Tribal Public Health Broadcast
Weekly News, Funding, Resources, and Upcoming Events in Indian Country

October 1, 2020
New Study Links Hazardous Air Pollutant Exposure as a Contributing Factor to COVID-19 Mortality in US

Research published in the journal of Environmental Researcher Letters found that exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) could be associated with an increase in COVID-19 morality. Researchers controlled for socioeconomic status, population health indicators, and exposure to PM2.5 and ozone. They found an increase in the respiratory hazard index is associated with a 9% increase in COVID-19 deaths. Read more here.
FDA Authorizes First Point-of-Care Antibody Test for COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first serology (antibody) point-of-care (POC) test for COVID-19. The Assure COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device was first authorized for emergency use by certain labs in July 2020 to help identify individuals with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior COVID-19 infection. The EUA is being reissued to authorize the test for POC use using fingerstick blood samples. This authorization means that fingerstick blood samples can now be tested in POC settings like doctor’s offices, hospitals, urgent care centers and emergency rooms rather than having to be sent to a central lab for testing. Read more here.
NIH Releases Tribal Consultation Report – Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Tribal Consultation Report highlighting eight recommendations for a NIH policy for data management and sharing. The report is based on feedback gathered from consultation on existing policies and data management and identifies three common themes: building trust with Tribes, training researchers to respectfully manage Tribal data, and aligning policies with Tribal priorities and sovereignty. Additionally, future considerations and efforts will include development of outreach activities to improve resources related to the eight highlighted recommendations. Read more here.
CDC Awards Funding for Firearm Violence Research

Every day in the United States, about 109 people die from a firearm-related injury. For every firearm death, at least two nonfatal firearm injuries are treated in emergency departments. In an effort to better understand and prevent firearm violence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be supporting eighteen awardees in total as part of the competitively funded RFA-CE-20-006: Research Grants to Prevent Firearm-Related Violence and Injuries (R01) and RFA-CE-20-002: Grants to Support New Investigators in Conducting Research Related to Preventing Interpersonal Violence Impacting Children and Youth. Read more here.
Funding & Opportunities
Request for Information for HHS Draft Hepatitis Plan
Comments due by Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and its Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), has been coordinating development by federal partners throughout HHS and other departments of the next iteration of the national strategy to address the viral hepatitis epidemic. The draft Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination 2021-2025 (Hepatitis Plan) provides a framework to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

OIDP has published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register to solicit input on the draft Hepatitis Plan. HHS seeks input from a broad mix of stakeholders on whether the plan’s goals, objectives, and strategies appropriately address viral hepatitis and whether there are any critical gaps.

The draft Hepatitis Plan and a link to the Federal Register notice for public inspection are posted on All comments must be submitted electronically to by 5:00 PM ET on October 8, 2020 to ensure consideration.
Call for Infection Prevention and Control Epidemic and Outbreak Plans

One of the goals of The National Indian Health Board’s (NIHB) Project Firstline: Tribal Infection Prevent and Control (IPC) Capacity Building Program is to provide Tribally specific resources and tools and share information to increase knowledge and improve practice of infection control within Tribal health facilities and among Tribal health staff. To support this endeavor, NIHB is asking Tribes to share any IPC, epidemic, or outbreak plans, tools, or guides that has helped your Tribe. The materials can be de-identified, if needed. These resources will be placed online on the NIHB website. We hope to assist Tribes and support each other in an effort to mitigate the impact of current and future outbreaks in Indian Country. For anyone willing to share their materials or would like more information, please contact Carmen Sanders at
Call for Tribal COVID-19 Resources

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is seeking to create a pool of resources which Tribes can access when planning or implementing their own COVID-19 response. To this end, NIHB is asking Tribes to share with us any tools, operational plans, guides, policies, communication products, etc. that has helped your Tribe combat this pandemic.  The materials can be de-identified, if needed. These resources will be placed online within NIHB’s COVID-19 Tribal Response Center alongside other community health materials. We hope this aids Tribes to build on successes and support each other in the collective effort to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Indian Country.
To submit any materials or resources, please email Courtney Wheeler ( If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Wheeler.
New! COVID-19 Resources

  • Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) TRACIE:
  • COVID-19: Optimizing Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Supplies – Webinar slides
  • Maintaining Healthcare Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Medically Necessary, Time-Sensitive (MeNTS) Procedures - Slides
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
  • Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance:
  • How COVID-19 Spreads (updated)
NIHB COVID-19 Contact

The National Indian Health Board is committed to serving Tribal Nations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. We welcome your requests and feedback. Contact Courtney Wheeler at or 202-507-4081.
Attendee Registration for the NIHB Annual National Tribal Health Conference is OPEN!

The National Tribal Health Conference (NTHC) is the largest American Indian and Alaska Native specific gathering each year focused solely on health. The conference explores health policy and its impact on Tribes, advances Tribal capacity to expand policy work, and serves as a forum to discuss policy and political work in the arenas of Tribal health care, public, behavioral, and environmental health. Read more and register here!
Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine
Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:00 - 11:00 AM ET

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will release the final Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine report during a free webinar hosted by study committee co-chairs William Foege and Helene Gayle. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report will help guide equitable allocation of a limited initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine. The final report follows a discussion draft that was released on September 1, 2020, to obtain input from the public. In addition to an updated framework for equitable allocation, the report includes recommendations for ensuring equity in distribution, administration, and access to the vaccine; for effective community engagement, risk communication, and strategies to promote vaccine acceptance; and for equitable global allocation. Register here.
Got Masks? PPE Compliance and Fatigue in First Responder Realms
Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET

Join the National Emerging Special Pathogen Training and Education Center (NETEC) for a town hall meeting and discussion on personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance and first responder fatigue. Are personnel becoming less diligent with PPE? Is there a significant element of PPE fatigue? Do you know what the PPE requirements are when not actively providing patient care? What about PPE requirements in the office, ambulance, and firehouse? Submit your questions for the panel during registration and they will be answered during the Town Hall session. Register here.
Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) Informational Webinar: Tribally-led MMRCs as a Preventative Measure to Address Maternal Mortality in Indian Country
Monday, October 5, 3:00 - 4:30 PM ET

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting an informational webinar on the disproportionate rates of maternal mortality for Native women, and how Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) can be used as a prevention tool. Hear from a panel of current MMRC representatives about their experiences serving on state review committees. Register here.
Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan Report: A Foundation for Change
Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that Tribes need support and guidance to strengthen their public health infrastructure. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is honored to offer Indian Country a new tool to help inform this work - the Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS) 2019 Report. The PHICCS 2019 Report is a comprehensive picture of Tribal public health infrastructure and activities like immunization, screening, and prevention/education activities across Indian Country. Join NIHB in this webinar to learn more about how the PHICCS report can support your important work. Register here.
HRSA Tribal Consultation Scheduled During NIHB Virtual Conference
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is offering a platform during its upcoming virtual conference for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to host its annual Tribal Consultation. The HRSA consultation, which is in support of the agency's ongoing commitment to partner with Tribes, is free and open to the public. Tribal officials may submit written comments to by September 28, 2020. 

Read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter here.

To participate in this HRSA Tribal Consultation, please dial in at least 10 minutes before the appointed time to:
Conference number: 800-779-7169; Participant passcode: 6122629
Hidden Consequences: How the COVID Pandemic is Impacting Children

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) TRACIE and ASPR’s Pediatric Centers for Excellence are collaborating on a webinar serious focused on the impact of COVID-19 on children. Topics include:
  • Child Emotional and Social Effects (October 16, 2020, 1:00-2:15 PM ET)
  • The Effects of Secondary Disasters on Children (October 23, 2020, 1:00-2:30 PM ET)
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Children with Special Healthcare Needs (October 29, 2020, 1:00-2:00 PM ET)

SAMHSA Webinars for Tribal Applicants

The Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy and the Office of Financial Resources at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be offering two webinars specifically designed for Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations interested in applying for a SAMHSA grant:

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

This webinar will cover the four registration processes that need to be completed, the preparation required to apply for a grant, key components of the Funding Opportunity Announcement, responding effectively to the evaluation criteria, and resources and technical assistance that are available.

Thursday, November 5, 2020  2:00 – 3:30 PM ET

The webinar will address completing the budget, avoiding errors in submitting your application, and resources and technical assistance that are available.
Ready Seniors Virtual Workshop
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM ET

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) have partnered to address this disparity through a workshop aimed at preparing Area Agencies on Aging and other organizations that provide critical support services to senior citizens in their communities. Increasingly, older adults with complex health issues live alone in the community, far from their relatives and caregivers. An older adult may depend upon community service providers for basic necessities and psychosocial support prior to a disastrous event. However, the need for these critical services increases when services are disrupted or the senior is impacted during a major disaster. Register here.
Amateur "HAM" Radio for Emergency Managers
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Please join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II National Preparedness Division for a webinar on how an amateur radio can be a useful tool before, during and after disasters. Amateur or “HAM” radio has proven to be indispensable in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Katrina, Michael and Maria. Historically, amateur radio has been a valuable resource in the Response and Recovery phases of many disasters, providing expedient communications when standard public safety and commercial telecommunications infrastructure has been severely impacted or completely overwhelmed. This webinar will provide guidance to Emergency Managers on establishing a viable, NIMS compliant, AUXCOMM (Auxiliary Communications) program as part of your Emergency Operation Plan. Learn how to add the ready resource of amateur radio as a component to your ESF-2. Register here.