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     Indian Health Manual

Circular 16-11


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

Refer to:  OCPS

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CIRCULAR NO. 2016-11


Effective Date:  December 1, 2016

NATIONAL LABORATORY PROFESSIONALS COUNCIL - CHARTER

  1. PURPOSE.  The purpose of the National Laboratory Professionals Council (NLPC) is to ensure that Indian Health Service (IHS) Laboratory Professionals, Tribal Health Laboratory Professionals, and Urban Indian Health Program Laboratory Professionals have the opportunity to effectively participate in the establishment, implementation and preservation of a National Laboratory Services Program to achieve the IHS mission.
  2. MEMBERSHIP.  General membership will be open to all (permanent) IHS Main Laboratory Supervisors, Directors, Pathologists and Area/Headquarters Laboratory Consultants; Tribal Health Program Main Laboratory Supervisors, Directors and Pathologists and Urban Indian Health Program Main Laboratory Supervisors, Directors and Pathologists; of at least moderate complexity laboratories.  The general membership receives updates and information from the NLPC Executive Committee on at least a semiannual basis.  It is the responsibility of the general membership to:
    1. communicate needs and concerns to the NLPC Executive Committee,
    2. be involved with sub-committees, and vote on items presented by the Executive Committee.
    3. laboratory professionals (co-members) may attend meetings, volunteer time, and serve functions within the NLPC as requested or appointed, but have no chartered duties or responsibilities.
  3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.  The NLPC Executive Committee serves as an active body of elected or IHS Area consultants as representatives on behalf of the NLPC membership.  The NLPC Executive Committee includes the following officers:
    1. Chairperson;
    2. Vice Chairperson;
    3. Secretary;
    4. Immediate Past Chairperson;
    5. IHS Area Lab Consultants; and
    6. Up to 3 Area Representatives elected from each of the 12 Area Offices.
      1. Elections for NLPC Executive Committee Positions.
        1. The NLPC Chairperson is a current General Member.  This officer is elected every 2 years by a simple majority vote of the NLPC general membership.  The Chairperson's term of service is 2 years.
        2. The NLPC Vice Chairperson is a current General Member.  This officer is elected every 2 years by a simple majority vote of the NLPC general membership.  The Vice Chairperson serves a term of 2 years.
        3. The NLPC Secretary is an officer elected annually by a simple majority vote of the NLPC membership and serves a term of 2 years.
        4. The NLPC Immediate Past Chairperson is filled by the outgoing NLPC Chairperson following the election of the new Chairperson.  The Immediate Past Chairperson serves the term of 2 years.
        5. The elections for NLPC Executive Committee Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary will be held at the next corresponding NLPC/combined council meeting at the end of the elected term of service.
        6. The elections for NLPC Executive Committee Area Representatives for up to 3 Area Representatives will be coordinated with the assistance of each respective Area Office to promote fair distribution and inclusiveness amongst Area laboratory general members.  Elections for each Area Representative will be held prior to the next NLPC/Combined Council meeting.  The Area Representative term of service is one year.
      2. Vacancies in NLPC Executive Committee Positions.  If an elected NLPC Executive Committee position is vacated during the year, the NLPC Executive Committee will call for nominations and vote for another Executive Committee member to fill the vacant office throughout the remainder of the unexpired term.  If the Immediate Past Chairperson position becomes vacant the position is filled through nomination and vote.  It is the responsibility of the highest ranking Executive Committee member remaining to call for nominations and oversee a vote for replacement within sixty days of a vacated position.
  4. RELATIONSHIPS.
    1. To the IHS Director.  The NLPC Chairperson (or designated alternate) will serve as the formal council representative to the IHS Director and communicate concerns and recommendations as directed by the NLPC Executive Committee.
    2. To other Chartered National IHS Professional Councils.  The NLPC Chairperson (or designated alternate) will coordinate and communicate with the other Chartered National IHS Professional Councils on program issues, action items, or policies of mutual concern.
    3. To Other Established Indian, Tribal, and Urban (I/T/U) Indian Health Program Entities and Groups.  The NLPC may be asked to participate with other councils, Tribal and Urban Indian Health Program boards, Headquarters Offices, or workgroups as directed by the IHS Director or as needed to fulfill NLPC obligations.
  5. RESPONSIBILITIES.
    1. Executive Committee.  It is the responsibility of the NLPC Executive Committee members to:
      1. attend and participate in semiannual, national, and combined council meetings;
      2. participate in setting annual NLPC action agenda, mission and goals;
      3. ensure that NLPC members understand the mission of the IHS as well as the current strategy(s) for achieving that mission;
      4. promote common understanding and implementation of the current Agency priorities, initiatives, and direction at a local level;
      5. contribute to the development of agendas for general, annual, and special meetings of the NLPC;
      6. advocate for and act on specific concerns of its membership in a professional and appropriate manner;
      7. support and promote all of the President's, Department's, and IHS's initiatives;
      8. develop and maintain an up-to-date list of all I/T/U Laboratories and communicate this list to the NLPC Secretary;
      9. contribute to the development, support and advocacy of ongoing systems for recruitment, training, development, retention, succession planning, and recognition of laboratory professionals;
      10. promote performance improvement and organizational development through effective leadership and management in support of health services delivery; and
      11. promote activities and services that are culturally appropriate in raising the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native people.
    2. Chairperson.  It is the responsibility of the NLPC Chairperson to:
      1. ensure the NLPC has appropriate access to the IHS Director and key management staff;
      2. communicate to the NLPC all updates and status of the IHS Director;
      3. preside over any meetings held in person, by telephone, or through video conference;
      4. establish and activate ad hoc committees to research and report on specific NLPC concerns;
      5. be responsible for assigning tasks to and the coordinating reports for members of the Executive Committee;
      6. develop and present position statements and recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval; and
      7. represent the position(s) of the NLPC at IHS Leadership meetings or other meetings as required.
    3. Vice Chairperson.  The NLPC Vice Chairperson will:
      1. assume the duties of the NLPC Chairperson in the event of his or her absence; and
      2. serve in any capacity as directed by the NLPC Chairperson or the Executive Committee.
    4. Secretary.  The NLPC Secretary will:
      1. assume the duties of the NLPC Chairperson in the event of his or her absence and the absence of the NLPC Vice Chairperson;
      2. coordinate the preparation of semiannual meeting agendas and communicate information to the NLPC Executive Committee;
      3. record, maintain, and distribute meeting minutes to the NLPC Executive Committee and general members; and
      4. serve as directed by the NLPC Chairperson, NLPC Vice Chairperson, or the Executive Committee.
    5. Past Chairperson.  It is the responsibility of the NLPC Past Chairperson to serve as an advisory consultant to the Executive Committee to promote continuity in the council in a non-voting capacity.
    6. IHS Area Lab Consultants and Area Representatives.  It is the responsibility of the NLPC Area Consultants and Area Representatives to:
      1. serve as a fair representative to their respective Area;
      2. develop and maintain an up-to-date list of all respective Area I/T/U Laboratories and communicate this list to the NLPC Secretary; and
      3. develop and present position statements and recommendations to the NLPC for approval on behalf of their respective Area.
  6. MEETINGS.
    1. Semiannual Meeting.  The NLPC Executive Committee will hold semiannual meetings and other meetings as necessary.  Motions to pass will require the consent of at least two-thirds of the Executive members present.
    2. Annual Meeting.  The NLPC Executive Committee will hold an annual General Membership meeting and other meetings as determined by the Chairperson.  All general members and co-members are encouraged to attend.  Motions will pass with a simple majority vote of the current NLPC membership present.
    3. Concurrent Meeting.  One NLPC Executive Committee meeting each year will be concurrent with the Combined Council meeting.  All general members and co-members are encouraged to attend.  Motions will pass with a simple majority vote of the current NLPC membership present.
  7. FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT.  The intent of the NLPC is not to provide consensus advice to the Agency.  However, the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may apply to NLPC activities.  The FACA is implicated when an agency establishes, manages, or controls a group that includes one or more participants who are not Federal employees for the purpose of obtaining the group's consensus advice or recommendations on agency issues or policies.  Although FACA does not apply to groups consisting of elected Tribal leaders, the NLPC contains other non-Federal employees.  Therefore, the intergovernmental exemption to FACA may not apply.  Accordingly, any activities that qualify the NLPC as an advisory committee under the FACA will be required to comply with the procedures set out in the FACA.
  8. SUPERSESSION.  None.
  9. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This charter becomes effective on the date of signature.

    /Mary Smith/
    Mary Smith
    Principal Deputy Director
    Indian Health Service

    Distributed:  IHS-wide
    Date:  December 1, 2016
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