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

December 3, 2020
Cherokee Nation Success in Curtailing the Pandemic

As reported in STAT, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has had success in curtailing its COVID-19 case and death rates even as those numbers surge in surrounding Oklahoma. Read more about the Cherokee Nation's impressive leadership during the pandemic here.
The Cherokee Nation’s W.W. Hastings Hospital. Photo via Jeremy Charles for STAT.
World AIDS Day – December 1st: "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience & Impact"

December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day to unite in the fight to end the HIV epidemic, support people living with HIV, and honor those who have lost their lives. The 2020 theme focuses on the global commitment to deliver quality, people-centered HIV prevention and treatment services for impact and speaks to strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities and health systems to provide HIV prevention services during a global pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) represent about 1.3% of the United States population and about 0.5% of the HIV diagnoses in 2018. However, the number of HIV diagnoses has increased over time. While COVID-19 has created major new challenges, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its partners remain committed to accelerating efforts to End the HIV Epidemic. Read more here.
Systemic Racism, Access to Care, Poverty and Preexisting Conditions Help Fuel US Maternal and Infant Health Crisis, Particularly Devastating for Moms and Babies of Color

The March of Dimes has issued its new 2020 Report Card amid the coronavirus pandemic and calls for racial justice, shining a spotlight on factors that contribute to maternal and infant health. The U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth, especially for women and babies of color. Disparities in preterm birth have increased over the past several years in the U.S. and shows that the ratio for racial/ethnic disparities have worsened in recent years by about 5%. Additionally, American Indian/Alaskan Native and Black women are up to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to White women. Read more here.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Announces Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) has scheduled a meeting on December 10th to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, Inc. in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH. At the time, public comments can be submitted to be reviewed by the FDA. No later than two business days prior to the meeting, the FDA intends to make background materials available to the public, including the meeting agenda and committee roster. Read more here.
CDC Science Agenda for COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Science Agenda for COVID-19 builds on CDC’s ongoing pandemic-related work. It articulates key areas of scientific inquiry and opportunities which chart a course for CDC, working with its partners, over a three-year period. Importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored long-standing health disparities and inequities in the United States. Data-driven strategies are essential to address these disparities and improve the health outcomes of people disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The work set out in The CDC Science Agenda for COVID-19 is based on the use of culturally and linguistically appropriate approaches and methods and inclusion of populations at increased risk for health disparities and inequities to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 in these communities. Read more here.
Birth and Infant Outcomes Following Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Pregnancy — SET-NET, 16 Jurisdictions, March 29–October 14, 2020

Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe illness and might be at risk for preterm birth. The full impact of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in pregnancy is unknown. Among 3,912 infants with known gestational age born to women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 12.9% were preterm (<37 weeks), higher than a national estimate of 10.2%. Among 610 (21.3%) infants with testing results, 2.6% had positive SARS-CoV-2 results, primarily those born to women with infection at delivery. Read more here.
Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the United States as of September 2020

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published November 24, 2020, shows that most of the U.S. population may still be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, focuses on CDC’s collaboration with commercial laboratories to conduct and publish results from large-scale geographic seroprevalence surveys to estimate the percentage of people in the United States who already have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and how that percentage changes over time in each geographic site. This includes infections that resulted in mild illness or no symptoms and those that were potentially not reported in official confirmed case counts. Read more here.
Face Mask 1
Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends community use of masks, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets, which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others. Read more here.
Funding & Opportunities
Request for Information (RFI): Vaccines National Strategic Plan Available for Public Comment
Comments due today, December 3, 2020

On November 23, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a notice on a request for the public to comment on the Vaccine National Strategic Plan. HHS is looking for comment on the draft Vaccine Plan for 2021-2025 that has been created by the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy. This plan includes a 10-year national strategy for vaccine research, development, supply, financing, distribution, and safety. Read more here.
CSTE Data Science Team Training Program
Applications due Friday, December 11, 2020 by 11:59 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services is supporting the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologist (CSTE) to develop and implement a new data science and informatics training opportunity for state, local, Tribal, and territorial health departments: the Data Science Team Training program. Download the application here. For questions, email
The National Indian Health Board is Hiring!

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is seeking qualified candidates for the following open positions in the Public Health Policy and Programs positions based in Washington, DC:

  • Public Health Project Coordinator (Emergency Preparedness)
  • Public Health Project Coordinator (Aging)
  • Public Health Program Coordinator (PHICCS)
  • Public Health Project Coordinator (Environmental Health)
  • Public Health Project Associate (Behavioral Health)

Job descriptions are available at
SmokefreeTXT for American Indian and Alaska Native People

The Indian Health Service (IHS), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, has announced a messaging tool that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to American Indian and Alaska Native people who want to quit smoking. Access the campaign materials here.
New! COVID-19 Resources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Food and Drug Administration
  • Update: FDA Issues New Policy on Dry Heat for Reuse of Certain Respirators. Read more here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
NIHB COVID-19 Contact
The National Indian Health Board is committed to serving Tribal Nations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Visit our COVID-19 Tribal Resource Center for more information and resources.
Video Chat
NIHB Webinar: Youth and Prevention Strategies during COVID-19 Pandemic
Today! Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of youth and young adults by disrupting schools and sports and changing the way they interact with family and friends. In light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases among youth and young adults and the role young people can play in community outreach and mitigating risk during this crisis, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting a webinar on youth COVID-19 and prevention strategies. Join NIHB and speakers from the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) and We R Native as they share resources and strategies on how to engage youth in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Register here.
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Era of COVID-19: With a Special Focus on the Impact of the Pandemic on Communities of Color
Part 2: Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
Part 3: Monday, December 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders will host a free public virtual workshop: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Era of COVID-19: With a Special Focus on the Impact of the Pandemic on Communities of Color. The workshop will be free and open to the public via live webcast. The first webinar explored how COVID-19 has revealed and exacerbated mental health and substance use disorders, with a special focus on the impact of the pandemic on communities of color. A recording of this webinar will be available here. The second webinar will focus on access to health care and delivery of services for people with mental health and substance use disorders, with a special focus on the impact of the pandemic on communities of color. The third webinar will focus on the mental health well-being of the health care workforce, with a special focus on the impact of the pandemic on communities of color. 

Webinar for Tribes to Inform PHAB’s New Pathways to Accreditation Product
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM ET

Over the years, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has received feedback that while many health departments are not yet ready to be accredited, they would like to be recognized for their work in improving their public health systems. To support the advancement of performance across the spectrum of health departments, PHAB has embarked on development of a new recognition product intended to facilitate performance improvement without requiring health departments to commit to the full accreditation process. The product is intended to recognize achievement of progress towards public health performance improvement.
Please join the National Indian Health Board and PHAB for a webinar on Tuesday, December 8 at 2:00 PM EST. PHAB will present early concepts on this exciting new product and solicit your feedback to inform its development. Register here.
NIHB Webinar: The Climate and Health Learning Community Presents: Logic Models 101
Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Do you have a headache just from reading the phrase “Logic Models”? If yes, we are here to help! Please join the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) for a climate learning community webinar: Logic Models 101. This virtual webinar will provide an in-depth look at how to develop logic models as they apply to American Indian and Alaska Native Health and Climate Change. Register here.
2020 Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management
December 14-18, 2020 

This virtual annual conference will bring together Tribal environmental experts from across Alaska to connect with supporting environmental organizations and agencies to discuss best resources for improving local environmental health. Read more here.
Webinar: Indigenous Food-ways: Adapting to Change
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:30 PM ET

This workshop will take an in-depth look at Indigenous Foods as a professional practice with ancient roots that translate to contemporary self-care in everyday life. Chef Nephi Craig will share introductory information about Indigenous Foodways and expanding food vocabulary to make informed healthy purchasing decisions amid the pandemic. Register here.
Webinar: Food as Medicine: Indigenous Knowledge
Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 12:30 PM ET

Joint the Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition for a panel discussion exploring Indigenous Knowledge on Food as Medicine. Read more here.

  • Twila Cassadore (San Carlos Apache), Western Apache Diet Project
  • Nephi Craig, BHT, ACRPS, (White Mountain Apache), Native American Culinary Association
  • Moderated by Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), Native American Agriculture Fund
  • Faith Spotted Eagle, MA (Yankton Sioux), Braveheart Society
  • Don Warne, MD, MPH (Oglala Lakota), University of North Dakota