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January 2014 Blogs

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Posted on Jan 29, 2014

Dental Health Aide Therapists Update

Updated information about the Alaska Dental Health Aide Program and the Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT) Program is now available on the Division of Oral Health dental portal at http://www.ihs.gov/doh/DHAT.pdf [PDF - 135 KB]. DHATs provide safe care for underserved populations. The Alaska DHATs provide oral examinations, preventive services, simple restorations and extractions, and stainless steel crowns; and expose radiographs. At present, 25 DHATs serve approximately 35,000 patients in 81 of Alaska's most remote villages. An additional 15 DHAT students are currently in training.

There is a considerable, growing interest by both states and Tribes in various mid-level provider models, including DHATs in the lower 48 states and Hawaii.


Posted on Jan 17, 2014

Leading the Way in Combating Tobacco Abuse

Today, the Surgeon General is releasing a new report that will highlight 50 years of progress in tobacco control, present new data on the health consequences of tobacco abuse, and detail initiatives that can help end the tobacco epidemic in the United States.

What many people may not know is that the IHS, and specifically the Hopi Tribe, led the nation in establishing smoke-free health care environments. In 1983 the Hopi Tribal Council passed a resolution that made the Keams Canyon Hospital in Arizona the first smoke-free hospital in the United States. Not to be outdone, the Portland Area quickly declared all its facilities as smoke-free, becoming the first IHS Area to become totally smoke-free. All of IHS soon followed, making us the first federal agency to be completely smoke-free. We are very proud of the Hopi Tribe, and all of IHS, for leading the nation in this very important campaign to address the devastating health consequences of tobacco abuse.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Keams Canyon  Hospital in 1983
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Keams Canyon Hospital Today


Posted on Jan 13, 2014

Aberdeen Area IHS Name Change to Great Plains Area IHS

Based on input from Tribes in the Aberdeen Area IHS, a notice was posted in the Federal Register on January 10, 2014, that formally changes the name of the Aberdeen Area IHS to the Great Plains Area IHS. Here is a copy of the letter [PDF - 25 KB] we are sending to all Tribes along with the Federal Register notice [PDF - 195 KB] Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.


Posted on Jan 6, 2014

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting

I met with the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting in Rockville, MD, in December. They made recommendations on how to consult with Tribes on the distribution of funding for FY 2015 if the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) is reauthorized. The challenge is that at this time we do not know whether a reauthorization would be for a year or multiple years. The Senate Finance Committee marked up legislation that included a proposed 5-year reauthorization, but Congress still must consider this proposal. Despite this uncertainty, the Committee advised starting a consultation process with all IHS Areas to result in recommendations by February 2014 for the distribution of funding for the SDPI FY 2015 funds. I sent a letter to all Tribes [PDF - 62K] to notify them of this consultation process. Here are pictures from the meeting:

Click on the thumbnails for larger images

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting