The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to host the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a virtual Tribal listening session this afternoon, Wednesday, April 1 at 5 pm eastern time. 

This purpose of the call is to allow for Tribal leader input, from across Indian Country, on the distribution of funding contained in the 3rd COVID-19 legislative package.  The CARES Act provides a minimum of not less than $15,000,000 shall be allocated to Tribes through each agency, SAMHSA and HRSA

NIHB seeks to foster and facilitate maximum Tribal leader input as SAMHSA and HRSA design a distribution plan. For this reason, we encourage you to share this notice with interested Tribal contacts.

NIHB Listening Session with SAMHSA and HRSA
April 1, 2020
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Eastern Time

Participant Code 64211
You will be able to join the audio via your computer. Please note this is limited to 600 participants, if it is full, please dial in just by phone.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Representative
Alec Thundercloud, MD is an enrolled member of Ho-Chunk Nation and physician currently serving as the Director of the Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He is extremely passionate and brings considerable knowledge and innovation toward developing American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare programs, especially those which meet the special needs of women, children, victims of violence, and those suffering from serious mental, emotional or substance use disorder. Dr. Thundercloud received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Bacteriology. He received his degree in medicine from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and completed a residency in pediatrics at Georgetown University. Dr. Thundercloud pursued one-year advanced training in Community Health and Child Advocacy at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Representative:

Nisha Patel has been with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for 15 years. She became the Associate Director/Senior Advisor in 2016 where she works with the immediate Office senior management to provide leadership and oversight to the day to day activities of the office including the fiscal, legislative, operational and management activities. She has been leading the opioid efforts for the office over the past two years and has helped to develop and implement a number of rural opioid specific programs that provide resources directly to rural communities. Before that, she was the Community Based Division Director for 7 years providing oversight to the division that provides support directly to rural communities. Nisha has her bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama.  
IHS Tribal Consultation – CARES Act COVID-19 Funding

Please join the Indian Health Service (IHS) to consult with Tribal Leaders to seek input on funding authorized by the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES” Act. The CARES Act makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The CARES Act authorizes over $1 billion for the IHS to support a wide range of COVID-19 response activities.
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM (Eastern)
Conference Call: 800-857-5577
Participant Passcode: 6703929
Guidance for IHS Behavioral Health Programs
Wanting to Transition to Tele-Based Services

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm (Eastern)

Target Audience
Leaders, directors, providers, and behavioral health staff in IHS facilities and Behavioral Health programs wanting to transition to tele-based services in response to the COVID crisis.

Connection Information
  1. Go to:
  2. Select the “Enter as a Guest” option
  3. Enter your name, first and last, with designation in the box designated Name (ex: Jane Doe, MD).
  4. Click on the “Enter Room” button

No credit offered for this webinar.

Questions & Technical Assistance
If you have trouble with any of the steps above or do not receive the confirmation email, please contact us using the address below as soon as possible.

All sessions are recorded for those unable to join them real-time, however, credit is not available for viewing the recording. You can access previous recordings at: 
IHS COVID-19 TeleECHO Session
Medical Directors: Bruce Stuminger, MD, FACP

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern
COVID-19: IHS Clinical Readiness and Patient Care
  1. Introductions: Shawn M. D'Andrea, MD, MPH FACEP, FAAEM
  2. Welcoming remarks: RADM Michael Toedt, MD, FAAFP
  3. COVID-19 Situation Report: Vivian Huang MD, MPH
  4. COVID-19 Clinical Update: Jonathan Vilasier Iralu, MD, FACP
  5. Facility COVID-19 Responding to the Surge: Paul Charlton, MD & Kevin Gaines, MD
  6. Q and A
  7. Closeout: Shawn M. D'Andrea, MD, MPH FACEP, FAAEM

To join us via Zoom: 
 Clinic ID: 623 862 3556
 Passcode: 995783
Indian Country COVID-19 Update - Tribal Leader Q&A

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)
Registration:  RSVP HERE
Note: You must RSVP to join the call. Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation email with dial-in instructions.
National Indian Health Board Mission Statement

Established by the Tribes to advocate as the united voice of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, NIHB seeks to reinforce Tribal sovereignty, strengthen Tribal health systems, secure resources, and build capacity to achieve the highest level of health and well-being for our People.
for all of the latest updates and resources on Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

For all media inquiries, please contact
April Hale at