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National Committee on Heroin, Opioids, and Pain Efforts (HOPE)

Public Health Service
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Refer to: OCPS


Effective Date:  07/06/17


  1. PURPOSE.  This circular will establish the charter for the Indian Health Service (IHS) National Committee on Heroin, Opioids, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) who will work to promote appropriate and effective pain management, reduce overdose deaths from heroin and prescription opioid misuse, and improve access to culturally appropriate treatment.
  2. STRUCTURE.  The HOPE Committee is a permanent committee of the IHS National Combined Councils (NCC).
  3. MEMBERSHIP.  The HOPE Committee is comprised of IHS subject matter experts in the field of pain management and the treatment and prevention of opioid use disorders and heroin use, including but not limited to NCC members of the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), Pharmacy, Behavioral Health, Chief Executive Officers, Oral Health, Chief Clinical Consultants, Nursing, and Clinical Directors.
  4. EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE.  The Executive Leadership Committee of the HOPE Committee is comprised of the HOPE Committee Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services (OCPS) Director, OCPS Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) Director, National Pharmacy Consultant, National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Consultant, and HOPE Committee workgroup leads.
  5. NOMINATIONS.  The IHS OCPS Director, Director of DBH, Chair of the National Council of CMOs, and Chair of the National Pharmacy Council will develop a list of nominees for the HOPE Committee Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary based on their qualifications, past experience, and leadership ability. The nominations will be forwarded to the IHS Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
  6. APPOINTMENTS.  The IHS CMO will appoint the HOPE Committee Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary. Each position will serve for two years and may be reappointed for additional terms at the discretion of the IHS CMO.
  7. VACANCIES.  If an Executive Leadership Committee Officer position is vacated during the year, the highest ranking Executive Leadership Committee member will call for nominations and vote for another person to fill the vacant office throughout the remainder of the unexpired term.  It is the responsibility of the highest ranking Executive Leadership Committee member, or his or her designee, to call for nominations and oversee a vote for replacement within thirty days of a vacated position.
  8. ROLES.
    1. Chief Medical Officer, IHS.  The IHS CMO provides overall direction and sets priorities for the HOPE Committee.
    2. Director, OCPS.  The Director, OCPS, provides Agency clearance for all HOPE Committee work plans, activities, and related items.
    3. Director, DBH.  The Director, DBH, provides financial support for in-person meetings, manages logistical staff support, and serves as liaison between the OCPS Director and IHS CMO.  The Director, DBH, or his/her designee, serves as the Headquarters Advisor to the HOPE Committee.
    4. Chair.  The Chair will be a member of the National Council of CMOs or the National Pharmacy Council and will lead and direct activities of the HOPE Committee by developing an annual work plan and strategic directions for long-term aims as set forth by the IHS CMO.
    5. Vice Chair.  The Vice Chair will be a member of a National Council of CMOs or the National Pharmacy Council, but will not be from the same council as the current HOPE Committee Chair, and will fulfill the Chair's responsibilities in the absence of the Chair at meetings, serve as the Chair's proxy, and work in partnership with the Chair to ensure all business is conducted and work activities are accomplished.
    6. Secretary.  The Secretary will develop and maintain records for the committee including agendas and minutes, schedule meetings, manage general correspondence and act as liaison to other IHS committees and groups.
  9. RESIGNATIONS.  Members may request to resign through the HOPE Committee Chairs in writing. The HOPE Committee Chairs may recommend replacement of any member with three consecutive unexcused absences.
  10. VOTES.
    1. Quorum.  A quorum is a simple majority of the Executive Leadership Committee.
    2. Vote on Motions.  A simple majority of votes will determine the acceptance or rejection of a given motion. In the event of a tie vote, the HOPE Committee Chair will cast a vote for the motion to proceed or not proceed.
    1. Chartered National IHS Professional Councils.  The HOPE Committee Chair and Vice Chair will coordinate and communicate with national executive committees of other National IHS Professional Councils on program issues, action items, or policies of mutual concern.
    2. Established IHS, Tribal, or Urban Indian Health Program Entities and Groups.  The HOPE Committee may be asked to participate with other councils; Tribal and Urban Indian Health boards; Headquarters Offices; or workgroups as directed by the Director, IHS or as needed to fulfill Committee obligations.
    1. Director, DBH.  It is the responsibility of the Director, DBH, to:
      1. Ensure the Executive Committee has appropriate access to the IHS Director, the IHS CMO, the Director of OCPS, and other key management staff.
      2. Keep the HOPE Committee informed of decisions or concerns made by IHS Leadership including the IHS Director, the IHS CMO, the Director of OCPS and/or national priorities from other federal agencies, departments, or offices related to HOPE Committee activities.
      3. Provide coordination among HOPE Committee members regarding HOPE Committee related activities and other federal, tribal, and urban Indian key stakeholders.
      4. Ensure a budget is set aside for travel of HOPE Committee Executive Leadership Committee members.
      5. Assign logistical support staff to prepare meeting minutes, agendas, schedule conference call lines, virtual meetings, and other support items for the HOPE Committee Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
    2. Chair.  It is the Chair's responsibility to:
      1. Preside over all meetings and conference calls.
      2. Establish and activate ad-hoc committees to research, take action, and report on specific HOPE Committee concerns.
      3. Establish and activate ad-hoc subgroups to research, take action, and report on specific HOPE Committee concerns.
      4. Coordinate tasks and reports among workgroups.
      5. Develop and present position statements and recommendations to IHS senior leadership for approval.
      6. Represent the position(s) of the HOPE Committee at IHS Leadership meetings or other meetings, as required.
      7. Coordinate tasks and reports among members of the HOPE Committee.
    3. Vice Chair.  It is the Vice Chair's responsibility to:
      1. Establish overall long and short term goals, objectives, and priorities for meeting the needs of the American Indian/Alaska Native communities in collaboration with the Executive Leadership Committee members.
      2. Assume the duties of the Chair in the event of his or her absence.
      3. Serve in any capacity as requested by the Chair.
    4. Secretary.  It is the Secretary's responsibility to:
      1. Assume the duties of the Chair in the event of his or her absence and the absence of the Vice Chair.
      2. Coordinate the preparation of monthly meeting agendas.
      3. Record, maintain, and distribute meeting minutes to the Executive Committee and charter members.
      4. Serve as requested by the Chair, Vice Chair, or the Executive Leadership Committee.
    5. Workgroup Leads.  The HOPE Committee Executive Leadership will designate workgroups and primary leads to provide direction to individual meetings outside of the HOPE Committee to accomplish the annual work plan, and set strategic directions to accomplish the goals and objectives as outlined in the HOPE Committee annual work plan.
    6. Members.  It is the member's responsibility to:
      1. Attend and participate in regular committee and NCC meetings.
      2. Participate in setting the IHS' strategic action agenda.
      3. Promote common understanding and implementation of the current Agency priorities, initiatives, and direction at an Area and local level.
      4. Recommend policy proposals for consideration by the Chair, HOPE Committee.
      5. Contribute to the development of agendas for general, annual, and special meetings of the HOPE Committee.
      6. Advocate and act on specific concerns of its membership in a professional and appropriate manner.
      7. Support and promote the President's, Department's, and IHS initiatives.
    1. Scheduled Meetings.  Depending on the availability of funds, it is anticipated that the HOPE Committee will convene at least one face-to-face meeting each year.  Other meetings, by means of teleconference or virtual formats will be convened as necessary.
    2. Ad-hoc Meetings.  Other ad-hoc meetings may be held for specific purposes as needed and as resources allow.
    3. Listening Sessions.  The committee may seek advice from members of the public on an individual basis during listening sessions.  Listening sessions will be held on an as-needed basis.

    This IHS Circular is effective upon the date of signature.

/Michael D. Weahkee/
RADM Michael D. Weahkee, MBA, MHSA
Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Acting Director
Indian Health Service

Distribution:  IHS-wide
Date:  July 6, 2017