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The National Tribal Public Health Summit

The National Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) is the premier American Indian and Alaska Native specific annual gathering focused on public health policy, systems, and infrastructure.
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In an effort to keep Tribes engaged and informed, NIHB offers this platform that contains communications, resources and advocacy materials on the development of the COVID-19 Vaccine.
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NIHB Releases 2019 Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan Report

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released the 2019 Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS) Report that provides a comprehensive picture of Tribal public health infrastructure and activities, specifically, immunization, screening, and prevention/education activities that are widely occurring across Indian Country.
See the full report

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NIHB is Hiring!

We are seeking qualified candidates for the following open positions based in Washington DC:

Policy Analyst

Director of Congressional Relations

Public Health Project Coordinator (Emergency Preparedness)

Public Health Project Coordinator (Aging)

Public Health Program Coordinator (PHICCS)

Public Health Project Coordinator (Environmental Health)

Public Health Project Associate (Behavioral Health)

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Posted February 26, 2021

NIHB Submits Testimony to House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on Tribal Priorities for COVID-19 Vaccines

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) submitted written testimony in response to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing "Road to Recovery: Ramping up COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing and Medical Supply Chain" held on February 3, 2021. NIHB strongly urged the House Energy and Commerce Committee to ensure a minimum 5% direct set-aside of total healthcare funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), Tribal nations, and urban Indian organizations. Since the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, American Indians and Alaska Natives have continued to sufferer increased COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates when compared to the general population while receiving care at historically underfunded facilities.

Read the full testimony.



Posted February 22, 2021

Join NIHB in Support of Congresswoman Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is holding a hearing on Tuesday, February 23 at 9:30 AM EST to consider the nomination of Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) to be Secretary of the Interior. Follow the link to watch the hearing: https://www.energy.senate.gov/live-webcast.

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) fully supports Congresswoman Haaland's nomination. In December 2020, the NIHB Board of Directors sent a letter to then-President Elect Biden endorsing Congresswoman Haaland as the Secretary of the Interior as well as issued a press statement.

Ahead of the confirmation hearing on Feb. 23, NIHB encourages Tribal leaders, advocates, and community members to call the Senators urging a confirmation vote. NIHB has provided phone numbers and talking points.



Posted February 12, 2021

NIHB Supports Budget Reconciliation Package with Letter to Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

On Friday, February 12, NIHB sent a letter to Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressing support for the budget reconciliation package proposed by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Mirroring the House budget recommendations, it included:

  • $5.484 billion for Indian Health Service
  • $2 billion third-party relief
  • $1.5 billion for testing, tracing, Personal Protective Equipment
  • $600 million for vaccine education and distribution
  • $600 million health care facilities
  • $500 million Purchased/Referred Care
  • $420 million mental/behavioral health services
  • $240 million public health workforce
  • $140 million electronic health records/telehealth infrastructure
  • $84 million Urban Indian health
  • $10 million potable water delivery

Read the full letter.



Posted February 11, 2021

NIHB Submits Letter of Support for House Energy and Commerce Budget Reconciliation Legislation

On Thursday, February 11th, NIHB submitted a letter of support to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the inclusion of Tribal health priorities in their Budget Reconciliation legislation. The legislation, which is being marked up Thursday, February 11th and Friday, February 12th, invests $6.094 billion in Tribal health priorities including:

  • $5.484 billion for Indian Health Service
  • $2 billion 3rd party relief
  • $1.5 billion for testing, tracing, Personal Protective Equipment
  • $600 million for vaccine education and distribution
  • $600 million health care facilities
  • $500 million Purchased/Referred Care
  • $420 million mental/behavioral health services
  • $240 million public health workforce
  • $140 million electronic health records/telehealth infrastructure
  • $84 million Urban Indian health
  • $10 million potable water delivery

Read the full letter.



Posted February 11, 2021

NIHB Joins Letter to President Biden Requesting an Immediate Halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline

On Tuesday, February 9th, the National Indian Health (NIHB) joined 13 other Tribal organizations in a letter to President Biden requesting an immediate halt to the construction and operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The letter echoes a January 19th letter from the Standing Rock Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, Oglala Sioux, and Yankton Sioux Tribes, where they outline the illegality of the current construction and operation of the DAPL given the lack of an environmental impact study with Tribal consultation. A January 26th ruling from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals also affirmed the need for a comprehensive environmental review before the approval of such projects and that the pipeline's easement violated Tribal rights. NIHB Resolution 16-02, Supporting Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline affirms it as a threat to the water supply, health and well-being of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Tribal communities.



Posted February 8, 2021

NIHB Statement on the passing of Former Navajo Nation President Albert Hale

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) offered the following statement from NIHB Chairman William Smith on the loss of former Navajo Nation President Albert Hale.

"On behalf of the National Indian Health Board, my heart and prayers go out to Albert Hale, his family, and to all who knew Albert. As a fellow Tribal leader and Vice President of the Valdez Native Tribe, I know the steadfast strength and courage it takes to stand up for our people and make their voices heard. He was a true warrior for Indian country."

Read the full press release.



Posted February 3, 2021

NIHB signs on to Joint Letter to Congress Regarding Tribal Priorities

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the National Indian Health Board joined the National Congress of American IndiansNational Council of Urban Indian Health and fifteen Tribal organizations in a letter to Congress to ensure that Indian Country's COVID-19 concerns and priorities are comprehensively addressed in the next relief package.

The Tribal health priorities outlined in the letter are as follows:

  • Minimum $8 billion directly related to the COVID-19 public health response to the Indian/Tribal/Urban (I/T/U) system including:
    • Minimum $1 billion vaccination distribution and implementation
    • Minimum $250 million in COVID-19 testing
    • Minimum $200 million for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and the deployment of supplement medical personnel
  • Minimum $1 billion for Native veterans' health through the Veterans Health Administration
  • Minimum $200 million tribal set aside for support of mental and behavioral health programs
  • Minimum $40 million tribal set aside for programs that serve as response to domestic abuse
  • Minimum $3 billion in funds to replenish third party revenue loss in the I/T/U system
  • Minimum $2.67 billion for the construction and improvement of water and sanitation infrastructure for the I/T/U system and Tribal communities
  • Extend full (100 percent) Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to Urban Indian Organizations
  • Permanently extend waivers under Medicare for the use of telehealth

Read the full letter.



Posted February 3, 2021

Partnership Brings $250K Of Pandemic Supplies To Great Plains Tribes

The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board (GPTLHB), AT&T's FirstNet Program, and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) have partnered to distribute more than a quarter-million dollars' worth of pandemic related supplies to Tribal nations in the Great Plains area.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a steady supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been hard to come by. Recognizing the dire need in Indian Country, AT&T's FirstNet Program pledged to donate items like hand sanitizer, N-95 Facemasks, cleaning supplies, and gloves to Tribal communities. FirstNet reached out to NIHB, who then notified its member organizations, including the GPTLHB, which jumped at the opportunity to manage the distribution of tens of thousands of items.

"The National Indian Health Board greatly values its partnerships with Tribes and member organizations, and the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced just how important partnerships outside of Indian Country are to NIHB's work for Tribes. NIHB was pleased to partner with AT&T and the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board to bring PPE and supplies to healthcare and frontline workers. This effort highlights the drive and power of collaboration between public and private entities. NIHB hopes more partners in corporate America will support our Tribes and Tribal organizations as they work to combat this virus that has greatly impacted our communities," said NIHB COO Carolyn Hornbuckle.

Read the full release.



Posted February 3, 2021

Indian Health Service issues letter on Allocation Decisions of CDC Funds

On February 2, 2021, the Indian Health Service (IHS) Acting Director sent a letter to Tribal Leaders and Urban Indian Organizations to announce the allocation decisions for $210 million in new resources transferred from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the IHS. The funds are to support COVID-19 vaccine-related activities in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. They were authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. These funds are one-time, non-recurring, and can only be used for the purposes specified in the statute.

Of the $210 million transferred from the CDC to the IHS for vaccine-related activities,

  • $190 million to IHS Federal health programs and Tribal Health Programs (THPs), using existing distribution methodologies for program increases in Hospitals and Health Clinics, Purchased/Referred Care, Community Health Representatives, and Public Health Nursing. All THPs will receive these one-time, non-recurring funds through unilateral modifications and/or amendments to their existing ISDEAA agreements.
  • $10 million to support Urban Indian Organizations.
  • $10 million for additional public health support activities, including additional resources for Tribal Epidemiology Centers, the development and production of culturally appropriate education materials, partnerships with national AI/AN organizations and academic institutions, and other critical support activities.

Read the full letter.



Posted February 2, 2021

NIHB sends Letters to Congressional Leadership Outlining Tribal Priorities

With the release of President Biden's American Rescue Plan proposal to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic, the National Indian Health Board has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi outlining legislative priorities to address the dire public health concerns that face Indian Country during this time.

Read NIHB's Letter to the Senate.

Read NIHB's Letter to the House.



Posted January 25, 2021

President Biden Signs Executive Orders, Releases Strategic Plan on COVID-19 Response

In his first days in office, President Joe Biden signed several Executive Orders (EOs) and released a National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Awareness. In some areas, the EOs bring opportunities for advocacy ensuring American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) voices are heard. The EOs also bring opportunities for consultation with the federal government to improve testing, vaccination, and treatment for patients using the Indian health care system. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) summarizes the EOs that impact Tribes and the Indian Health Service (IHS).

Read more



Posted January 12, 2021

National Indian Health Board Fills Key Director Position on Public Health Policy and Programs Team

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to welcome Tyler Dougherty as Director of Public Health Policy and Programs (PHPP). Mr. Dougherty will lead NIHB's public health priorities and advocacy efforts; cultivate partnerships with federal agency, state, and Tribal partners; and oversee NIHB's strategic planning to expand its Tribal public health department in response to the increased need for resources and technical assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Dougherty joins NIHB from the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Oklahoma Area Tribal Epidemiology Center where he managed multiple federal grants that served the 44 federally recognized Tribes across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Mr. Dougherty has a Master of Public Health in biostatistics from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Hudson College of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Oklahoma.

Read the full press release.



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