Indian Health Service (IHS) Director's Corner Bloghttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/directorsblog/IHS updates on important issues affecting the Indian Health Service.en-usIHS and NIDCR Partnership Results in Historic Oral Health Link between Maternal Access and ECChttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/july2017/ihs-and-nidcr-partnership-results-in-historic-oral-health-link-between-maternal-access-and-ecchttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/july2017/ihs-and-nidcr-partnership-results-in-historic-oral-health-link-between-maternal-access-and-eccThursday, July 13, 2017 ]]>Tooth decay is a major health problem for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children. When compared to other population groups in the United States, AI/AN preschool children have the highest level of tooth decay; more than 4 times higher than white non-Hispanic children, according to the 2014 IHS Oral Health Survey. The reasons why AI/AN children have more tooth decay are not known but it may be partially due to differences in host, bacterial, behavioral, sociodemographic, and environmental risk factors. If left untreated, tooth decay can have serious consequences.

Tooth decay occurring in children 0-5 years of age is referred to as early childhood caries (ECC). Due to their young age and an inability to cooperate for dental care, preschool children with ECC are often treated in a hospital-based operating room under general anesthesia; the cost of treatment can be enormous. Tooth decay, however, is largely preventable by a combination of community, professional, and individual measures including water fluoridation, dental sealants, use of fluoride toothpastes at home, professionally applied topical fluorides, proper infant feeding practices, a healthy diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and regular dental visits starting at 12 months of age.

Tooth decay in children, ages 0 to 5, is preventable by using fluoride toothpastes, using proper infant feeding, maintain a diet low in sugars and attending regular dental visits by 12 months of age.
Tooth decay in children, ages 0 to 5, is preventable by using fluoride toothpastes, using proper infant feeding, maintain a diet low in sugars and attending regular dental visits by 12 months of age.

In 2016, the Indian Health Service Division of Oral Health entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The intent of this agreement was to provide a field experience for residents from NIDCR’s Dental Public Health Residency Program. In February 2017, one resident, Dr. Alexander Kailembo, a native of Tanzania, worked with the IHS Division of Oral Health to evaluate the relationship between ECC prevalence and the proportion of AI/AN pregnant and nursing mothers accessing dental services in the IHS system in the past year.

Data was analyzed for 2013, 2014, and 2015 at the national, Area, and service unit levels. Based on this analysis, IHS was able to establish for the first time a definitive inverse relationship between maternal access to dental care (pregnant and nursing mothers) and development of ECC in 0-5 year-old AI/AN children. In other words, AI/AN children of pregnant and nursing mothers who access dental services are less likely to develop ECC than children whose mothers are not able to access dental services. This new link may have a significant impact on how the IHS in the future works to reduce ECC through targeting and prioritizing dental services for pregnant mothers and mothers of newborn children.

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Getting Tested for HIV is the Key for Early Awareness and Treatmenthttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/getting-tested-for-hiv-is-the-key-for-early-awareness-and-treatmenthttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/getting-tested-for-hiv-is-the-key-for-early-awareness-and-treatmentMonday, June 26, 2017 ]]>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov estimates that there were 3,700 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) living with HIV in 2011. Of these, an estimated 19% percent had not been diagnosed. That means in 2011 there were nearly 700 AI/AN people unaware of their status and not accessing life-extending care and treatment. Making things worse is that AI/AN persons diagnosed with AIDS have the shortest survival time of any race. This disparity may be due to late diagnosis, lack of access to care, adherence to treatment, or a combination of these factors. The good news is that an estimated 80 percent of AI/AN people living with HIV knew of their infection.

The CDC and IHS recommend that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once. People whose behavior puts them at risk for HIV should be tested at least once a year. HIV testing is the critical first step to obtaining care and treatment. HIV testing during a doctor visit can help with quick start-up of medications for HIV treatment if necessary. And knowing one has HIV is associated with reduced HIV risk behavior. For those whose HIV test result is negative, there are more prevention tools available today than ever before, including pre-exposure prophylaxis [PDF].

In the last few years, IHS facilities have raised our screening coverage from nearly just a third to one half of all of our patients. This represents over 70,000 patients being tested for the first time. However, screening among men 20-49 years old is lower than the general population. This is likely due to this group of men accessing primary care providers less often, and that HIV screening needs to be made routine in medical services beyond scheduled primary care visits.

IHS data indicates there were 2,273 new diagnoses of HIV in the years 2005-2014. Of all of the AI/AN people living with diagnosed HIV infection who are treated at IHS facilities, about 40 percent have achieved viral suppression, which is about the same as the world-wide viral suppression rate. Viral suppression means that HIV levels in the blood are so low that they are usually undetectable and that HIV is less likely to be transmitted to others. Let me tell you why early detection of HIV, early entry into treatment, and receiving sustained treatment is so important. There's an exciting - and I think achievable -worldwide goal that says if by the year 2020, we can get 90 percent of all people living with HIV to know their HIV status, and get 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and get 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to achieve viral suppression, we can end the AIDS epidemic by 2030!

Take control of your health by knowing your status. Please talk to your healthcare provider about an HIV test, or use the HIV.gov HIV Testing & Care Services Locator Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov to find an HIV test site near you.

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IHS and Boys & Girls Clubs Partner to Expand Services to Native Youthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/ihs-and-boys-girls-clubs-partner-to-expand-services-to-native-youthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/ihs-and-boys-girls-clubs-partner-to-expand-services-to-native-youthThursday, June 22, 2017 ]]>The Indian Health Service and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Native Services Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to enrich the lives of Native youth.

The agreement supports programs that discourage risky behaviors while encouraging healthy lifestyles. The goal of the collaboration is to use the strengths and expertise of IHS and BGCA to improve and enhance the well-being of Native youth across the nation.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Jim Clark; IHS Division of Behavioral Health Director Beverly Cotton, DNP, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; and Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Director of Native Services Carla Knapp, a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, during a signing ceremony for an agreement between their organizations in Dallas, Texas, May 12, 2017.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Jim Clark; IHS Division of Behavioral Health Director Beverly Cotton, DNP, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; and Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Director of Native Services Carla Knapp, a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, during a signing ceremony for an agreement between their organizations in Dallas, Texas, May 12, 2017.

Currently, Boys & Girls Clubs of America oversees 171 Native Clubs serving nearly 90,000 youth representing more than 100 tribes in 26 states. The IHS Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) program has awarded nine BGCA clubs approximately $1.24 million for 11 projects. The MSPI Gen-I program aims to promote positive American Indian and Alaska Native youth development and family engagement through the implementation of early intervention strategies to reduce risk factors for suicidal behavior and substance abuse.

During the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 111th national conference, held recently in Dallas, MSPI Gen-I grant recipients shared firsthand stories of how they have been able to utilize the funding to implement programming through their clubs for their community. One club shared how they hired a behavioral health paraprofessional to implement the program, allowing the Boys & Girls Club of their community to develop a tribal community crisis response plan.

Under the agreement, the BGCA Native Services will provide customized training and materials that focus on Native youth including the Meth SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) curriculum which helps to educate Native youth on the dangers of methamphetamine use and introduces alternative activities while utilizing culturally tailored approaches.

Carla Knapp, BGCA national director of native services, shares that “through our partnership we will be able to serve more youth and expand our healthy lifestyles programming to ensure Native youth remain strong and resilient for generations to come.”

The vision of the Native Services of Boys & Girls Clubs of America is “for all American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities that seek to embrace Boys & Girls Clubs to be provided the opportunity to work in partnership with the BGCA movement in achieving ambitious vision of great futures for all young people, while sustaining and respecting each community’s unique cultural values, traditions and ways.”

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IHS Explores Behavioral Health Aide Program Success in Anchoragehttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/ihs-explores-behavioral-health-aide-program-success-in-anchoragehttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/ihs-explores-behavioral-health-aide-program-success-in-anchorageWednesday, June 21, 2017 ]]>During May, I had the distinct privilege of traveling to Anchorage, Alaska to visit with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to meet with their Behavioral Health Aide (BHA) Program in preparation for the expansion of the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) in the lower 48. Accompanying me was public health student, Eric Jepeal from Dartmouth College who developed a comprehensive evaluation proposal for the BHA program.

During the trip, I had the opportunity to hear firsthand how the Behavioral Health Aide program has transformed mental health service delivery for Alaska Natives. We met with the ANTHC Behavioral Health Aide staff led by Laura Baez and Xiomara Owens. ANTHC shared how they integrate training and advancement in the field of behavioral health to strengthen their workforce along with the history of how the BHA program came about. Using programs like the Rural Human Services Program and the development of distance delivered training, they have developed a training program that will continue to address the behavioral health needs of Alaska Natives.

(From L to R) Eric Jepeal, Public Health Intern, Laura Baez Area Behavioral Health Director, Alicia Ambrosio, Special Projects Coordinator, Xiomara Owens, Program Manager, Sheri Patraw, Program Associate, and Minette Wilson, Public Health Advisor.
(From L to R) Eric Jepeal, Public Health Intern, Laura Baez Area Behavioral Health Director, Alicia Ambrosio, Special Projects Coordinator, Xiomara Owens, Program Manager, Sheri Patraw, Program Associate, and Minette Wilson, Public Health Advisor.

Meeting with the Community Health Services Division, we learned about how they integrate wellness and community health initiatives into their behavioral health workforce through programs like the Elder Care Outreach Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI), and the Rural Aftercare Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov; which provides continual care to rural Alaskans that have had suicidality in their past. The integration of ANTHC's Community Health Services programs proved to be valuable to the behavioral health aide model. We heard countless stories about the value of having members of the community as BHAs and the challenges that come with a BHA that may be working almost 24/7, as they are seen as a source of strength within their community.

We conducted roundtable discussions with tribal behavioral health directors and clinical supervisors to learn about barriers to care, succession planning, work-life balance amongst behavioral health aides, additional workforce challenges, and innovation in service delivery. Through these roundtables, we learned how they preserve institutional knowledge, how common it is to have generations of aides within a family, and how they encourage self-care amongst their behavioral health aides. The self-care concept was echoed with the BHA program staff with events such as "Healing of the Healers" and the Behavioral Health Aide Forum, which aims to foster a sense of community amongst behavioral health aides who are spread across the state. The behavioral health aides are entrenched in serving their community often times with little support in the remote villages.

(From L to R) Pansy Alakayak, Behavioral Health Aide Practitioner, Minette Wilson, Public Health Advisor, and Alicia Ambrosio, Special Projects Coordinator in front of Lake Aleknagik in Dillingham, AK.
(From L to R) Pansy Alakayak, Behavioral Health Aide Practitioner, Minette Wilson, Public Health Advisor, and Alicia Ambrosio, Special Projects Coordinator in front of Lake Aleknagik in Dillingham, AK.

Halfway through my trip, I had the opportunity to fly to Dillingham, Alaska where had the chance to meet with practicing behavioral health aides, clinical supervisors, and leadership at the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation. These aides worked in their field for several years, working their way up through the levels of a BHA. These aides explained how they integrate their traditional practices into service delivery like attending fish camps, berry picking and cultural camps. The aides shared their advice to future BHA's and their hope for the future of BHA's including wanting to see more young men join the field to serve their community.

One BHA in particular, Pansy, who is based out of Manokotak shared her journey to becoming a Behavioral Health Aide Practitioner (BHAP), which is the highest level of the program. She shared her passion for the work and balancing the clinical requirements and processes of the position. When asked to share advice to future BHA's, Pansy echoed that they should all "walk the talk."

I had the pleasure of visiting Aleknagik with both Pansy and Alicia Ambrosio to revel in the beauty of Alaska's scenic landscape. Pansy was candid in her experiences and we had the chance to bond which eventually led to her giving me a traditional Yupik name, Piikamken (pronounced bee-gum-ken), which means "You are mine." Getting the opportunity to talk to the women and men who change the lives of their communities was truly rewarding and the advice they provided was invaluable as we began developing a plan for our very own behavioral health aide program.

We rounded out the trip with a visit to the CHAP where they provided advice on developing a robust but responsive program in the lower 48. I also met with the Alaska's Department of Behavioral Health where they broke down how legislative changes impacts their ability to bill for their services and how partnerships with the state has proven to be vital to expanding their training and certification efforts.

The trip to Alaska proved to be enriching and will surely be an integral part to the development of a national CHAP in the lower 48.

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Quality and Colleagues in Indian Healthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/quality-and-colleagues-in-indian-healthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/quality-and-colleagues-in-indian-healthFriday, June 16, 2017 ]]>Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Swallow (Oglala Lakota), originally from Porcupine, SD, has worked for IHS for 11 years. Lt. Cmdr. Swallow currently serves as the Quality Management Director for the Whiteriver Service Unit in Arizona, and attended Creighton University to become a physical therapist.

Lt. Cmdr. Swallow supervises 11 programs and enthusiastically gives credit to her staff for all successes accomplished through team effort. Among her passions are a drive to improve function and cut waste in health care. Recently, her work to create an internal auditing process enabled Whiteriver to recoup a quarterly average of 2.5 million dollars on previously missed third party billing claims. They have accomplished this through collaborative roundtable meetings and by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of billers, coders, compliance officers and department representatives who work together to review, discuss and standardize processes. This multidisciplinary approach helps elevate the understanding and competencies of all involved.

Lt. Cmdr. Swallow credits her staff and teamwork for their collaborative successes at the Whiteriver Service Unit in Arizona.
Lt. Cmdr. Swallow credits her staff and teamwork for their collaborative successes at the Whiteriver Service Unit in Arizona.

Also passionate about maintaining accreditation readiness, Lt. Cmdr. Swallow leads continuous survey readiness activities at Whiteriver. Her leadership and guidance was instrumental in Whiteriver's reaccreditation by The Joint Commission in 2016, her focus on sharing knowledge and capacity about the importance of accreditation and surveys for all staff has raised awareness across the facility. Frontline staff are provided the knowledge and preparation needed to respond to surveyors' questions and speak to regulations. Through her efforts, Quality Management is engaging departments and empowering individuals to share the responsibility of survey readiness.

In late 2016, Lt. Cmdr. Swallow was deployed to lead Quality Management efforts at Rosebud Hospital. Throughout five months spent in the Great Plains Area, she cultivated relationships amongst her local colleagues, working together to create an atmosphere of collaborative change and establishing effective and sustainable processes that continue to support quality improvement in the Great Plains Area.

These are just a few examples of how Indian Health Service colleagues respect and offer support to one another as family, no matter which duty station they are assigned to serve; together achieving our mission of improving the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of the American Indian and Alaska Native communities we serve.

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June is National Safety Monthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/june-is-national-safety-monthhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/june-is-national-safety-monthFriday, June 16, 2017 ]]>During the month of June we observe National Safety Month Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov to focus on reducing leading causes of injury and death. The theme this year is “Keep Each Other Safe”.  Part of keeping each other safe includes educating our co-workers, patients, and loved ones about the dangers of drug misuse and abuse.

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is an epidemic that spans across the entire nation. It does not discriminate against gender, race, or social class. This epidemic Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov has impacted thousands of people. Opioids include prescription opioids such as oxycodone, and nonprescription street drugs, such as heroin, killed more than 33,000 people in 2015.

Reducing medication misuse and diversion in our communities while addressing all facets of pain management using a holistic, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary approach is a clinical and public health priority at the Indian Health Service. IHS is engaging health care professionals and other agencies including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the United States Public Health Service Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov to raise awareness and implement new tools to combat misuse and abuse of prescription opioids and heroin.

For instance, the Indian Health Service Heroin, Opioid, and Pain Efforts (HOPE) Committee is working diligently to promote best and promising practices to reduce harm from opioid misuse and abuse. The Agency is also partnering with law enforcement agencies in local communities and with our providers to increase awareness and access to naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal agent. Additionally, our pharmacists are promoting the safe and responsible disposal of unused or unwanted controlled substance medications. If you have controlled substances you need discarded, please contact your pharmacy.

IHS is in the process of revising its website content to share best practices aimed at prevention of drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice; to ultimately reduce the stigma of addiction Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .

Finally, Indian Health Service has implemented a policy requirement surrounding utilization of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs).  PDMPs are operational in most states and serve as a tool for prescribers and pharmacists to monitor and deter prescription medication misuse, abuse, addiction, and diversion.  Indian Health Service prescribers and pharmacists access these databases to support safe prescription opioid use, check for undertreated pain, access for misuse or multiple prescribers, and determine adherence with treatment plan.

All of these efforts promote the safe and effective use of opioids and reduce harm resulting from unintentional overdoses attributed to prescription opioids and heroin.

References/Related Content:

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

http://www.overdoseday.com/ Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

https://www.ihs.gov/painmanagement/

https://www.ihs.gov/odm/


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National Native Health Research Training Conferencehttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/national-native-health-research-training-conferencehttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/national-native-health-research-training-conferenceFriday, June 9, 2017 ]]>In 2017, the Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the National Native Health Research Training Initiative (NNHRTI) to promote Tribally-driven research activity through educational and training opportunities, including this first of five annual conferences that will build capacity and disseminate new and best practices for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health research.

The first annual conference will take place from September 18 to 20, 2017 in Denver, Colorado and the theme is “Healing Ourselves: Cultural- and Traditional Medicine-based Approaches to Sustainable Health.” The 5-year initiative and each of the five annual conferences are sponsored by the IHS and hosted by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and the Native Research Network (NRN).

The Conference Objectives will include:

  • Increased opportunities for AI/AN scientists and health professionals to share knowledge gained from health sciences research with AI/AN students and other scientists and health professionals.
  • Increased dissemination and use of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health science research findings to address the health needs of AI/AN communities.
  • Enhanced Tribal-academic collaborations and improvement for the ability of Tribes to better understand research findings, particularly related to the physical, biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, cultural, and social implications of research.
  • Increased effective use of Traditional Medicine, Indigenous Knowledge, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge/Environmental Health to enhance protective factors/effects and to improve health outcomes among AI/ANs.

Abstracts

The Conference Committee welcomes abstracts addressing topics related to this theme. In addition, we invite abstracts from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. We are interested in a diversity of (inter-)national, regional, and local perspectives. Submissions by researchers, health care practitioners, health systems experts, and doctoral students engaged in research are welcome.

The conference will have five tracks:

  • Biomedical and Clinical Systems and Research
  • Injury Prevention
  • Native Men’s Health 
  • Traditional Medicine
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Health

Abstract Submission

We invite abstracts focusing on AI/AN research-related activity consistent with the five tracks. Researchers from all organizational and institutional types (health service providers, governmental agencies, Tribal Colleges and Universities and other institutions of higher education) are encouraged to submit abstracts. We particularly welcome new scholars and members of AI/AN Tribes and other Indigenous populations interested in creating and engaging with a community of scholars through participation in the annual NNHRT conference.

Types of Presentations & Submissions: Abstracts may be submitted for a podium presentation, either as an individual presenter or panel presentation, or a poster presentation.

Dates & Deadlines

Abstracts must be submitted and received no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on July 15, 2017. For more information about the conference, conference tracks and abstract submission, including the abstract submission form, please see: www.NNHRTI.org Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .

Questions may be directed to: NNHRTIconference@NNHRTI.org.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Tribal Management Grants Available for Tribes and Tribal Organizationshttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/may2017/deadline-extended-tribal-management-grants-available-for-tribes-and-tribal-organizationshttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/may2017/deadline-extended-tribal-management-grants-available-for-tribes-and-tribal-organizationsThursday, June 8, 2017 ]]>UPDATE: The Indian Health Service extended the application deadline to Friday, June 30 Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov for the Tribal Management Grant Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, a competitive grant for federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations that is administered by the Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes (ODSCT).

The Indian Health Service is now accepting applications for the Tribal Management Grant Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, a competitive grant for federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations. The program is administered by the Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes.

The intent of the grant program is to prepare tribes and tribal organizations for assuming all or part of exiting IHS operated programs through the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act; and to further develop and improve health management capabilities.

Approximately 16-18 awards will be issued to assist tribes and tribal organizations to establish goals and performance measures; assess current management capacity; analyze programs to determine if management is practicable; and develop infrastructure systems to manage or organize the programs, function, services and activities of the current health programs.

The Tribal Management Grant Program consists of four project types with funding amounts and project periods.

  • Feasibility Study: $70,000 (maximum funding) for 12 months
  • Planning: $50,000 (maximum funding) for 12 months
  • Evaluation Study: $50,000 (maximum funding) for 12 months
  • Health Management Structure: $100,000 (average funding) for 12 months; $300,000 (maximum funding) for 36 months

Important deadlines to remember:

  • New Application Deadline Date: June 30, 2017
  • Review Date: July 24-28, 2017
  • Signed Tribal Resolutions Due Date: June 30, 2017
  • Proof of Non-Profit Status Due Date: June 30, 2017
  • Earliest anticipated start date: September 1, 2017

Read more about the Tribal Management Grant Program.


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Fiscal Year 2017 Tribal Self-Governance Cooperative Agreements available for Tribes and Tribal Organizationshttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/fiscal-year-2017-tribal-self-governance-cooperative-agreements-available-for-tribes-and-tribal-organizationshttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/fiscal-year-2017-tribal-self-governance-cooperative-agreements-available-for-tribes-and-tribal-organizationsThursday, June 8, 2017 ]]>The Indian Health Service (IHS) is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2017 Tribal Self-Governance Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements administered by the Office of Tribal Self-Governance (OTSG). Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) provides the OTSG statutory authority to offer funding opportunities to Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) seeking participation in the Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP) or currently participating in the TSGP and looking to assume additional or expand current Programs, Services, Function, and Activities (PSFAs).

The Planning Cooperative Agreement Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov assists T/TO with the planning phase in deciding what PSFAs to assume and which organizational changes may be necessary to support those PSFAs through the IHS TSGP. Approximately five Planning Cooperative Agreement awards will be issued, and individual award amounts are anticipated to be $120,000. The project period is for one year.

The Negotiation Cooperative Agreement Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov provides T/TO with resources to help defray the costs associated with preparing for and engaging in TSGP negotiations. Approximately five Negotiation Cooperative Agreement awards are available, and individual award amounts are anticipated to be $48,000. The project period is for one year.

Important dates to remember for either a Planning or Negotiation Cooperative Agreement:

  • Applications due: June 23, 2017
  • Review dates: July 17-21, 2017
  • Earliest anticipated start date: August 15, 2017

In Fiscal Year 2016, the OTSG awarded eight cooperative agreements (seven planning and one negotiation) totaling more than $887,000, the largest amount awarded since Title V was permanently authorized in 2000. This increase demonstrates the Agency’s commitment to Tribal Self-Governance in partnership with Tribes.

Acquiring a cooperative agreement is not a prerequisite to enter the TSGP. T/TO that receive cooperative agreements are not obligated to participate in the TSGP and may choose to delay or decline participation in the TSGP. This also applies to existing Self-Governance T/TO exploring the option to expand current PSFAs or assume additional PSFAs. T/TO may utilize other resources to meet the planning requirement in preparation to negotiate the terms of the Compact and Funding Agreement.  Meeting the eligibility requirements does not mean that T/TO are automatically eligible for participation in the IHS TSGP under Title V of the ISDEAA.

For more information about the Planning and Negotiation Cooperative Agreements, please contact the OTSG Program Officer, Ms. Anna Johnson by telephone at (301) 443-7821 or by e-mail at Anna.Johnson2@ihs.gov.

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Men's Health Month: Routine Exams are Criticalhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/men-s-health-month-routine-exams-are-criticalhttps://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/june2017/men-s-health-month-routine-exams-are-criticalTuesday, June 6, 2017 ]]>Christopher Myron, a 32-year-old member of the Hopi Tribe, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, and attending sporting events. In seemingly good health, Chris had not received routine care since sports physicals were required in high school.

Last summer at a waterpark, Chris noticed a small cut on his middle toe. After a week, it hadn't healed. He experienced pain, swelling, and discoloration. He sought care and learned his foot was infected. Surgery was required to amputate his toe and remove as much of the infection from the surrounding areas as possible. Prior to surgery, providers requested a full blood panel. The tests came back and Chris was diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to losing a toe, this new diagnosis further shocked Chris and complicated his recovery. Despite months of podiatry check-ups, antibiotics, and at-home oxygen wound care therapy, the infection spread to his other metatarsals. Chris' remaining toes were later amputated.

Photo of Christopher Myron (Hopi) who received comprehensive and personal care at the Phoenix Medical Indian Center.
Christopher Myron (Hopi) receives comprehensive and personalized care at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.

Chris' health journey has taken him through the Emergency Department, Same-Day Surgery, Podiatry, Orthopedics, Primary Care, Lab, Radiology, and the Specialty Wound Clinic. From the diabetes educator to housekeepers to podiatry staff, Chris was always met with friendly, encouraging faces. Providers took the time to explain procedures, medications, and follow-up instructions. Nurses were attentive to his comfort and pain levels, and made sure to ask him about his day or how his family was doing. Chris was treated as a patient, but also seen as a person.

Though Chris has private insurance and can receive care anywhere, he prefers the Indian Health Service because he sees our staff as family. He receives fast service and appreciates that he doesn't have to drive from the doctor to the lab, then to the pharmacy. All of his care is centralized in one location.

In honor of Men's Health Month, Chris encourages his fellow Native men to keep up with critical routine doctor visits, including eye care and dental check-ups which can have a bigger impact than you might expect. As always, remember to eat healthy, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly!

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