Skip to site content

January 20, 2023: IHS Updates for Tribes and Tribal and Urban Indian Organizations

2022 Year in Review

Happy New Year! There were many achievements across the agency in 2022. We expanded access to health care and took aggressive action to protect our tribal communities. We acknowledge the working partnerships with tribal leaders and urban Indian organization leaders and the organizations that support our mission, and we thank you for your support. This year we achieved, for the first time, advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service, providing the agency with timely and predictable funding necessary to provide high quality health care services to 2.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country. This historic change will largely protect health programs from government shutdowns and ease the administrative burden of operating hospitals and health clinics. Read more in the IHS director’s blog.

Indian Health Service 2023 Work Plan

We are happy to share that since October 2022, leadership from across the IHS has been working to develop a work plan, which describes critical actions needed to address key priorities that directly impact IHS operations; improve communications with tribal and urban organization partners; and ensure the delivery of quality, patient-centered care. Furthermore, in order to address agency priorities, the IHS will provide rigorous management and oversight of resources to ensure the health care needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives are met. For a preview of the key priorities identified for our 2023 Agency Work Plan, I encourage you to review our fact sheet and summary of our work plan. You can read the IHS director’s recent blog on the 2023 IHS work plan.

2023 National Combined Councils Virtual Meeting

The Indian Health Service National Nurse Leadership Council is pleased to host the 2023 National Combined Councils Virtual Meeting on March 28-30, 2023. This three-day meeting is designed for NCC members and IHS, tribal and urban personnel throughout our health care delivery system. The theme of this year's meeting is, “Strengthening Collaborations for Safe, Quality Healthcare Outcomes.” Registration links will be available in February. For questions, please contact

Apply for an IHS Scholarship. Applications due February 28, 2023

IHS Scholarship Program Applications are Open

The IHS Scholarship Program is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. We strive 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.

Funding Opportunities

North to the Future: Angel Dotomain on the Power of Tribal Self-Governance in Healthcare

Angel Dotomain standing by a river

IHS Alaska Area Director Angel Dotomain in the Georgetown Business Fall 2022 Magazine. Portrait by Nathaniel Wilder.

IHS Alaska Area Director Evangelyn "Angel" Dotomain was recently featured in an article Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  in the Georgetown Business Fall 2022 Magazine. Ms. Dotomain discusses the power of tribal self-governance and her journey to representing her own population in health care. 

IHS Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention Webinar

The IHS Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention: Advancements in Diabetes Webinar Series is hosting the following webinar for healthcare providers:

Telebehavioral Health Center of Excellence

The Telebehavioral Health Center of Excellence Tele-Education Program is hosting the following trainings for healthcare providers over the next two weeks:

Cass Lake Hospital Certified as Level 3 Health Care Home

The Minnesota Department of Health has certified Cass Lake Hospital as a Level 3 health care home Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , meaning that Cass Lake Hospital met a set of rigorous standards to provide patient and family-centered care and will continue working to improve the quality, experience, and value of care. Level 3 clinics have done considerable work to integrate care delivery with the community, including contributing to the community health needs assessment and population health improvement process, as well as playing a role in implementing and monitoring the progress of community health improvement efforts. 

Health care homes provide complete care ranging from disease prevention to management of complex and chronic conditions and are dedicated to meeting the highest standards for health care delivery. Certified Health Care Home clinics offer a team-based approach to primary care that makes it easier for patients to communicate and partner with their care team. They are their patient’s home for health care. 

Save the Date

January 25 26: National Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup members from each Area will provide a preview of their Area’s budget priorities and hot topics for FY 2025.

January 26: The Community Health Aide Program Tribal Advisory Group will meet to discuss updates on the implementation of the national CHAP to the contiguous 48 states. The CHAP TAG's role is to provide input and feedback to the IHS on the program's design and implementation to serve American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The meeting will take place from 12:30pm-3:30pm ET.

February 2: SAVE THE DATE February Tribal and Urban Indian Organizations Call. For more information, contact Rose Weahkee at 301-443-1083.

February 8:National Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup Preparatory Resource Day This an optional resource day to provide the workgroup with updates on the IHS Budget and Electronic Health Record System prior to the FY 2025 National Budget Formulation Work Session. This time will also be utilized to conduct a zoom connection test in preparation for the national work session from 2:00pm-4:00pm EST
Meeting ID: 160 090 0710
Passcode: 905728

February 14-15: The National Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup Work Session will be held in Crystal City, VA, and via Zoom. This will be a hybrid meeting.

Other News

VA Proposed Rule to Waive Copayments

The Department of Veterans Affairs proposed a rule Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  that would waive copaymentsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  incurred on or after Jan. 5, 2022, for eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans. Upon publication of the notice, there will be a 30-day period for the public to provide comments on this rulemaking. VA will review the comments and develop the final rule. If finalized as proposed, eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans who have submitted appropriate documentation to the VA would no longer be required to pay copays for health care services. Read more in the VA’s recent news release Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .

Road to Healing

In 2021, Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland launched the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to highlight the troubled history of Federal Indian boarding school policy and their legacy for Indigenous people. Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland released Volume I of the Investigate Report Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving . The report lays the groundwork for the departments’ continued advancement of the initiative. To build on this work, Secretary Haaland launched The Road to Healing, to provide survivors of the Federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants an opportunity to share experiences. The next stop on the tour is January 22, 2023 at 10 am MT at Navajo Nation Many Farms High School, N Hwy 191, Many Farms, AZ 86538.

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