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Indian Health Advisory Committee

Public Health Service
Health Services Administration
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20852


Effective Date:  February 11, 1975


  1. BACKGROUND.  Public Law 568 of the 83rd Congress transferred the responsibility for conduct of the Indian Health Program from the Department of the Interior to the Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.  This Act permitted the establishment of an advisory committee on Indian health by administrative action.  The committee was established by the Surgeon General on July 28, 1955, was reestablished under Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, 42 USC 217a, and terminates June 30,1976, unless formally determined that its continuance is in the public interest.  The Committee is governed by provisions of P.L. 92-463 which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

  2. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE.  The Committee is composed of the Secretary, DHEW, or his designee, as Chairman and nine members selected by the Secretary, DHEW from a list of recommendations made by the Director, Indian Health Service.  Three of the members selected shall be leading authorities in medical and related health sciences and six members shall be individuals representing the American Indian population of geographic areas served by the Indian Health program.  The Secretary, DHEW has delegated to the Director, Indian Health Service authority to Chair the Indian Health Advisory Committee (June 28, 1974).

    Members shall be invited to serve for overlapping 4-year terms; terms of more than two years are contingent upon the renewal of the Committee by appropriate action prior to its termination.

    The Secretary, DHEW, or his designee, shall be responsible for providing necessary and adequate staff and other support services for the Committee, including the designation of a full time Department employee to serve as Executive Secretary, having responsibilities set forth in DHEW Manual, General Administration, Chapter 9-20-40.  Management and staff services shall be provided by the Director, Office of Tribal Affairs, Indian Health Service, who shall serve as Executive Secretary in accordance with the Charter approved June 28, 1974, by the Secretary, DHEW.

  3. COMMITTEE FUNCTIONS.  The Committee advises the Secretary; the Assistant Secretary for Health; the Administrator, Health Services Administration; and the Director, Indian Health Service, on health and other related matters that have a bearing on the conduct of the Indian health program, as well as current and proposed regulations and policies.

  4. REGULAR MEETINGS.  Regular meetings are held twice a year at the call of the Chairman. Meetings are usually two days in length.

    1. Responsibilities of the Director, Indian Health Service:

      Ensures that the policies and procedures governing the establishment, use, operation, management and termination of the Committee are met in accordance with DHEW Manual, General Administration, Part 9, Committee Management.

    2. Responsibilities of the Executive Secretary:
      1. Calling or giving advance approval to call; and formulating or retaining final approval over the agenda for each public advisory committee meeting.
      2. Attending each public advisory committee meeting or ensuring the presence of a full-time Departmental employee, and if the chairman is a public member, retaining for himself or such other full-time Departmental employee in attendance authority to adjourn any meeting when adjournment is in the public interest.
      3. Preparing a notice of each meeting for submission to the Federal Register.
      4. Ensuring that detailed minutes are kept of each meeting.
      5. Keeping and maintaining all committee records required by law, Presidential and Office of Management and Budget directives, and Department policy and regulations.
      6. Assuring necessary staff support, including provision for orientation of new members, development of a file of resumes of individuals well-qualified for future committee vacancies, and preparation of materials for consideration by the committee.
      7. Initiating requests for approval of proposed committee members.
      8. Coordinating the preparation of committee reports.
      9. Performing such other duties as may be assigned by the head of the appropriate office (Office of the Secretary) or operating agency head, or their designees, or such other duties that may be required of the Executive Secretary under DHEW Manual, General Administration, Part 9.

  6. SUPERSESSION.  Supersedes IHS Circular 64-5 dated April 17, 1964.

/Emery A. Johnson, M.D./
Emery A. Johnson, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director, Indian Health Service

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