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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Clinical Support Center (CSC) "Leading Indian Health Care Education"

Office of Continuing Education

Mission Statement
The Mission of the Clinical Support Center (CSC) Office of Continuing Education (OCE) is to develop, facilitate, and support continuing professional education programs meeting the needs of health care providers at Indian Health Service facilities, "contracting" or "compacting" tribal facilities, or Title V urban programs (collectively referred to in this Mission Statement as "IHS/tribal/urban programs, or I/T/Us"). To accomplish this, the OCE will partner with internal IHS organizational units and external stakeholders to leverage resources. Additionally, CSC will respond to requests from other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to plan and implement educational programs when resources allow.

Consistent with this Mission, activities are designed to:

  1. Enhance the quality of patient care and improve patient outcomes.
  2. Identify and remedy gaps in the knowledge, competencies, and performance of Indian health program clinicians.
  3. Meet the standards required by national accrediting organizations including the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation, the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), The American College of Nurse Midwives, and the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
  4. Meet individual professional continuing education requirements for certification, licensure, and credentialing.
  5. Fulfill the continuing education requirements of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and other accrediting agencies at all facilities.
  6. Link with IHS performance improvement activities, Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) data, IHS “Chart Series” data, and local performance data for needs assessment and outcome evaluation.
  7. Support efforts to achieve the Surgeon General's Healthy People 2010 Goals for the Nation and the IHS Director’s Initiatives and Priorities.

Target Audience
The target audience of the CSC continuing education program is the health care team that provides services at I/T/U facilities. This team includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, dentists, and all other health professionals. When appropriate, patients will be involved in the learning experience. The target audience for activities sponsored for sister DHHS agencies will be similar.

Types of Activities
The activities and services supported include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Live courses, regularly scheduled series, and delivered live by the internet. These will emphasize the use of a variety of learning methods, inclusion of the health care team, use of technology, and learner participation.
  2. Enduring materials delivered via the internet.


The content areas of the activities sponsored by CSC will include the following:
  1. The broad range of topics encountered by the primary care health care team.
  2. An emphasis on subjects that have a great impact on the American Indian/Alaska Native population such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, and substance abuse.
  3. The interface between different cultural beliefs about health and wellness, traditional Indian medicine, and western or allopathic medicine.
  4. Specialized areas of health care that are applicable to practice in Indian country.
  5. Clinical leadership and administrative topics that will be needed by clinicians assigned to such roles.
  6. Required learning activities, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses.

Expected Results
The outcomes of CSC-sponsored activities will be measured by the following:

  1. Participation of the audience targeted.
  2. Self-reported perceived improvement in knowledge or competency.
  3. Self-reported intention to change performance.
  4. Achievement of established learning objectives.
  5. Documented changes in indicators suggesting improvements in patient outcomes.


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