at the end of June 2018, NIHB held webinars and in-person meetings, offered funding to support local work, distributed newsletters, and much more! NIHB would like to highlight some of the materials created as part of this project.

This includes:

Highlighted resource: Do you ever have trouble connecting scientific Zika information you read or watch to real-life for your Tribal community? If so, you may be interested in reading the (fictional but realistic example) Tribal case studies from the newest NIHB Zika resource: 101 Informational Guide for Tribes.

Note that this week, CDC just announced new guidelines for preventing sexual transmission among males and updated information about babies with Zika-related health problems. Click here to read more about these updates!

Selection of Tribal case studies from Zika 101 Informational Guide for Tribes, NIHB 2018.

Posted: August 9, 2018

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Lecture

A new Wisdom of the Elders recording is available on Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples. Click here to learn more or click here to view the recording directly.

Posted: August 9, 2018

National Indian Law Library Articles on Tribes and Climate/Climate Health

The National Indian Law Library (NILL) recently posted several articles related to Tribes and climate or climate health. These articles include:

  • Beyond Dakota Access Pipeline: Energy Development and the Imperative for Meaningful Tribal Consultation - view here
  • Environmental Justice in the United States: The Human Right to Water - view here
  • Here Today, Gone Tomorrow--Is Global Climate Change Another White Man 's Trick to Get Indian Land? The Role of Treaties in Protecting Tribes as They Adapt to Climate Change - posted but not directly linked on NILL site - available for viewing here

Click here to view the NILL site with these and other articles.

Posted: August 9, 2018

EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan Course Launched by Prosper Sustainably

In 2016, Prosper Sustainably launched an EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]-Tribal Environmental Plan (ETEP) online training course which includes over 20 hours of webinar recordings and training videos plus templates, examples, and other resources. Previously, course access was only available for a fee but is now available to all free of charge. This ETEP Online Training Course shows how a Tribal environmental program can develop a living, adaptable, and highly customized strategic planning and management system through developing an ETEP.

You can freely access all of the videos on Prosper Sustainably's new YouTube channel HERE.

You can freely access all of the course resources HERE.

Posted: August 9, 2018

StrongHearts Native Helpline

The StrongHearts Native Helpline "is a safe, anonymous and confidential service for Native Americans affected by domestic violence and dating violence. Advocates are available at no cost Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm CST when you are ready to reach out. Callers after hours may connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call back the next business day."

Resources and support are available not only for survivors of violence, but also for abusive partners - "Every caller is treated with dignity and respect. [...] StrongHearts advocates speak with people who are concerned about their behavior because we support anyone who wants to take responsibility for their actions. Every call from someone who is beginning to recognize their unhealthy behavior is an opportunity to plant a seed for change and to begin healing."

Call 1-844-7NATIVE or visit the website here

Posted: August 9, 2018

Competencies for Performance Improvement Professionals in Public Health Now Available

A new competency set designed specifically for performance improvement professionals working in public health is now available from the Public Health Foundation. These competencies were developed to offer additional guidance in performance improvement for public health professionals with responsibilities related to quality improvement, performance management, workforce development, accreditation, or community health assessment and improvement. Learn more here.

Posted: August 9, 2018

New Updates: Babies with Zika-Related Health Problems

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Vital Signs Report on August 7, 2018, with new information about babies with Zika-related health problems. According to this report, approximately "1 in 7 babies now 1 year or older who were born to women with Zika virus infection during pregnancy had one or more health problems possibly caused by exposure to the virus before birth. Some of these problems were not apparent at birth. The report shows that between 2016 and 2018, more than 4,800 pregnancies in the U.S. territories had a lab result showing confirmed or possible Zika virus infection. From these pregnancies, 1,450 babies were at least 1 year old and had some follow-up care reported to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry. Many of these babies did not receive all the recommended screenings for health problems potentially related to Zika virus. Careful monitoring and evaluation of these children is essential to ensure early detection of possible disabilities and referral to early intervention services.

"Along with this new report, CDC released updated guidance for couples planning to become pregnant after possible exposure to Zika virus. CDC now recommends that men with possible Zika virus exposure who are planning to conceive with their partner wait at least three months after symptoms or possible exposure (travel to or residence in an area with risk of Zika). This shortened timeframe also applies for men who are not planning to conceive with their partners but who want to prevent passing of Zika virus through sex."

"The bottom line is Zika has not gone away, and we must remain cautious," CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said. [Source] This news means that it is still important to prevent Zika virus, and for providers to evaluate new babies! Here are some resources that can give you more information:

  • Read the Vital Signs report for more information and to learn how healthcare providers and everyone can prevent Zika and protect the next generation!
  • Click here to view recommendations based on where you live and whether you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or not interested in pregnancy at this time.
  • Click here to visit NIHB's Zika hub and check out our Tribally-specific Zika materials, such as posters and brochures that you can use in your community.
  • Learn more about resources for healthcare and public health providers here

Posted: August 2, 2018

Suicide Clusters within American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations

The US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration had a report prepared in 2017 regarding suicide clusters affecting American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The report's purpose was to "examine what is known about suicide clusters within [AI/AN] populations and to use that information to develop recommendations for stakeholders working to prevent and contain suicide clusters within AI/AN communities."

Read the report HERE.

Posted: August 2, 2018

Prevention of Underage Drinking on California Reservations Using Individual- and Community-Level Approaches

The American Journal of Public Health recently published an article on individual and community interventions to reduce drinking by American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth on California Indian reservations. These interventions included community mobilization and awareness, restricting alcohol sales to minors, motivational interviewing, and psychoeducation for Tribal youth. This study compared AI/AN and non-AI/AN youth in the intervention with AI/AN students outside the intervention. This study "documented significant, sustained past 30-day drinking or heavy episodic drinking frequency reductions among AI/AN 9th- and 11th-grade current drinkers in rural California Indian communities exposed to multilevel interventions," suggesting that "multilevel community-partnered interventions can effectively reduce underage alcohol use in this population."

Read the full article HERE!

Posted: August 2, 2018

Influenza and Zoonoses Education among Youth in Agriculture

One Health is a concept that recognizes what Tribes have always known: that the health of people, animals, and the environment is connected. This can include zoonotic diseases - diseases that can be shared between people and animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published an article about youth education initiatives in agriculture and zoonotic disease. The Youth in Agriculture program has provided funding to 14 states and jurisdictions, some for multiple funding cycles. The program aims to: improve awareness and knowledge of influenza and other zoonotic diseases among rural youth; motivate them to take steps to prevent the spread of flu and other zoonoses (both swine to human and human to swine); help them understand the roles of public and animal health in disease prevention; and increase their awareness of careers in public and animal health. In addition, the program helps to develop relationships among stakeholders to improve responses to important public and animal health issues, such as outbreak responses. The article also highlights some work taking place in Minnesota.

The article notes that this program provides a sustainable and adaptable model in public health education that can be used in local, state, regional, or national initiatives. This might also be useful for Tribal nations.

Click HERE to learn more or read the article.

Posted: August 1, 2018

IHS Releases DTLL and DUIOLL on SDPI Data Infrastructure Funding

On July 12, 2018, Rear Admiral (RADM) Michael Weahkee, the acting director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter (DTLL), followed by a Dear Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter (DUIOLL) on July 13. These letters are regarding fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.

In accordance with the results of a Tribal consultation, and the recommendations from the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC), RADM Weahkee announced his decision to keep the SDPI funding distribution the same as it has been since FY 2016, with no changes to the Data Infrastructure Improvement set aside of $5.2 million.

There will be continued discussion on how data infrastructure funds should be spent at the upcoming TLDC meeting on September 17-18, 2018 in Oklahoma City, OK. Highlights from the May TLDC meeting can be found at NIHB's Diabetes in Indian Country website.

To read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter, click HERE

To read the Dear Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter, click HERE

Posted: July 17, 2018

NIHB Community Health Assessment (CHA) Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews: Brief Training for Facilitators

This new training from NIHB provides an introduction to facilitating a focus group or key informant interview. It can be downloaded and used by individuals, or by Tribal organizations to train their facilitators.

Download this training from the NIHB Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative website's "Tools" page, and view other accreditation and quality improvement resources HERE

Posted: July 12, 2018

CPSTF Recommends Primary Prevention to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Among Youth

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends primary prevention interventions that aim to prevent or reduce intimate partner violence and sexual violence among youth. Evidence shows these interventions decrease perpetration of intimate partner violence and sexual violence and increase bystander action.

The recommendation is based on a systematic review of 28 studies published through June 2016. Included studies evaluated interventions that combined educational information about intimate partner violence and sexual violence with strategies to teach healthy relationship skills, promote social norms that protect against violence, or create protective environments.

For more information and resources, click HERE

Posted: July 5, 2018

Webinar: Making an Effective Poster Presentation

For those unable to attend the Webinar: Making an Effective Poster Presentation on Thursday, June 14, 2018 please find a link to recording below. The webinar covered essential components of an effective poster presentation. Tips and suggestions on creating an effective poster were also included.

Posted: June 4, 2018

NIHB Recognizes Twenty Tribal Health Departments as Leaders in Public Health Accreditation

NIHB recognized twenty Tribal health departments for their work in public health accreditation during the closing plenary at the 2018 National Tribal Public Health Summit. Public health accreditation is a voluntary process in which health departments are recognized for meeting "nationally recognized, practice-focused and evidenced-based standards." Engaging in the quality improvement activities leading up to public health accreditation has allowed Tribes to identify gaps in their public health services, improve the quality of their services, and improve relationships with states and counties. It has also been reported that Tribal health departments feel this process increases their credibility, and improves staff morale.

For the past 4 years, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIHB has provided mini-grants to Tribal health departments working on public health accreditation through the Tribal Public Health Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI). This grant has gone towards supporting initiatives that improve public health activities, and increase Tribal health departments' readiness to apply for public health accreditation. Tribal ASI grantees worked on many different activities, including conducting community health assessments, increasing community member engagement, finding creative methods that honor tradition to convey the improvement of their services, providing recommendations on public health laws and Tribal codes, and developing relationships with outside entities to ensure that their people receive the highest level of public health services.

The Tribal health departments who participated in the Tribal ASI have been leaders in public health for Indian Country, and NIHB is proud to recognize their dedication to advancing Tribal public health. Learn more about their work HERE.

Learn more about the Tribal Public Health Accreditation Support Initiative HERE.

Posted: May 23, 2018

NIHB Announces Upcoming Vector-Borne Disease and Collaboration Meetings in California

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), in partnership with the California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB), has announced two meetings to take place in California this June. These meetings will be held to discuss and learn about vector-borne disease, including Zika virus, and discuss state-local-Tribal collaboration and ways to build stronger partnerships that can benefit a wide variety of public health responses. These meetings welcome interested Tribal, state, and local representatives who want to come together to address Zika virus and other vector-borne diseases and foster increased collaborations between Tribal, state, and local partners. Since California is such a large state, sister meetings will be held in San Francisco for Northern/Central California attendees and in San Diego for Southern California attendees.

Meetings will be held June 4-5 in San Diego and June 6-7 in San Francisco. Registration is free, but attendees are asked to register online. Some travel scholarships are available for Tribal representatives to support their travel expenses.

Learn more about the San Diego meeting or register (free) HERE
Learn more about the San Francisco meeting or register (free) HERE
View a flyer about both meetings HERE

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.



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 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 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 ( is one of 10 CDC-funded Injury Control Research Centers...

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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.

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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. 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 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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