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Area Services

Office of The Area Director

Provides leadership, guidance, and support for federal functions, including, but not limited to I/T/U advocacy and management of health services including environment health delivery systems. Plans, develops and directs the Area Program within the framework of IHS policy in pursuit of IHS mission. Implement national policy and program requirements by interpreting policy in light of unique Tribal situations in the Area. Provide continued support and leadership through ad hoc or standing committee assigned in the implementation and/or promotion of business management strategic initiatives, project and standards of the Agency. Ensure the effective development and monitoring of administrative systems that will embrace regulatory controls and/or policy compliance, including the implementation of internal management controls to maintain the integrity of the Area programs. Conduct Tribal consultation activities with Tribal Leaders on current and emergent policy issues that will impact Indian communities and health delivery systems. Provide oversight and guidance to Contract Cost Support, Tribal Management Grant, Urban programs; and Affordable Care Act outreach activities. Supervise all Bemidji Area Federal employees' in compliance with EEO.

Division of Commissioned Personnel Support, Northern Plains Region (DCPS-NP)

Serve as point of contact regarding the PHS Commissioned Corps Personnel system in providing Commissioned Corps human resources and advisory services to Officers, supervisors, management, Headquarters, Tribal organizations, and other non-agency entities in the Northern Plains Region (Aberdeen, Bemidji, and Billings Areas), and other IHS Regions as needed.

Division of Contracting

Provide acquisition management oversight, acquisition planning, implementation of inherent governmental functions including: federal commercial Sanitation Facilities and Facilities Construction, P.L 93-638 Title I Construction, P.L 93-638 Title I Health Care, Title V Urban Health and Urban Alcohol contracts, simplified acquisition, personal and non-personal services (PSC) contracts, and large contracts, as well as the HHS/IHS Government-wide Purchase Card Program. Other services include: Pre-proposal planning, Negotiations, Approval & Contract Award, Declination, Post Award, Audit Resolution, Evaluation & Partnership, and TA.

Area Finance Budget Office

Provide support to the Area, Service Units, Tribes and Urban programs on financial management including program policy interpretation in budget formulation and execution, preparation of program planning and budgeting data and financial management of Tribal and urban grants and contracts. This includes supervision of the Business Office Coordinator and Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) Officer functions.

Purchased/Referred Care (PRC)

The Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) Service Officer is responsible to provide coordination, consultation, and technical assistance on Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) in support of the Indian Health Service and Tribal programs. This includes interpretation of CHS regulations, program functions, allocation methods, Area/local policy formulation, responding to inter-governmental inquiries on PRC concerns, addressing Purchased/Referred Care delivery area (PRCDA) and beneficiary access issues, PRC staff orientation, providing data collection/quality assurance, and responsibility for the CHEF, Unmet Need Services, PRC Appeals/Denials, act as PRC Liaison and overall PRC management.

Health Professions Recruitment P.L. 94 437 Scholarship

Area recruitment program provides assistance to federal service units, Tribal and Urban programs in the recruitment of physicians, dentists, other clinical provider staff (i.e. nurse practitioner/physician assistant, podiatry), and allied health staff (i.e. pharmacists). Provide TA on the IHS Loan Repayment Program, Title 38, and credentialing and privileging of licenses health professionals. Coordinate of Area IHS scholarship program.

Management Information Systems

The Management Information System (MIS) section provides consulting, planning, implementation, management and support for Resource Patient Management System (RPMS), Electronic Health Record (EHR), VistA Imaging, Health Information Management (HIM), Indian Health Service Wide Area Network (WAN) connection and security management, telecommunication (voice and data) for Federal, Tribal, and Urban sites in the Bemidji Area. Major functions provided for Federal, Tribal, and Urban sites include hardware, operating system, security, and application management. RPMS EHR software updates, verification, installation and support, various training (HIM, IT, EHR, RPMS, other RPMS EHR package), telecommunications network management along with maintaining connection agreements with Tribal and Urban sites, creating and implementing policy and procedures for Information Technology (IT) and Health Information Management (HIM). Specific details of MIS primary responsibilities and consultant services will be provided upon request.

Networking and Telecommunication

The primary function of networking and telecommunication is to provide service to I/T/U facilities to maintain connection to the IHS network. The individuals work with OIT and NOSC to establish new and upgrade connections for I/T/U facilities. In additional, Jesse Martell works with facilities who participate in USAC funding.

Statistical Health Planning

Health Statistics includes managing an Area-wide statistical information system through the collection, processing, analysis, and presentation of AI/AN mortality, natality, morbidity, and population & demographic data for the Bemidji Area. Other activities include coordination and analysis of data and preparation of reports on user population for the Area (PRCDA) request, development of annual Area reports on health status, and epidemiologic data analysis. Planning & Evaluation; forecasting future program requirements utilizing the IHS resource allocation methodology distribution techniques, and assisting Tribes in planning and evaluating health care delivery systems. Collaborate with Bemidji Area Tribes and service units in development and evaluation of master planning and feasibility studies.

Clinical Application Coordinator

The incumbent serves as a specialist/integrator in the implementation and ongoing support of multiservice clinical software applications used for the electronic health record. The position supports the daily interface between clinicians/medical staff and the electronic health record. The duties involve serving as the coordinator for deploying new portions of the electronic health record in specified clinical locations, consulting with the Chief Information Officer, IT staff, and clinical departments in customizing software and altering workflow processes in the daily operation of the electronic health record. Incumbent also works with other application coordinators with responsibility for a broad range of activities surrounding the implementation of a comprehensive, standardized integrated health care information system.

Incumbent implements and assists with processes with the Electronic Health Record and will serve as the primary trainer of clinical staff for Indian Health/Tribal/Urban (I/T/U) for the Bemidji Area for the entire range of application packages including Health Summary, Progress notes, etc.

Serves as the expert principle resource person to clinical service program managers and other management officials in resolving problems which may be confined to a single service or may extend across organizational service lines, involving the initiation, development and analysis of data, and preparation of recommendations resulting from special studies concerning problems of staffing, equipment, budget, cost containment, space, work simplification, report requirements, productivity, management information systems, etc.

Coordinates with National and Area IHS Programs to facilitate RPMS and RPMS EHR Trainings are scheduled based on customer needs.

Health Information Management

The functions of the HIM are to assist with policies and procedures for the maintenance of health records (both electronic and paper). The primary functions are to manage and provides assistance to Bemidji Area programs in the upcoming VistA Imaging, IDC-10 implementation, code set versioning, EHR archiving and storage policy, HIPAA and personal health record security.

VistA Imaging

The primary function is to service as the technical expert to support all Bemidji Area I/T/U facilities in the support, training and maintenance of VistA Imaging software and hardware. VistA Imaging is a highly specialized, FDA certified system that is used almost exclusively with in the VA and IHS. This includes Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), support of interfaces, diagnostic/clinical workstation requirements, and VistA Imaging software. Services provided are system maintenance, optimize performance and functionality, diagnose problems and provide customer assistance for technical issues, anticipant problems and initiate preventive or corrective actions. The VistA Imaging program is provided on a full cost recovery basis for all programs who wish to purchase the storage and staffing for EHR archiving.

RPMS/Help Desk

The primary function is to provide technical support to all Bemidji Area I/T/U facilities, included in the support is planning, implementing, and managing patches for RPMS application. In addition the individual serves as the expert in Server management and is the point of contact to provide recommendation and assistance with new server implementation and provide service to existing servers. The individual works closely with other IT staff to ensure that technology planning and implementation do not interfere with patient care.

Information Systems Security

The primary function is to ensure security continues to be priority for all I/T/U facilities, including ensuring sites are completing MOU, ISA, VistA, and ePrescribing agreements so IT product and service are delivered to I/T/U facilities. The security officer works closely with OIT to remain in compliance with all rules and regulations and is the point of contact for any questions or assistance from I/T/U facilities in providing recommendation and assist.

Office of Clinical Support

The Chief Medical Officer/ Deputy Director of Clinical and Health Services (CMO) provide executive direction, leadership, policy formation, advocacy, and program management regarding the delivery of health services. Also, serves as the principle advisor to the Area Director (AD) on medical, public health and professional matters. Responsible for coordination of Bemidji Area Commissioned Corp Officers emergency response and mobilization, as well as their deployments for PHS Office of Force Readiness and Deployment activations.

Behavioral Health

The Behavioral Health Consultant is responsible for facilitating the integration of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Preventive services at all levels of the Bemidji Area Indian Health Tribal/Urban (ITU) health care system while serving as advisor to the Area Director and Chief Medical Officer on behavioral health issues regarding American Indians/Alaska Natives. The BH Consultant also manages the Area Adolescent Treatment program as authorized under P.L.99-570.

Diabetes Consultant

The Area Diabetes Program has responsibility to develop, implement and evaluate appropriate diabetes prevention and treatment programs. These functions include diabetes surveillance, quality improvement, provider education, technical assistance, and liaison services. The Area Diabetes consultant serves as Project Officer for all diabetes grants.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention

The Health Promotion Disease Prevention (HPDP) Area Consultant serves to help create healthier American Indian and Alaska Native communities specific to the Bemidji Area through a prevention focus. The primary function of the HP/DP Consultant is to develop and implement a strategic organization effort for preventing diabetes and other chronic diseases of lifestyle building area capacity for priority health promotion initiatives in collaboration with Area ITU programs.

Office of Environmental Health & Engineering

Provides leadership, program direction, and oversight including professional, technical and administrative support for the Divisions within the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEH&E). Divisions include Facilities Management (DFM), Environmental Health Services (DEHS) and Sanitation Facilities Construction (DSFC).

Division of Facilities Management

DFM Coordinates funding for Maintenance and Improvement (M&I) projects for the Bemidji Area Tribes. Funding is distributed by Headquarters, in bulk, to Areas by formula. Funding for program management is accomplished through Facilities Support Account. M&I resources are limited to funding for maintenance and repair of health facilities (real property). M&I funds are distributed to field sites based on an allocation methodology (University of Oklahoma formula). A fixed percentage of the M&I funds amount are included in the Area Pool and distributed competitively by project. M&I earmarks are determined according the annual Facilities Engineering Plan (FEP) and distributed or applied accordingly. Funding for program management is accomplished through Facilities Support Account (FSA). FSA also funds maintenance activities at the Federal Service Units. FSA funds support of the national health care facilities planning and construction program (engineering services (ES) support and health care facilities construction). Congress individually funds new health care facility projects and provides funds for Joint Venture and Small Ambulatory Grants. FSA funds program management for those projects.

Medical Equipment Management Program

Management and support of health facilities which include the selection, acquisition, maintenance, and monitoring of patient care equipment's operation and functions. Services are delivered in accordance with the scope of services for the Medical Equipment Management Program. The funding methodology for the program scope of services derives from the tribally provided H&C Shares. Services are provided in two service levels:

Preventive Maintenance and Electrical Safety/Inspection Testing.

Repair, installation and other equipment related services. These may be provided in addition to basic preventive maintenance services. Costs to cover the additional work are largely associated with travel related to the services delivered beyond the preventive Maintenance program for equipment at the facility.

Also, funds to modernize or replace existing medical equipment or provide newer equipment in existing programs are provided in the Facilities Appropriation. These funds are allocated to Tribal and federal programs on a formula basis to supplement ongoing replacement of existing medical equipment.

Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction

Coordinates funding for P.L. 86-121 sanitation facilities construction projects for the Bemidji Area Tribes. Funding is distributed by Headquarters, in bulk, to Areas through national needs-based program formula processes. Funding for program management is accomplished through Environmental Health Support Account - SFC.

Areas allocate funds to Tribes through individual projects prioritized through two prioritization systems: IHS Area sanitation deficiency systems (SDS) and housing priority systems (HPS). These prioritization systems have considerations that include Tribal priority, health impacts, feasibility, and need. Projects provide essential sanitation facilities including: 1) individual and community water supplies and facilities, 2) wastewater treatment and wastewater disposal facilities together with necessary appurtenances and fixtures and 3) solid waste collection and disposal systems for Indian homes, communities, and lands. Projects are executed in accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which includes a mutually agreed upon project scope of work and methodology for funding. Funding for a constructed project can occur through provisions of the MOA, direct federal procurement, or in accordance with P.L. 93-638 Subpart J or N. IHS Construction project funds are provided as Regular funds through SDS or Housing Funds through HPS. IHS funds also include special and emergency funds. Through P.L. 86-121, funds may be included from other sources such as tribal, USEPA, HUD, USDA, etc.

The DSFC Program is funded through the Environmental Health Support Account (EHSA). The program includes engineering and project management support for water, wastewater and solid waste projects in the Bemidji Area and serves to allocate resources fairly among all the Tribes in the Bemidji Area. The Area DSFC program maintains Sanitation Deficiency system inventories (SDS) for existing Indian homes in accordance with the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. This includes confirmation of Tribal data and determination of O&M scoring levels to ensure project eligibility and scoring criteria are consistently and fairly applied to all Tribes in the Area, and advocating to Agency on regional issues impacting SDS.

Tribal Utility Consultants Program

The Bemidji Area DSFC includes a Tribal Utility Consultant program that consists of the program manager at the Area level and three consultants, one in each state of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. These individuals perform the USEPA required sanitary surveys for drinking water systems, develop the SDS O&M scoring levels, provides professional advice and they are available to offer expert troubleshooting when problems occur. The underlying intent of the TUC program is to optimize the constructed project and extend the working life cycle of valuable infrastructure to the greatest extent possible.

Division of Environmental Health Services

The Environmental Health Program is also funded through EHSA. The DEHS is dedicated, through shared decision-making, to enhancing the health and quality of life of Tribal communities to the highest possible level by eliminating environmentally related disease and injury. Using evidence-based strategies and best practices, the DEHS prioritizes and implements a comprehensive environmental health program for AI/AN families and communities and to IHS facilities. The purpose of these preventive services is to identify environmental risk factors and provide technical assistance in their correction/mitigation. The program provides services in three broad categories: 1) general environmental health, 2) institutional environmental health, and, 3) community injury prevention.