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Indian Country COVID-19 Update - Tribal Leader Q&A

April 2 , 2020


Dear Tribal Leaders, Public Health Officials, and Indian Country Professionals,


Good afternoon - I hope you and your families are all well and in good health. I know you are all working tirelessly to protect your communities from any encroachment of the pandemic. But, I hope the point has been made that we all need to take opportunities to care for ourselves and our loved ones in concert with our commitment to Indian Country. Your leadership is indispensable and maintaining a healthy body and happy heart greatly influences our endurance and capacity to serve the people for whom we work. 


On Thursday, April 2, 2020, the White House will host a COVID-19 update call with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Indian Health Services providing their regular and pertinent updates - registration information is below. I have also attached to this email a list of nation-wide regional points of contact from the Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I hope the addition of USDA and FEMA proves useful to your efforts, though I understand many of you are already in contact with your local representatives. Also, please be advised that on March 26 the Federal Emergency Management Agency updated their COVID-19 guidance for tribal governments at the following link:




Briefing Call Registration
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 PM (EST) (please note time zone)
RegistrationRSVP HERE
Note: You must RSVP to join the call. Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation email with dial-in instructions. 


As always, we appreciate your leadership and your support to keep us informed so that we may better assist your preparation and response at this critical time.




Tyler Fish

Senior Policy Advisor & Tribal Liaison

White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs






Moderator - HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

  • Laura Rigas, Principal Deputy Director



White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

  • Tyler Fish, Senior Policy Advisor & Tribal Liaison

  • Doug Hoelscher, Director

Department of the Interior

  • Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs

    HHS Indian Health Service

  • RADM Michael Weahkee, Principal Deputy Director


    Programmatic Updates

    HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Kitty Marx, Division of Tribal Affairs 

    HHS Health Resources and Services Administration

  • Nisha Patel, Associate Director/Senior Advisor, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

    HHS Substance Abuse and Mental  Health Services Administration

  • Dr. Alec Thundercloud, Director, Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy

HHS Indian Health Service

  • Dr. Michael Toedt, Chief Medical Officer


    This Week’s Presentation

    White House Office of American Innovation

  • Chris Pilkerton, Executive Director of the Opportunity Now Program

    U.S. Department of Labor

  • Michael Downing, Acting Director, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs



Event Sponsor: IHS



Contact Info

Jennifer Reeder
IHS Public Affairs