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

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Thank you so much to all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, federal partners, and community members for your support for and participation in the 2018 American Indian and Alaska Native National Behavioral Health Conference.

SEE CONFERENCE MATERIALS

NIHB Board Member Donnie Garcia (Albuquerque Area) delivers a NIHB Update at the IHS Direct Service Tribes National Meeting in St. Paul, MN on July 11, 2018.

Mr. Garcia’s presentation included a summary of pending legislation directly impacting the Direct Service Tribes.

View Presentation Slides Here

The House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Representative Nanette Barragan (D-CA) hosted a Natural Resources Roundtable Conversation on Environment and Public Health.

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Naomi Petri begins work as a Dental Therapist in Oregon

COOS BAY, OR -The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) this week became the first in Oregon to join the dental therapy movement, hiring Dental Therapist and CTCLUSI member Naomi Petrie to provide oral health services in the community... READ MORE

The Founding Partners of the First Kids 1st Initiative formally joined together to support the healthy development of Native youth by updating the Native Children’s Policy Agenda.

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Posted: September 27, 2018

Congress Passes Health Funding Bill

Trump to Sign Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill and Continuing Resolution for Several Agencies

The House of Representatives last night passed H.R. 6157, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill, which contains funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as the Departments of Labor, Education, and Defense. The bill funds these agencies until September 30, 2019.

H.R. 6157 also contains a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding several other agencies, including the Indian Health Service (IHS), until December 7, 2018...

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Posted: September 25, 2018

Senate Passes Comprehensive Opioids Bill

Multiple Tribal Additions Included in Alexander Amendment

Today, the Senate passed its version of comprehensive opioids legislation. The Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) passed as an amendment to H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act, an opioids bill that passed the House on June 22, 2018.

The final version of OCRA, a bipartisan bill written by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, reflects many Tribal priorities and incorporates several suggestions from the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and the Tribes. The original Senate bill, S. 2680, included Tribes in certain provisions...

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Posted: September 10, 2018

NIHB Announces 2018 Jake White Crow Award Winner

The National Indian Health Board is pleased to announce that Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma (Chickasaw Nation) will receive the 2018 prestigious Jake White Crow Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization with outstanding lifetime achievements in elevating health care advocacy, raising awareness or affecting positive change for American Indian and Alaska Native health care.

The Congressman, one of only two American Indians in Congress, has been a champion for Indian Country throughout his career. He is a visionary leader in the U.S. Congress when it comes to ensuring that the federal government meets its trust responsibility to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Cole has been instrumental in securing funding for all of Indian Country by constantly advocating on behalf of the Tribes and educating his colleagues about the federal trust responsibility to Tribes. He chairs the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. In this role, he has worked to ensure that the Indian health system receives equitable funding across the Department of Health and Human Services. He also serves on the Appropriations subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations where he has been a strong advocate for increased Indian Health Service funding. In the time that Congressman Cole has served on that Subcommittee, IHS funding has increased by $2 billion. Outside of the Appropriations Committee he serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and in that role he works to ensure that the federal government honors its promises to American Indians and Alaska Natives in all legislation considered by Congress.

"I am thrilled that the Board has chosen to honor Congressman Tom Cole as the 2018 Jake White Crow Award winner. His leadership in Congress has advanced the needs of Indian health," said NIHB Chairman Vinton Hawley. "Mr. Cole works tirelessly to ensure that the federal government fulfills its trust responsibility for health and protects Tribal sovereignty at every turn" continued Chairman Hawley.

Upon being notified of the award Congressman Cole said, “I am very honored to receive the Jake White Crow Award from the National Indian Health Board. Supporting medical care, research and advocacy has been among my top priorities in Congress as the Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. And since my first day in Congress, supporting Native American and Tribal wellbeing across sectors has been a top priority as well. I will always continue to ensure that Native American citizens have proper and adequate access to healthcare in Tribal communities.”

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is a 501(c) 3 not for profit, charitable organization serving all 573 Federally recognized Tribal governments for the purpose of ensuring that the federal government upholds its trust responsibilities to provide health care to the Tribes. NIHB also works to elevate health care status, services and systems of the Tribes and our Peoples.

Other awards for National Impact, Area Impact, and Local Impact will be announced at the Annual Heroes in Health Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This year’s theme is “Expanding the Horizon of Indian Health.”

Please visit this link for more information and to purchase tickets.



Posted: July 18, 2018

2018 Direct Service Tribes National Meeting

On July 11-12, 2018, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) participated in the Direct Service Tribes National Meeting (DSTNM) in St. Paul, MN. The DSTNM was preceded by the fourth quarterly meeting of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee (DSTAC) on July 10, 2018. The DSTAC is comprised of elected and appointed leaders from nine IHS areas with Direct Service Tribes (DSTs) that offers recommendations and policy guidance to the IHS. The DSTNM is an annual two-day event hosted by the Indian Health Service (IHS), focused on supporting community wellness and strength. The theme for the 2018 national meeting, “Utilizing people, partnerships, quality and resources to strengthen our communities” featured speakers and breakout sessions that addressed Direct Service Tribes (DST) health priorities...

Click Here to view NIHB Presentation Slides

Click Here to View Photos

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Posted: July 12, 2018

House Appropriations Committee Advances FY 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill

Programs of Significance for Tribes in the FY 2019 House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills

On Tuesday, July 11, 2018, the full House Appropriations Committee held a markup hearing and voted to advance the FY 2019 Appropriations Bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (commonly referred to as Labor-HHS) by a vote of 30-22. No Tribally-specific amendments were adopted during the markup; however, representatives from both parties adopted a number of amendments aimed at addressing the impact of family separation policies at the border. The bill must now be voted on the House floor before being sent on to the Senate. The full Senate Appropriations Committee advanced their Labor-HHS bill prior to the July 4th recess...

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Posted: July 2, 2018

2019 House Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
Markup Scheduled for After July 4th

Tribes Must Redouble Advocacy Efforts to Protect Gains and Continue Momentum!

Yesterday, June 25, the House Appropriations Committee announced that it was postponing one of its last remaining mark-ups, delaying a vote on a bill crucial to public health programs in Indian Country. The mark-up for the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill had been scheduled for today, June 26, but will now take place after the July 4th Recess.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) had its markup of the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 on June 15. This bill funds several public health programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that operate in Indian Country. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) provided oral testimony and a written statement to the subcommittee outlining the success of these programs and providing recommendations for funding in FY 19...

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Posted: April 18, 2018

The House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Representative Nanette Barragan (D-CA) hosted a Natural Resources Roundtable Conversation on Environment and Public Health.

The roundtable brought together a broad coalition of stakeholders working to improve the health of communities impacted by environmental impacts. The group highlighted the health challenges faced by communities across the United States related to air pollution, water contamination, and irresponsible mining and land management practices, among other concerns.

Stacy Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) participated in the roundtable to advocate for the environmental public health concerns of Tribes. Ms. Bohlen stated, "American Indian and Alaska Native people have lived for thousands of years in harmony with our surrounding environments, taking what we needed from the land for physical, cultural, and spiritual purposes. Tribal practices and lifeways were sustainable over time, and protected the health of current and future generations." She shared that, despite this tremendous respect for the environment, Tribes now find this harmony and balance slipping away as industry creates negative impacts that are far reaching and long lasting.

The need for Trial consultation in regards to public health was stressed by Ranking Member Grijalva, who emphasized that Tribal public health concerns should not be considered "after the fact" – rather, Tribes should have the opportunity to share their unique perspectives, needs, and experiences before any decisions or actions are taken.

Both Ranking Member Grijalva and Representative Barragan look to continue dialogue with organizational partners, to highlight environmental impacts on health, and galvanize action that can disrupt and prevent these health impacts from harming community health, especially those most vulnerable among us like children and elders. The National Indian Health Board will continue to work with the House Natural Resources Committee to ensure that the public health concerns of American Indians and Alaska Natives are addressed.



Posted: March 27, 2018

NIHB Testifies on the Opioid Crisis in Indian Country

Advocates for Specific Tribal Funding, Traditional Healing Practices and better data collection

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) recently testified before two congressional committees on the need to improve the response to the opioid crisis in Tribal communities.

On March 14, 2018, NIHB Treasurer and Bemidji Area Representative Samuel Moose testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in a hearing titled: "Opioids in Indian Country: Beyond the Crisis to Healing the Community." On March 22, 2018, NIHB Chief Executive Officer Stacy A. Bohlen testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at a hearing titled, "Combating the Opioid Crisis: Prevention and Public Health Solutions."

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Posted: March 23, 2018

The FY 2018 Omnibus & its Impact on Indian Health
Includes Tribal Set Asides for Opioid Funding, $500 million increase for IHS

Last night, Congressional leaders unveiled a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that will fund the federal government through the rest of FY 2018. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (H.R. 1625) contains funding for most of the federal government agencies including Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Indian Health Service (IHS). The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 266-167 on Thursday, March 22. The Senate passed the bill 65-32 early Friday morning and sent it to President Trump for his signature...

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Posted: March 23, 2018

UPDATE: President Trump Signs FY 2018 Omnibus
The Impact to Tribal Health: Tribal Set Asides for Opioid Funding, $500 Million Increase for IHS

President Trump announced today that, despite several objections to funding levels in the bill, he supported the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Omnibus. He signed the Omnibus into law shortly after 1:00 Eastern. This means that the government will be funded through September, the end of FY 2018.

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Posted: February 27, 2018

HHS Releases Strategic Plan FY 2018-2022

Dear MMPC:
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted their Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022 (Strategic Plan) to the HHS.gov website, linked above. Every four years, HHS updates its Strategic Plan, which describes its work to address health and human services issues. Tribes and Tribal health advocates may find this document useful in understanding administration priorities and their management perspective for federal agencies and programs that are implemented across Indian Country...

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Posted: February 27, 2018

Congress Renews Health Programs Important to Tribes as Part of Budget Deal

On February 9, 2018, Congress passed a budget agreement that funded the government until March 23, 2018, and reauthorized several public health programs. Many of the programs either benefit Tribal members directly or provide funding to support Tribal public health programs. Reauthorization for these programs varied in length and amount. Below is a summary of renewed programs important to Tribes.

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) was renewed through September 30, 2019. The program will be funded at $150 million per year, the same amount it has received since 2004. SDPI currently funds 301 Tribal diabetes programs through a competitive grant process. The program has existed since 1997 and has helped lessen diabetes’s negative health impacts in Tribal communities. It has been cited as the most successful public health program in Indian Country...

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Posted: February 21, 2018

Robert Weaver Withdraws From Consideration as Indian Health Service Director

Today, February 21, 2018, the White House announced that Robert Weaver, Quapaw Tribe, has submitted his withdrawal from consideration as Director for the Indian Health Service (IHS).

Mr. Weaver was announced as the new IHS Director on October 6, 2017. His name had been submitted to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where his nomination had been pending. His nomination has been met with mixed reactions from Indian Country, and The Wall Street Journal detailed allegations of employment misrepresentation and financial mismanagement...

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Posted: February 13, 2018

President Trump Releases FY 2019 Budget Request: Major Cuts to Domestic Spending and Social Safety Net, Investments in Opioid Treatment and Prevention

On Monday, February 12, 2018 President Trump released his fiscal year (FY) 2019 Budget Request to Congress. This is the proposal that the Administration provides the Congress as they will develop the FY 2019 appropriation including funds for the Indian Health Service and other health programs serving Indian Country. It will be up to Congress to make any final spending decisions about appropriations for FY 2019, which will begin on October 1, 2018...

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Posted: February 9, 2018

Congress Passes Spending Bill to Fund Government, Renews SDPI

Early this morning, both chambers of Congress approved a spending bill written by the Majority and Minority leaders in the Senate. Following the vote, President Trump signed the bill into law, reopening the federal government after an hours-long shutdown. The bill funds the federal government until March 23, 2018...

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Posted: February 8, 2018

Budget Deal Includes 2 Year SDPI Renewal, Other Public Health Programs

Senate leadership has announced a two-year budget agreement to avoid another shutdown and lessen Congress's reliance on short term Continuing Resolutions to fund the government. It would fund the federal government through March 23, 2018, and provide a pathway for Congress to determine the final spending amounts for the remainder of FY 2018. Congress must pass a spending bill by the end of the day TODAY, February 8, 2018, to avoid another shutdown...

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Posted: February 6, 2018

New Continuing Resolution Includes SDPI:
Bill Would Reauthorize Program for 2 Years

Last night, the House Appropriations Committee released the text of the latest Continuing Resolution to fund the government until March 23, 2018. Included in the legislative text is a 2 year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians!

NIHB has made long term renewal of SDPI our top legislative priority, and success is in sight. But the journey to secure renewal is not over yet: Congress must still pass the Continuing Resolution with SDPI included!

Click here to view background materials for SDPI.
Click here to view updated talking points on how SDPI can be renewed NOW.

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Posted: February 2, 2018

NIHB Issues Call to Action to Congress:
Finish the Job and Renew the Special Diabetes Program!

Today, Stacy A. Bohlen, Chief Executive Officer of the National Indian Health Board, in partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, called upon Congress to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians in the Continuing Resolution that Congress will pass next week in order to keep the federal government funded past February 8.

The article will appear in print in The Hill, a nationwide publication. You can read the piece online here...

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Posted: January 25, 2018

SDPI Outreach Needed: Next Continuing Resolution MAY Include Long-Term Renewal

As the National Indian Health Board has previously reported, one of our top legislative priorities is the long-term renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. Funding for this highly effective, life-saving program will expire on March 31, 2018, unless Congress reauthorizes it before then.

When SDPI renewal was not included in the last Continuing Resolution despite Congressional promises to Indian Country, NIHB promised to provide Tribes and advocates with Congressional outreach guidance, materials, and information in order to secure renewal for the program...

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Posted: January 23, 2018

NIHB Participates in Native Foods Roundtable at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

On January 18, 2018, NIHB Executive Director Stacy A. Bohlen participated in a roundtable with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs titled "Advancing Native Food Traditions in Indian Country." The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss Tribal policy recommends for the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

Ms. Bohlen stressed the need for federal policy to support traditional food practices, Tribal sovereignty, and self-determination. She made the link between access to traditional food and health outcomes. She said that all American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have a "fundamental right to be a healthy person to have access to traditional...foods that are part of defining who we are culturally. We find that the intersection of public policy and health outcomes has a very profound, and often has negative consequence for AI/ANs." When indigenous people are removed from their ability to produce traditional food by federal policies like removal, federal food programs that support processed food, or damming of rivers that disturb agricultural and subsistence practices, health also greatly suffers. Ms. Bohlen also highlighted the major, positive impact that the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) has had to bolster traditional food programs and urged that Congress swiftly reauthorize SDPI...

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Posted: January 22, 2018

Senate Reaches Deal to End Government Shutdown
New CR Expires February 8

At noon today, the Senate voted to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to end the shutdown and fund the government through February 8, 2018. This vote is the result of a deal reached between Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY). The CR includes a 6-year renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As part of the deal, the Majority Leader promised a vote on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) before the CR expires. The House has not yet voted on the new CR but is expected to in the near future. The President has announced his support for the CR...

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Posted: January 18, 2018

We Fight On: Special Diabetes Program for Indians Renewal Efforts Continue

The Work Continues... Thank you to everyone who participated in Congressional outreach for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) renewal today. Unfortunately, we just learned that SDPI is not likely to be included in the current Continuing Resolution (CR). The House Rules Committee is considering the CR now - we expect that the Committee will issue a Closed Rule, meaning no amendments will be allowed, and SDPI renewal is not in the CR. The CR being considered the Rules Committee today, if approved, will expire February 16, 2018. The CR does contain a 6-year reauthorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For many months, lawmakers and Congressional Leadership assured NIHB and Indian Country that the SDPI renewal would be taken up with CHIP: that did not happen today.

It is worthy of note, and we are grateful, that CHIP will be reauthorized for 6 years - because this program is so vital to American Indian and Alaska Native children...

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Posted: January 17, 2018

New Continuing Resolution Does NOT Include Special Diabetes Program for Indians Reauthorization

Yesterday, January 16, 2018, House Republican leadership released language for the next Continuing Resolution (CR), which will fund federal government agencies until February 16. The CR includes a six-year reauthorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Many American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and their families receive coverage from this program, and NIHB supports its renewal. Unfortunately, the CR does NOT include any language renewing the Special Diabates Program for Indians (SDPI), which now expires on March 31, 2018!

Up to this point, NIHB had been told by Congressional staff that SDPI would be renewed with the long-term CHIP reauthorization...

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