NIHB's 9th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit
May 22-24, 2018
Prior Lake, MN


NIHB hosts The Warrior’s Journey: 2017 Annual Awards Gala Honoring Heroes in Native Health


SDPI renewal – The time to act is NOW!

With just a short time before Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) funding expires on September 30, 2017, it is critical that Tribes and their advocates reach out to Members of Congress about this renewal effort. Contact your members of Congress today and voice your support for renewing the program by September 30, 2017. Ask them to speak with leadership in the House and Senate to renew SDPI by the end of the month.
Click here for talking points on SDPI renewal.

Special Diabetes Program for Indians Outreach is Needed Now More Than Ever

While Members of Congress are home for Recess, the month of August is the perfect time to meet with your lawmakers or invite them to visit your Tribal or IHS healthcare facilities...

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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Tribal Health Reform Updates and Resources

Click here to view.

NIHB Hosts Native Health Presidential Transition Summit

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) meets with NIHB Chair, Lester Secatero, and Alaska Area Representative, Lincoln Bean.
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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.
  • The Washington Report
  • The Public Health Broadcast
  • The Zika Newsletter

NIHB is Hiring!

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

Native Youth Engagement Manager

Behavioral Health Program Manager

Public Health Program Associate

Meeting Planner

Executive Assistant

Policy Analysts (2 openings)

Communications Manager

Posted: November 9, 2017

New Video Shows How Dental Therapy Helps Alaska Native Youth

Kake, AK - The National Indian Health Board, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and participation from the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, is proud to release a new video highlighting the impact of Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHATs) on Tribal youth in the community of Kake, Alaska. This video can be used as a tool for Tribes outside of Alaska looking to learn more about this innovative program...

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Watch Video

Posted: October 25, 2017

President Trump Sends Indian Health Service Director Nomination to Senate

On Tuesday, October 24, President Trump sent four nominations to the U.S. Senate for confirmation - including the Indian Health Service (IHS) Director nominee, Robert M. Weaver.

Who is Robert Weaver?
As indicated in the White House's original announcement, Robert Weaver is a member of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and has long worked in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and health insurance. He is the founder and owner of four companies that provide healthcare consulting services to Tribal governments, their enterprises, and their members. Currently, Mr. Weaver owns his own business as an insurance broker and serves as the consultative representative to U.S. government relations for his own Tribe on healthcare issues. Mr. Weaver lives in Oklahoma with his wife and four children...Read More

Posted: October 18, 2017

Congress Releases Bipartisan Deal to Stabilize Health Insurance Marketplaces

On October 17, the leading Senators on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) unveiled a bipartisan plan to stabilize health insurance marketplaces. In the wake of an announcement from the Administration last week on ending the monthly subsidies made to health insurance companies, Congress faced added pressure from health insurers to move quickly on some form of stabilizing efforts for health insurance marketplaces.

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Posted: October 13, 2017

President Trump Orders Two Actions on the Affordable Care Act

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order and issued a policy announcement that, taken together, could end the centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: the Federally Facilitated Marketplace.

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Posted: October 4, 2017

Congress Enacts 3-month Extension for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians

On September 29, 2017, President Trump signed a 3 month extension for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) into law as part of the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act (H.R. 3823). The program would have expired on September 30, 2017, but now is set to expire on December 31, 2017. It is funded level funding from previous years ($150 million).

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Posted: October 4, 2017

Affordable Care Act Repeal and Replace Efforts Will Not Move Forward in the Senate

Senate leaders announced today that they will not proceed with the latest legislative attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and reform the Medicaid system. This news follows the announcement of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) that said she would not vote for the proposal. This left the Republicans short of the needed 50 votes to pass the legislation.

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Posted: August 17, 2017

Special Diabetes Program for Indians Outreach is Needed Now More Than Ever

While Members of Congress are home for Recess, the month of August is the perfect time to meet with your lawmakers or invite them to visit your Tribal or IHS healthcare facilities. A top priority for Indian health legislation this Recess is the much needed renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).

SDPI impacts the lives of well over 782,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives each year by funding over 300 diabetes treatment and prevention programs across the nation. No one can deny that SDPI has been a remarkable success - since the program's beginning in 1997 American Indians and Alaska Natives have had improved health outcomes and, therefore, lower spending on expensive treatments.

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Posted: July 31, 2017

Food and Drug Administration announced a 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 from cigarette smoking by mid-century, this announcement has significant public health implications, particularly for young people.

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

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Posted: July 28, 2017

Senate Votes Down "Skinny Repeal": Congress to Move On, ACA to Stay in Place For Now
Your Action Made the Difference!

In a dramatic and unexpected vote early this morning, the United States Senate rejected the so-called "skinny repeal" legislation, which was seen as Senate Republicans' last chance to pass healthcare reform. The bill became public at 10:00 PM yesterday, and voting began at midnight. After a Democratic motion to recommit the bill to committee failed, the final vote failed 49-51 at 2:00 AM...

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Posted: July 27, 2017

Senate Continues Debate on Health Reform: Amendments to Help Tribes Introduced
Your Action Needed!

As we've been reporting, the Senate has several failed attempts at passing healthcare reform legislation this week. However, debate continues today and the process is moving quickly toward another vote on legislation that would change the U.S. health insurance system and greatly impact the Indian health system...

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Posted: July 18, 2017

Department of Veterans Affairs holds Tribal Roundtable Discussion in Arizona

On July 12, NIHB participated in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Round Table discussion at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. The purpose of the Round Table was to work on updating the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal health program (THP) reimbursement agreements. The Round Table was a follow-up to the September 28, 2016, VA Tribal consultation in Washington, D.C. regarding the VA community care consolidation effort and the alteration to the reimbursement agreements. At the meeting, NIHB Board representative from Navajo Nation, President Russell Begaye provided recommendations that the VA continue current Reimbursement Agreements and not consolidate the Agreements into a larger Community Care Program or standardize IHS/THP agreements. President Begaye and Tribes also opposed reduction in reimbursement rates and advocated for the continued use of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rate, which is cost-based and asked for the full implementation of Section 405(c) of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act which provides authority for reimbursement for Purchased/Referred Care (PRC).

NIHB has prepared a brief summarizing the meeting here.

The VA has announced another Round Table in Anchorage, Alaska on August 2, 2017, however there are currently no other Round Table discussions scheduled in the lower 48. NIHB has invited the VA to hold another Round Table at the National Tribal Health Conference in Bellevue, Washington on September 25, 2017.

Posted: July 18, 2017

Oregon Tribes Latest To Hire Dental Therapists To Stem Oral Health Crisis
One Fifth of IHS Dental Positions Remain Vacant

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.

CTCLUSI is turning to dental therapists to make dental services available to tribal members who have long done without timely dental care in their own communities. Similar to the way nurse practitioners and physician assistants work with doctors, dental therapists work with dentists, either on site or remotely, to reach more people. Dental therapists deliver a core set of preventive and restorative services, including fillings and simple extractions...

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Posted: July 13, 2017

Revised BCRA Released!
Vote Now Expected Next Week

This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a revised Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). You can read a summary of changes from the original BCRA discussion draft here. Though the bill would provide additional funds to help cover out-of-pocket costs and fight opioid addiction, the revised bill would substantially cut Medicaid and end cost-sharing reductions as well as critical public health funding. Due to the role Medicaid plays in providing much-needed revenue for the Indian health system, BCRA's changes to the Medicaid program and additional funding reductions still raise serious concerns for Indian Country...

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Posted: July 13, 2017

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Consider IHS Spending for FY 2018: Strong Support for Indian Health Programs

WASHINGTON, DC - On Wednesday, June 12, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies held a hearing on the FY 2018 Budget for the Indian Health Service (IHS).

During the hearing senators from both sides of the aisle voiced significant concerns on the proposed cuts in the President's budget to the IHS. Subcommittee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) noted that, "I am very, very concerned that the budget request does not adequately meet the needs for health care in Indian Country. We recognize the disparities between health outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) compared to the population at large are staggering."

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Posted: June 28, 2017

Senate Vote on ACA Repeal Coming Soon
Use These Resources to Call Your Senators

This week, Senate Republican leadership expressed confidence in their ability to pass the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA), a bill which repeals large parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cuts Medicaid spending. Due to the Medicaid provisions, the National Indian Health Board cannot support the legislation as it is currently written. NIHB and other national level Tribal organizations expressed Tribal concerns in a letter to Senate Republican leadership...

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