The Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Indian Health Service signed a Memorandum of Agreement that updates the last version from 2003 and outlines a plan for coordination and collaboration that will help improve care for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans. We are also initiating a tribal consultation on the implementation on the MOU. Here are the press release, the tribal letter, and the updated MOU.
The Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention and Healthy Heart Demonstration Projects completed their 5-year activities to reduce risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in American Indians and Alaska Natives. The initial evaluation results are encouraging because the 66 grant programs serving 110 tribal communities were able to demonstrate reduction of risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in program participants. A press release is available today.
The Department of Interior and the Department of Health and Human Services will host ten tribal listening sessions across Indian Country to seek input on how the agencies can more effectively work to prevent suicide. See the attached press release with dates of the listening sessions and letter to tribes.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Consumer Information and Oversight (OCIIO) and IHS today announced the formal consultation on the Indian-specific provisions related to the development of the Health Insurance Exchanges in the Affordable Care Act. A listening session will be held at the NCAI Conference on Monday, November 15, 2010, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm in the Cimarron Room in the Albuquerque Convention Center. The letter instructed tribes to provide written input by December 31, 2010, to OCIIO at the address provided in the letter.
The recent hearing held by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the investigation of the IHS Aberdeen Area revealed some serious concerns that are unacceptable and require immediate corrective action. While the problems were found in the Aberdeen Area, we need to ensure that they are not happening in other Areas, and therefore I have implemented some immediate actions to address them throughout IHS. See the attached email [PDF - 26K] that I recently sent to all IHS employees. While we will be implementing other reforms in the days and weeks ahead, these immediate actions show that we are taking the concerns raised by the Committee seriously and are working to prevent these problems from occurring in all IHS Areas. We will be reviewing all of our IHS-administered programs and facilities to ensure that they have implemented these actions. I will continue to provide updates on our reform efforts on a regular basis on this blog.
I attended the Oglala Sioux Tribe Health Administration’s 3rd Annual Health Summit on October 8, 2010 in Rapid City, SD. This event was dedicated to the memory of Robert Moore, who was a strong advocate for the Great Plains Tribes. I presented an update of what we are doing to change and improve the IHS and the progress we are making implementing our agency priorities. Here are some pictures from the meeting:
OST Tribal Council
OST Health Department
IHS Director presentation
I met with the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) on October 28 and 29, 2010 in Alexandria, VA. The TLDC advises the Director on diabetes related issues and oversees the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. The TLDC is developing a new strategic plan for their activities for the future, and they plan to share this with other Tribal leaders soon. They have been outstanding advocates for diabetes treatment and prevention in our communities over the years. Here is a picture from the meeting: