Monkeypox Declared a Public Health Emergency in the U.S.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Xavier Becerra, has declared the current monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency as the number of confirmed monkeypox cases surpasses 6,000, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counts. President Biden's decision to declare monkeypox a public health emergency allows him to raise awareness of the virus and unlock more flexibility for spending on ways to treat and tackle the virus. Public health emergencies last 90 days but can be extended by the Secretary.

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The National Indian Health Board is accepting nominations for the 2022 Outstanding Service Awards being presented during the 39th Annual National Tribal Health Conference on September 27 – THE POWER OF IDENTITY: A PATH TO TRIBAL HEALTH EQUITY.

The National Indian Health Board invites Tribal leaders, health directors, policy specialists, advocates, and allies to submit presenter abstracts for the 39th Annual National Tribal Health Conference on September 26-28 – THE POWER OF IDENTITY: A PATH TO TRIBAL HEALTH EQUITY.

Registration is open! The National Indian Health Board’s 2022 National Tribal Health Conference and 50th Anniversary Celebration, September 25-29, 2022, in Washington, DC.

We want to hear from Indian Country about the people and accomplishments that have advanced the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Submit a short story, photo, or video.

Click here to sumbit.

The National Indian Health from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET. Board is hosting a virtual Tribal Health Equity Summit on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

The National Indian Health Board seeks to ensure that the Tribes remain informed on COVID 19 and have the resources and assistance needed to respond to the pandemic.

The National Indian Health Board partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Project Firstline—a comprehensive infection control program designed to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases in U.S. healthcare settings.


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NIHB publishes weekly newsletters to keep Tribal leaders, public health program directors, providers, and advocates up to date on the latest news impacting Indian health.
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Posted on August 11, 2022

Critical NIHB/NCAI Survey Regarding Advance Appropriations/Government Shut Downs

Dear Tribal Leader & Tribal Health Leader:

Good afternoon. My name is Dr. Aaron A. Payment (Sault Tribe). You may recall me from my past role as Tribal Chairperson, as a former Elected Officer of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) or as a Member of the US Health and Human Services Secretary Tribal Advisory. I currently work as Government Relations Director of the National Indian Health Board (NIHB). In each of these roles, I have had the privilege of working with great teams of advocates to push for advance appropriations for Indian Health Service (IHS) funding to insulate Tribes from the impacts of Federal Government Shutdowns. We are very close but need your help to get across the finish line.

The Biden-Harris Administration has endorsed Advance Appropriations and included it in his Budget proposal. While the House Appropriations Committee did not initially signal support, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples’ hearing on HR5549 expressed strong, broad bi-partisan support. The same day (7/28) the Senate Chair Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy included advance appropriations for IHS in his Chairman’s appropriations mark. In previous Congressional Sessions, Senator Murkowski has been a co-sponsor singling bi-partisan Senate support.

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Posted on August 10, 2022

National Indian Health Board Announces A.C. Locklear as New Federal Relations Director

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to announce the promotion of A.C. Locklear, JD (Lumbee), to the position of Federal Relations Director – an inaugural position within NIHB.

As a key member of the NIHB Government Relations team, Locklear will lead NIHB's federal, budget and regulatory policy priorities, including developing and advancing Tribal health and public health policy priorities to the Administration and the Agencies of the Federal Government, leading budget formation, analysis, and advocacy work and bolstering Tribal leader participation in consultation and Tribal Advisory Committees. In his new role, Locklear also has leadership and oversight over NIHB's regulatory policy analysis and advocacy, particularly in the complex maze of federal Medicare/Medicaid policy. As Federal Relations Director, Locklear will have an increased focus on cultivating partnerships with federal agencies and Tribal partners. As NIHB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, expanding and enhancing Federal Relations will position NIHB to serve Tribal governments and communities better. 

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Posted on August 08, 2022


On Sunday, August 7, 2022, the United States Senate passed the historic Inflation Reduction Act (H.R. 5376) to reduce the deficit and provide inflationary relief to all Americans. The U.S. House of Representatives must enact their version, expected to mirror the Senate bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the house will take up the bill when it returns from recess on Friday, August 12. Then, President Biden is expected to sign the Act into law.

In addition to several key provisions for Tribal Nations, the Inflation Reduction Act will lower prescription drug prices, allow for Medicaid to negotiate cost reductions, cap out-of-pocket prescription costs at $2,000 annually for Elders (Seniors), extend the Affordable Care Act supplemental provisions, and invest in clean energy. A summary of key provisions can be found here.

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Posted on July 28, 2022

US Senate Committee on Appropriations Releases FY 2023 Appropriations Bills with Historic Commitment to Advance Appropriations for Indian Health Service

On Thursday, July 28, 2022, the Senate Committee on Appropriations released the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The appropriations package provides advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service and Indian Health Facilities account. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Chairman William Smith (Valdez Native Tribe) highlighted “the historic nature of the possibility of enacting advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service to stabilize health care in Indian Country.”

The Interior and Related Agencies bill provides $11.52 billion for Tribal programs. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the bill provides $7.38 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS), an increase of $762 million above the FY 2022 enacted level. This provides $2.7 billion for hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, and health services; $260 million for dental health; and $127 million for mental health programs such as suicide prevention initiatives for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, and tele-behavioral health programs.

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Posted on July 28, 2022

NIHB Testifies on the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act

Today, Jonathan Nez, President of the Navajo Nation and a National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Board Member, testified before the United States House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the HR 5549 Indian Health Services Advance Appropriations Act, introduced by the late Congressman Don Young (AK).

The HR 5549 Indian Health Services Advance Appropriations Act is a continuation of bipartisan Congressional efforts that increases Tribal and federal government efficiency, reduces federal taxpayer waste, and saves American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) lives by providing stable funding for health care services in Indian Country. NIHB is pleased to see advance appropriations included in President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding request and urges Congress to include advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in this FY appropriations bill, which sets overall spending limits by agency.

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