Exploring Tribal Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity

Join NIHB for a three-part series on key issues for Tribal public health infrastructure, including:

Each webinar will feature a deep dive into these issues, and highlights from the 2019 PHICCS report.


NEW 3 PHICCS I Infographics

Tribal Health Organizations 101

Tribal Health Organizations Needs and Priorities

Tribal Health Organizations Activities


Drumming Up Interest for PHICCS II Webinar

NIHB hosted a webinar on October 19, 2021 to provide information about the upcoming PHICCS II. Watch the recording

Public Health Indian Country Capacity Scan
(PHICCS) Project

What is PHICCS?

The Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS) is a national scan, to be conducted every three years by the National Indian Health Board. The purpose of PHICCS is to assess the capacity of Tribal health and Tribal public health organizations for delivering public health services. This important effort helps Tribes, Tribal organizations, partners and policy makers better understand Tribal public health infrastructure and plan for future improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Coming in 2022: PHICCS II

NIHB is currently planning for the second iteration of PHICCS. As of September 2021, NIHB is in Phase 1 "Planning and Instrument Development" in the PHICCS II timeline.

Phase 1 - Planning and Instrument Development - March 2021- Spring 2022 (1 year)

Phase 2 - Data Collection - Spring 2022 - Fall 2022 (4 mos)

Phase 3 - Data Analysis and Report Production - Fall 2022 - Spring 2023 (1 year)

Phase 4 - Distribution and Utility - Summer 2023

PHICCS is not possible without the input and collaboration of NIHB’s member organizations and Tribal partners. We have hosted several virtual partner meetings to coordinate a review of the existing scan instrument as well as plan for outreach for Phase 2. We also hosted a 30-day open comment period on instrument revisions in October 2021. We welcome all and any input on a continuing basis. For more information on the process and providing input, please contact Nina Martin, [email protected].

NIHB is following 13 recommendations for PHICCS II. These recommendations are built from reflection, external process evaluation, and feedback from our Member Organizations and Tribal partners. Read more about the 13 Recommendations for PHICCS II

PHICCS Background

Tribal nations have a vested interest and sovereign right to provide valuable public health services to the communities they serve. Although the definition of public health in Indian Country includes a diverse set of activities and services that vary by Tribe and region, public health is ultimately the work that is done to improve and maintain the overall health and well-being within Tribal communities as a whole. It is important to understand the capacity or the range of public health activities, workforce characteristics, governance structures and systems improvement activities across the nation. This knowledge informs the allocation of resources, policy development and advocacy needs to ultimately improve population health among American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The first capacity assessment was conducted in 2009 and resulted in the 2010 Tribal Public Health Profile: Exploring Public Health Capacity in Indian Country. See the 2010 Report here. The second iteration, called the Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS I), was conducted from November 2018 - August 2019 and resulted in the 2019 PHICCS report, described below.

2019 Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan Report

See the full 2019 PHICCS report

Please note that any versions downloaded or received by hard copy prior to November 17, 2020 may contain errors. Please contact Karrie Joseph, [email protected] if you have any questions

Click here to view a copy of the PHICCS I instrument. Note: this instrument is under revision for PHICCS II.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services [HHS] as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,425,000 with 100% percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS) or the U.S. Government.

NIHB Contact:

Tyler Dougherty, MPH
Director of Public Health Policy and Programs

National Indian Health Board
910 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Phone: 202-922-0100
Washington, DC 20003
[email protected]