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National Council of Chief Clinical Consultants Charter

Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20852

Refer to: OD


Effective Date:  12/08/2005


  1. PURPOSE.  The purpose of the National Council of Chief Clinical Consultants (NC4) is to improve American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health and wellness by providing experienced, expert discipline and specialty medical support and consultation to the Director, Indian Health Service (IHS), Tribes, Urban Indian health care programs, and others involved in AI/AN health care.  The NC4 will work to address and improve access to the health resources through the influence of Government and public and professional organizations.

  2. MEMBERSHIP.  The NC4 is a council of the IHS appointed by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), IHS and composed of Chief Clinical Consultants from a wide variety of disciplines and clinical specialties.  The Consultants may include those medical specialties and disciplines with a large number of practitioners in IHS/Tribal/Urban Indian Health Programs or representing a significant practice area where expert consultation is needed at the local, regional, or national level.  Generally, disciplines or specialties with an office or staff at IHS Headquarters will not have a representative on the NC4.
    1. New Appointments. New appointments shall be for a term of 3 years at the discretion of the CMO, IHS.
      1. The incumbent Chief Clinical Consultant, in consultation with his/her appropriatediscipline or specialty group, will recommend individuals for consideration to the CMO, IHS, via the Chairperson, NC4, whenever vacancies are anticipated or occur.
      2. Whenever possible, a planned transition for the individual Chief Clinical Consultant should be undertaken as soon as a vacancy is anticipated.
      3. Each Chief Clinical Consultant may organize his/her discipline or specialty by appointing committees and/or designating a deputy in order to accomplish its work in a timely and effective manner.  The deputy will function as a representative for that discipline/specialty in the absence of the Chief Clinical Consultant and, as such, will be expected to meet the same appointment qualifications as the Chief Clinical Consultant.
    2. Requirements.  All individuals considered for appointment as a Chief Clinical Consultant shall be:
      1. employees of the IHS, Tribal, or Urban Indian health care programs; and
      2. board certified, registered, and licensed as appropriate for their discipline/specialty and have significant experience in their discipline/specialty in the Indian health care system.

    1. Chairperson.  The Chairperson of the NC4 will:
      1. serve a 2-year term,
      2. initiate the Chief Clinical Consultant appointment process by submitting to the CMO, IHS, the names of the recommended individuals for consideration when vacancies are anticipated or occur, and
      3. evaluate the composition of the NC4 annually making recommendations to the CMO, IHS, to add or delete Chief Clinical Consultant specialties or disciplines as program demands change.
    2. Vice-Chairperson.  The Vice-Chairperson shall be elected at the annual Combined Councils meeting. He/she becomes the Chairperson at the conclusion of the Combined Councils annual winter meeting held at the completion of the Chairperson's 2-year term.  The Vice-Chairperson may serve as Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson as needs require.
    3. Recording Secretary.  A staff person may be designated to record minutes of the annual meeting if the NC4 has not appointed one of its members to serve in that role.

  4. MEETINGS AND SUPPORT.  The NC4 shall meet annually at the Combined Councils winter meeting.  Non-recurring funding is provided to each of the Chief Clinical Consultants via the Director, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services (OCPS), IHS.

    1. Activity and Budget Reports/Requests.  Each Chief Clinical Consultant will submit a written annual activity report accompanied by a formal budget request to the Director, OCPS, by October 31 each year.
    2. Discipline/Specialty-Specific Recommendations.  The NC4 and members of the NC4 will respond to requests for discipline/specialty-specific recommendations from the CMO and the Director, IHS, in a timely and complete manner.
    3. Records.  The NC4 will maintain records and historical information relating to the NC4 and the Chief Clinical Consultants according to established IHS records management procedures.

  6. SUPERSEDURE.  None.

  7. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This circular is effective on the date of signature.

/Charles W. Grim, D.D.S./
Charles W. Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director, Indian Health Service

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