February 17, 2023: IHS Updates for Tribes and Tribal and Urban Indian Organizations
This bi-weekly update provides up to date information on Indian Health Service and other federally-hosted meetings, conferences, deadlines and recognition from across the Indian health system. For more information or questions, email IHSPublicAffairsStaff@ihs.gov.
IHS Personnel Update
As the IHS continually works to improve agency oversight, management, and accountability of its mission critical work and functions, it has appointed Mr. Jim Driving Hawk to serve on senior staff as a deputy director of field operations. This temporary appointment establishes a second deputy director of field operations position, in addition to the one currently held by Rear Adm. Chris Buchanan. In his new role, Mr. Driving Hawk will provide management oversight and resource allocation to six IHS Area Offices: Alaska, Portland, California, Billings, Great Plains and Bemidji. Rear Adm. Buchanan will continue to provide oversight to the other IHS Areas.
Mr. Driving Hawk is a respected leader who most recently served as chief executive officer for the Phoenix Indian Medical Center and director of the IHS Great Plains Area. His experience and expertise will greatly enhance IHS field operations. The IHS acknowledges PIMC Chief Operating Officer Deb Ward Lund, who will serve as the acting CEO of PIMC while Mr. Driving Hawk is serving in his senior staff role.
Tribal Delegation Meetings
Over the last two weeks, the IHS has hosted multiple tribal delegation meetings with tribal leaders and tribal organization representatives from across Indian Country. These meetings create a space for IHS and tribal leadership to directly discuss individual issues or concerns while renewing and strengthening partnerships.
On Feb. 15, IHS leaders met with the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Council via Zoom to discuss the tribe’s plans to enter into the IHS Tribal Self-Governance Program. Last week, the IHS hosted leadership from the Navajo Nation and the Winnebago Tribal Council at IHS headquarters.
Tribal delegation meeting with the Navajo Nation.
Tribal delegation meeting with the Winnebago Tribal Council.
IHS Announces $850,000 Funding Opportunity to Support the Zero Suicide Initiative
The IHS is announcing the availability of $850,000 in funding for the Zero Suicide Initiative Coordinating Center Cooperative Agreement . This funding supports tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations to provide technical assistance to all current Zero Suicide Initiative projects and build capacity to improve the system of care for those at risk for suicide by implementing a comprehensive, culturally informed, multi-setting approach to suicide prevention in Indian health systems. The ZSI Coordinating Center will provide technical assistance in the areas of data collection, reporting, training, resources and implementation of the Zero Suicide approach in Indian Country. The ZSI Coordinating Center technical assistance will promote the seven core elements of the Zero Suicide model that were developed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. This agreement is for a five-year period and the deadline to apply is April 17, 2023. For more information, read the latest IHS blog.
Celebrating National Children's Dental Health Month
Each February, since 1981, National Children's Dental Health Month is celebrated across the country. The IHS Division of Oral Health has observed NCDHM for more than two decades by providing awareness of key issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native children and encouraging IHS, tribal and urban dental programs to prioritize preventive services for children and youth throughout the month.
Over the last three years, IHS, tribal and urban dental programs across Indian Country have also participated in Give Kids a Smile , an American Dental Association Foundation campaign that has provided underserved children with free oral health care since 2003. We have held 295 GKAS events over those three years, benefitting more than 44,000 American Indian and Alaska Native children. For more information on what IHS is doing to celebrate NCDHM, read the IHS blog.
IHS Patient Safety Program
On the most recent IHS All Employee Call, the Office of Quality provided an update on the work being done to strengthen the IHS patient safety program across the agency as we approach Patient Safety Awareness Week from March 12-18. At the IHS, patient safety remains a top priority, and we are committed to providing safe, quality care to American Indian and Alaska Native patients. IHS employees do tremendous work every day to advance patient safety. In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week, please nominate your teammates for outstanding patient safety work. To nominate a staff member or a team, please email email@example.com. Provide the employee or team name, work location, job title, a brief description of why you are nominating them, and a picture of the nominated staff member or team. The Office of Quality will recognize these employees during Patient Safety Awareness Week this March.
The Role of Technology in Patient Safety and Patient Engagement Webinar
On March 15, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST, the Health Resources and Services Administration is hosting an event in partnership with the IHS, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , CDC , CMS , NIH and National Practitioner Data Bank. During the webinar, panelists will discuss emerging topics, including how remote patient monitoring and predictive artificial intelligence are improving patient outcomes, how health care providers can maximize the use of technology and digital health, and how to address health disparities and communication inequities to ensure that advances in technology and digital health can support all patients. There will also be a virtual exhibit hall at the end of the session. To register for the webinar, click here . To submit questions for the speakers in advance of the program, please email Clinical_RM_Program@ecri.org.
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program Webinar
On March 2, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET, join the National Indian Health Board and the Association of American Indian Physicians for an informational webinar on the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program . The webinar will review program eligibility requirements, share information about the application process and allow a real-time Q&A session for clinicians and health care facilities that serve tribal communities. Join the webinar !
Urban Indian Organizations Reimbursement Agreements with Veterans Affairs
Congratulations to the following urban Indian organizations who have completed the Reimbursement Agreement process with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs :
- Native American Development Corporation, Billings Urban Indian Health & Wellness Center (Montana)
- American Indian Health Services of Chicago (Illinois)
- First Nations Community HealthSource (New Mexico)
Health Information Technology Modernization
In a Dear Tribal Leader and Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter dated Feb. 6, 2023, the IHS director wrote to invite tribal and urban Indian organization leaders to join a series of four tribal consultation and urban confer sessions in calendar year 2023 on Health Information Technology Modernization. For more information, the letters are available online at the Tribal Leader Letters webpage and the Urban Leader Letters webpage.
IHS Scholarship Program Applications Close Soon
The IHS Scholarship Program is still accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. It is designed to develop the next generation of leaders and help make the pursuit of a meaningful career in Indian health attainable for American Indian and Alaska Native students. Eligible students are encouraged to apply before Feb. 28, 2023. Learn more by visiting the IHS Scholarship Program webpage.
Telebehavioral Health Center of Excellence
The Telebehavioral Health Center of Excellence Tele-Education Program is hosting the following trainings for health care providers over the next two weeks
- TBHCE in collaboration with the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention (DDTP) is hosting "Behavioral Health Integration Webinar Series: Diabetes & Mental Health in Integrated Settings: Stress Management," on February 23, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. ET
- "Trauma & Stress Disorders Webinar Series: PTSD & Chronic Pain" on February 28, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. ET
- Urban Indian 4-in-1 Grant Program . More information is available on grants.gov under opportunity number HHS-2023-IHS-UIHP2-0001 . Applications due Feb. 21.
- Tribal Management Grants . More information is available on grants.gov under opportunity number HHS-2023-IHS-TMD-0001 . Applications due March 6.
Save the Dates
February 22: CDC Listening Session Framework for Program Evaluation with American Indian or Alaska Native Communities
February 23: HRSA Webinar Invitation: Addressing Hypertension During Pregnancy: Best Practices and Resources
February 28: Black History Month Observance - Rosa Parks: Such A Time
March 2: Tribal and Urban Indian Organization Monthly IHS
HOPE and NPTC Collaborate to Fast-track Clinical Guidance on Buprenorphine Prescribing
On Dec. 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 was signed into law, eliminating the waiver requirement for prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorders in the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000. The removal of administrative barriers to buprenorphine prescribing supports Indian health care providers in efficiently and effectively providing evidence-based treatment, strengthens the provider-patient relationship and supports persons in recovery. Agency, area, facility and prescriber factors are considerations in implementing this rule change, and IHS leadership will provide updated SAMHSA/DEA guidance as information is available. We understand the need to clarify these points quickly to provide patients with the best care possible and will provide updates to ensure our providers are operating within the scope of this new framework. For more updates and information, click here.
Oklahoma City Area
This week, Claremore Indian Hospital Emergency Department became the first hospital in Oklahoma to receive geriatric emergency department accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians . This initiative aims to improve and standardize emergency care for the nation’s elderly patients, and promotes geriatric-focused education, policies and protocols. Claremore Indian Hospital has designated three geriatric nurse champions who have completed Geriatric Emergency Nurse Education through the Emergency Nurses Association to build a foundation of geriatric knowledge, educate staff and improve emergency department outcomes for older adults. With the initial quality improvement project targeting medication management and strategies to reduce polypharmacy, CIH has added 24/7 pharmacist coverage in the ED to evaluate and optimize pharmacotherapy regimens to ensure success. Congratulations and thank you for your dedication to advancing the care our elders receive.