Strengthening Tribal Public Health Systems
(Formally Tribal ASI)


Historically, Tribes ensured their communities’ health by integrating systems of health and well-being. As with most if not all indigenous people, prior to European contact, Native Americans had complex traditions, cultural practices, social organizations, economies, forms of government, education, and spirituality that interrelatedly worked together to ensure the health and survival of the people.

Contemporary Tribal public health systems, shaped by a history of colonialism, epidemics, government policy, and a lack of funding evolved along a different trajectory than their local and state counterparts and hence they are often overlooked or underrepresented in the US public health system. “Tribal nations have an inherent right to promote and protect the health and welfare of their citizens, using the methods most relevant for their communities.” 1 As such, the National Indian Health Board supports Tribal nations as they rebuild and define their current systems.

Since 2008, the (NIHB) has partnered with Tribal nations and national partners in an effort to advance public health practice in Indian Country. With the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NIHB has provided funding and technical assistance to Tribes pursuing performance improvement and public health accreditation projects and initiatives.

Strong Systems, Stronger Communities

Strong Systems, Stronger Communities (SSSC), (created in 2018), is a funding opportunity provided by the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and supported by the CDC. This opportunity builds on a former project - NIHB’s Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI) and continues NIHB’s commitment to strengthening Tribal public health systems by offering support and technical assistance specifically to Tribes as they complete projects to improve their performance, meet national public health accreditation standards, and/or promote interconnection across the public health system to improve population health.

The intended outcomes of SSSC include;

  • Increased performance improvement practice
  • Increased innovation in response to system integration challenges, and
  • Progress toward national public health standards.

While performance improvement focuses on internal changes to improve services, system improvement focuses on incorporating health equity and interconnection of various systems that can impact the public health of a community. Interconnection is defined as "the linkage of programs, activities, and/or stakeholders to promote overall efficiency and effectiveness and achieve gains in population health."

Funding Opportunity

Join our mailing list to receive notifications about current and upcoming funding opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Dean at [email protected]

Tribal Accreditation Learning Community (TALC) Webinar Series

TALC is a free, monthly webinar series. It is designed for sharing and learning about public health performance improvement, system improvement, and accreditation in Tribal communities.

For more information, click here.

Upcoming Events

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is hosting a free webinar on the Public Health Accreditation Board's (PHAB) Standards & Measures for accreditation related to emergency preparedness on Thursday, April 13, 2023, from 3:00-4:30 PM EDT.

Join NIHB along with guest speakers, PHAB, and Tribal public health departments as we overview plans and processes for emergency preparedness and response, documentation requirements outlined for accreditation, and resources to support Tribal public health capacity and the development of Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs).

Webinar participants will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Standards & Measures and key requirements related to emergency preparedness.
  • Explain the difference between initial accreditation, reaccreditation, and the Pathways Recognition Program.
  • Identify templates and tools to help Tribes meet the requirements for PHAB Standards & Measures related to successfully maintaining an All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan.

Register in advance for this webinar here.


NIHB Contacts:

Jessica Dean, DrPH, MSPH
Public Health Policy and Programs Project Coordinator

National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-507-4083
[email protected]


Back to top

National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: 202-507-4070 | Email: [email protected]