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National Combined Councils

National Combined Councils

The Indian Health Service (IHS) National Combined Councils (NCC) consists of ten councils, varying by discipline, that focus on the clinical and administrative health care needs of the agency:

  1. National Council for Chief Clinical Consultants (NCCC)
  2. National Council for Chief Executive Officers (NCCEO)
  3. National Council for Chief Medical Officers (NCCMO)
  4. National Council for Clinical Directors (NCCD)
  5. National Council for Executive Officers (NCEO)
  6. National Nurse Leadership Council (NNLC)
  7. National Oral Health Council (NOHC)
  8. National Pharmacy Council (NPC)
  9. National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH)
  10. National Laboratory Professionals Council (NLPC)


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The purpose of NCC is to serve as the voice of patient care field operations and teamwork facilitator within IHS. Each council provides consultation to the IHS Director and Chief Medical Officer on pressing issues that require action from IHS Senior Leadership.

NCC convenes for an annual in person meeting, with each council alternating as host. The annual meeting provides opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration. Participants are able to share information, discuss problems and solutions, and develop new networking relationships that promote the IHS mission and priorities. Throughout the remainder of the year, councils are responsible for scheduling council meetings, managing work plans and tracking accomplishments.

National Chief Clinical Consultants (NCCC)

The National Council of Chief Clinical Consultants (NCCC) is a permanent council of the Indian Health Service, composed of the Chief Clinical Consultants, who are appointed by the Director of the Indian Health Service. All Chief Clinical Consultants are full-time employees of a Native Corporation, Urban, Tribal or Indian Health Service program, are board certified, registered or certified as appropriate for their discipline/specialty, and have significant experience in the discipline/specialty within the Native American healthcare system.

Current Chair: Dr. Jean Howe

Learn more about our National Chief Clinical Consultants (NCCC).

National Council of Chief Executive Officers (NCCEO)

The National Council of Chief Executive Officers (NCCEO) is a council composed of local Chief Executive Officers, Tribal Health Program Directors, and Urban Indian Health Program Directors for all Hospitals and Clinics in the Indian Health System.

Current Chair: CAPT Laura Herbison

Learn more about the National Council of Chief Executive Officers (NCCEO).

National Council of Chief Medical Officers (NCCMO)

The National Council of Chief Medical Officers (NCCMO) is a council for the IHS Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the 12 Area CMOs, and the IHS Office of Clinical and Preventive Services Director. The role of the NCCMO is to support the mission of the Indian Health Service by developing management and clinical recommendations on IHS policies and strategic plans, particularly as they relate to Agency and Tribal health programs, clinical standards, and quality of care improvement. The NCCMO is responsible for providing clinical guidance, leadership and vision to Agency efforts in quality of care and quality improvement.

Current Chair: CAPT Stephen Rudd

National Council of Clinical Directors (NCCD)

The National Council of Clinical Directors (NCCD) is composed of all designated Clinical Directors at the IHS, Tribal and Urban Health Programs. The NCCD continually improves the health status of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people by responsibly and effectively participating in the development and implementation of the Indian Health Service health care policies. Clinical Directors are responsible for the clinical services administered at the various clinics and hospitals. They are involved in hiring and supervising clinical staff and making procurement decisions on clinical items while adhering to national clinical outcome goals and quality measures; as well as accreditation activities.

Current Chair(s): Dr. Sarah Hartnett and Dr. Juanita Johnson

National Council of Executive Officers (NCEO)

The purpose of the National Council of Executive Officers (NCEO) is to advise the Indian Health Service Director on all the administrative and management matters, including initiating and reviewing proposed (or existing) IHS policies, procedures, guidelines and instructions.

Current Chair: CAPT Ann Arnett

National Nurse Leadership Council (NNLC)

The National Nurse Leadership Council (NNLC) provides leadership for Indian Health through advocacy, accountability, communication and integrity. The purpose of the NNLC is to ensure that the Indian Health System Nursing Program representatives effectively participate in the establishment and implementation of Agency strategies to achieve the IHS mission.

Current Chair: Dayle Knutson

Learn more about the National Nurse Leadership Council (NNLC).

National Oral Health Council (NOHC)

The National Oral Health Council (NOHC) is composed of all dental staff in the Indian Health Service, Tribal and Urban programs. The NOHC advocates on behalf of American Indians/Alaskan Natives for improved oral health by advising and assisting IHS leadership concerning relevant health issues and policies while promoting integration of oral health into overall health.

Learn more about the National Oral Health Council (NOHC).

Current Chair: Dr. Tim Lozon

National Pharmacy Council (NPC)

The Mission of the Indian Health Service is to provide health care services and consultation that raise the level of health among the Indian People to the highest possible level. The National Pharmacy Council (NPC) is hereby promulgated in order to develop and maintain a pharmacy service that would meet this goal by facilitating teamwork within the Indian Health Service pharmacy program. The NPC provides advice and consultation to the Chief Pharmacist of the Indian Health Service, Tribal and Urban programs on issues and problems related to the business of developing a pharmacy program that will help meet the mission of the Indian Health Service. Committee members and chair-persons are chosen to represent a broad cross section of management and professional expertise as resources to the Indian Health Service as a system. As the NPC is expected to work with all issues related to the practice of pharmacy within the Indian Health Service, the committee will conduct strategic planning sessions to formulate the scope and depth of issues to be addressed and will carry these issues to completion as a work product.

Current Chair: CDR Robin Bartlett

Learn more about the National Pharmacy Council (NPC).

National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH)

The National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH), established in 2015, is composed of IHS behavioral health staff. The role of the NCBH is to advocate on behalf of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) for improved behavioral health care. This includes contributing to the development, support, and advocacy of behavioral health services for the Indian Health Service (I/T/Us) system including development of action plans, policies, and recommendations. The NCBH is responsible advising and assisting IHS leadership concerning relevant behavioral health issues and policies while promoting integration of behavioral health into overall health care.

Current Chair: Dr. Phil Rector
Term: June 2017-June 2019

2018 Annual Meeting

The National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) is pleased to host the 2018 National Combined Councils (NCC) meeting.

NCC Reimagined

The 2018 NCC meeting will focus on the priorities of the Indian Health Service: people, partnerships, quality, and resources. The NCBH proposes to restructure the annual meeting to better incorporate culturally tailored facilitated discussions, cross collaboration, and strategic action planning. The intent with this proposed program structure is to ensure that priorities are addressed with a multi-disciplinary approach.

NCBH created a storyboard video as an interactive way to introduce the proposed concept and restructure for the annual NCC meeting. NCBH would like to use this video as a tool to gain feedback from other councils and meeting participants. View the storyboard video for NCC Reimagined.

View our one page flyer [PDF - 68 KB] which includes additional information on NCC Reimagined.

Have questions about NCC? Contact the NCC help desk.