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Circular 01-02


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Refer to: OPH

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CIRCULAR NO. 2001-02

Effective Date:  03/06/2001

CHARTER, NATIONAL ORAL HEALTH COUNCIL
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE

  1. Purpose.  The National Oral Health Council (NOHC) will advocate on behalf of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) for improved oral health by advising and assisting Indian Health Service (IHS) leadership concerning relevant health issues and policies while promoting integration of oral health into overall health.

  2. RESPONSIBILITIES.

    1. Provide a national forum to identify issues and develop initiatives that address oral health needs.

    2. Provide guidance for clinical dental practice in IHS, tribal, and urban programs (I/T/U).

    3. Promote improved access to dental care:

      1. Address issues which compromise an adequate health work force.

      2. Advocate for modernization of existing facilities.

      3. Advocate for additional dental facilities.

      4. Improve clinical efficiency.

      5. Decrease oral disease burden.

      6. Advocate for resources.

    4. Improve dental program management through better communication and involvement in the overall health program.

    5. Represent the I/T/U dental staff concerns and serve as a conduit to the IHS leadership:

      1. Initiate proposals for health care strategies and policies.

      2. Participate actively in policy development, review, and implementation.

      3. Participate in Agency strategic planning.

      4. Share information among NOHC members.

      5. Advocate for patient care quality improvement.

      6. Engage and consult with tribal leadership concerning oral health issues.

  3. MEMBERSHIP.  The NOHC is a permanent council of the IHS. The NOHC is composed of all dental staff in I/T/U programs.

  4. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.  The Executive Committee of the NOHC is composed of one dentist from each Area, one member from the National Dental Assistant Advisory Council (NDAAC), one member from the IHS Dental Hygiene Coalition (DHC), one Area Dental Officer (ADO), and one Dental Specialist. Area representatives will be selected by a vote of NOHC members in their respective Area.  Their respective group will select NDAAC, DHC, ADO, and Dental Specialist representatives.

    The Area representatives will be elected for 2-year terms on staggered rotations.  Six Area members will be elected each year.  Officers of the Executive Committee consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.  Each officer serves a 1-year term. Officers of the Executive Committee will be Area representatives selected by a vote of the Executive Committee.  The Vice-Chair becomes the Chair after the completion of his or her term as Vice-Chair.  Each year the new Vice-Chair and Secretary are elected from the six new Area representatives.  When an Executive Committee member leaves before the end of his/her term, a replacement shall be named at the discretion of the Chair.

  5. RELATIONSHIPS.  The Chair of the NOHC will be invited to present issues related to oral health to the Executive Leadership Group (ELG) or the Indian Health Leadership Council (IHLC) at least once annually.  The presentation will include the workplan for the NOHC for the coming year and progress made on the present year's workplan.  The Chair of the NOHC participates in the ADO group, and advises IHS senior leadership in matters of oral health.  The Executive Committee is responsive to the NOHC membership.

  6. COMMITTEES.  The NOHC may establish standing or ad hoc committees to perform specific projects or tasks.

  7. MEETINGS, STAFF SUPPORT, AND BUDGET.

    1. The Executive Committee and the general membership of the NOHC meet together biennially.

    2. The Executive Committee of the NOHC is authorized to meet at least once a year.  Conference calls will be set by the Chair and occur every other month or as needed.  For any meeting or conference call there must be at least 50 percent of the Executive Committee present to establish a quorum.  All 16 Executive Committee members shall have one vote each; a simple majority will decide all issues with the exception of revision of this charter.  In the case of a tie vote, the dentist representing Headquarters will cast the deciding vote.  If an Executive Committee member cannot participate, it is his/her responsibility to appoint an alternate.  Failure to attend or appoint an alternate for two sessions within a 12-month period is grounds for dismissal at the discretion of the Chair.

      Replacement of dismissed members shall be at the discretion of the Chair.  Service Units/tribal programs/urban clinics will be responsible for the costs incurred by Executive Committee members to attend the Executive Committee meetings.

    3. As requested, the Chair attends meetings of the IHLC, the ELG, the ADO group, and other meetings.  The expenses incurred by the NOHC Chair to attend these meetings shall be reimbursed from IHS Dental Program funds.

  8. AMENDMENTS TO THIS CHARTER.  This Charter may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Committee and processed through the Director, Management Policy Support Staff, and the Office of Public Health, consistent with the process for development, clearance, and distribution of IHS directives.

  9. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This circular is effective upon the date of signature by the Director, IHS.

/Michael H. Trujillo, M.D./
Michael H. Trujillo, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director, Indian Health Service
Distribution:  IHS Wide
Date:  March 6, 2001


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