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$1.8M in IHS Funding Provides Additional Resources to Address Alzheimer's and Dementia

by Jolie Crowder, PhD, MSN, RN, CCM, National Elder Care Consultant, Division of Clinical and Community Services, Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service is announcing the availability of $1.8 million in additional funding for tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and IHS direct service facilities to address Alzheimer’s disease within tribal communities. This follows first-time IHS funding appropriations in 2021 and subsequent year grant awards.

This funding will support additional tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to develop sustainable, local approaches to addressing Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia, focusing on awareness, recognition, diagnosis, assessment, management, and support for caregivers.

Cognitive impairment and dementia affect individuals and families in all tribal and urban Indian communities. The prevalence will increase dramatically as the population ages. By 2060, the number of American Indian and Alaska Native people aged 65 and older living with memory loss is projected to grow over five times. This funding opportunity provides greater flexibility and enhanced access for new awardees to address their communities’ unique and growing needs.

Funding mechanisms include up to six new cooperative agreements under the 2023 notice of funding opportunity and forthcoming program awards for IHS services units working in partnership with direct service tribes.

Eligible tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations can now apply for two-year cooperative agreements of up to $200,000 per year. Awardees will develop innovative and sustainable comprehensive models of dementia care with flexibility to address needs in five critical dementia service areas. The IHS anticipates that effective evidence-informed, culturally relevant models of care will emerge through local development and adaption in selected tribal communities. The application deadline is June 27, and the anticipated award start date is August 11, 2023.

IHS service units working in partnership with the tribes they serve will select from two program award funding options. Option 1: The two-year Comprehensive Model of Care Program Award supports the development of a comprehensive approach to dementia care and services with $200,000 in funding per year. Option 2: The New Care and Services Program Awards will provide up to $50,000 per year for up to two years for staff training, education, and program management to support the development or expansion in at least one of the five specific dementia service areas. The request for program award applications will be announced soon.

The IHS continues to partner with agencies across the federal government and non-governmental organizations to address key program components tied to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, including workforce development and community engagement.

The IHS Alzheimer’s Program initiatives and activities are guided by the priorities shared during extensive tribal consultation and urban confer in 2021. The funding decisions were shared in a letter to tribes and urban Indian organizations on March 24, 2022.

Related Content:
Federal Register Notice - Addressing Dementia in Indian Country: Models of Care
Grant Opportunity - Addressing Dementia in Indian Country: Models of Care
IHS Alzheimer’s Program

Jolie Crowder, PhD, MSN, RN, CCM, National Elder Care Consultant, Division of Clinical and Community Services, Indian Health Service

As the IHS national elder care consultant, Dr. Jolie Crowder serves as the team lead responsible for planning, formulating, and implementing national elder care policies and programming, including a focus on dementia and Alzheimer's. Dr. Crowder brings nearly 25 years of experience to her new position at IHS from nursing, health care, public health, and aging services primarily in the non-profit sector. She has worked for more than a decade on tribal aging issues.