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

September 24, 2020
Tribes Awarded Funds to Combat Human Trafficking

On Monday, September 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs announced that nearly $101 million in funding was awarded to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims throughout the United States. Of the jurisdictions, service providers, and task forces awarded all over the country, two Tribes, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Lummi Indian Business Council, were among the recipients. Human trafficking is a major contributor to the murdered and missing Indigenous people epidemic, and such available funds can go on to prevent further violence and support Indigenous survivors of human trafficking. Read more here.
Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) released two documents outlining the Trump Administration’s detailed strategy to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people. The documents, developed by HHS in coordination with DoD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provide a strategic distribution overview along with an interim playbook for state, Tribal, territorial, and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their respective jurisdictions.

SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report Data Findings

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recently released the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The annual survey is the nation’s primary resource for data on mental health and substance use among Americans. As the NSDUH demonstrates, substance misuse and mental illness continue to be major problems for Americans. View a video presentation of the NSDUH data findings presented by Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD here. Read the report here.
Protecting Young People from E-Cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) has released a new feature article focused on both the ongoing epidemic of e-cigarette use by youth and ways to help reduce youth e-cigarette use. Nicotine addiction is part of what has caused the youth e-cigarette epidemic, along with flavors of e-cigarette liquid and advertising by e-cigarette manufacturers targeting youth. There are science-supported ways that everyone who interacts with youth can help reduce e-cigarette use among young people. Teachers, coaches, and healthcare providers can talk to young people about the negative health effects of e-cigarettes. Read more here.
Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Homes and Vehicles among US Youths, United States, 2011–2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health released a research brief in Preventing Chronic Disease on secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure. This study reports the prevalence of self-reported SHS exposure in homes and vehicles among U.S. middle and high school students in 2019 and changes in SHS exposure over time. In 2019, 25.3% (6.7 million) of U.S. middle and high school students reported home SHS exposure, and 23.3% (6.1 million) reported vehicle SHS exposure. Implementation of smoke-free policies in both public and private settings, including homes and vehicles, can help reduce SHS exposure, particularly among youth. Read more here.
Prescription Opioid Misuse and Use of Alcohol and Other Substances Among High School Students- YRBS 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in August examining youth substance use trends and patterns. Studies show that substance use in youth directly correlate with an increase in delinquency, academic underachievement, teenage pregnancy, violence, and many more preventable issues. Analysis from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) provide public health professionals with ways to expand the implementation of evidence-based prevention policies, programs, and practices. It is shown that reaching young persons during early elementary ages in the school environment have greater promise than substance-specific programs. In addition, improving and implementing new and safer prescribing practices can help reduce opioid misuse and overdoses. Read more here.
Funding & Opportunities
Nominate a Tribal Official to New HRSA Tribal Advisory Council
Nominations due Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has extended the nomination deadline for a seat on the newly established Tribal Advisory Council. Tribes and Tribal organizations now have until September 30, 2020 to nominate qualified Tribal officials, particularly from the areas of Alaska, Albuquerque, Billings, Navajo, Phoenix, and Tucson. 

For questions, please contact Dr. Elijah K. Martin, Jr., Tribal Health Affairs, HRSA Office of Health Equity at
Viral Hepatitis Updates from the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
Deadline: Thursday, October 1, 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 first-ever STI National Strategic Plan to address the nation’s STI epidemic. OIDP has published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register to solicit input on the draft STI National Strategic Plan. HHS seeks input from a broad mix of stakeholders on whether the plan’s goals, objectives, and strategies appropriately address the STI epidemic and whether there are any critical gaps. The draft STI National Strategic Plan and a link to the Federal Register notice for public inspection are posted on All comments must be submitted electronically to no later than the deadline, to be considered.
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.
End the Youth Vaping Epidemic

The American Lung Association launched an initiative on September 1, 2020 to end the youth vaping epidemic. The initiative is an integrated, multi-component approach to support parents, schools, and students. Nearly 8,000 kids start vaping every day and the U.S. Surgeon General has classified youth vaping as an “epidemic.” Almost all vape liquid contains nicotine, which is addictive and harmful to adolescent brain development. Other dangerous ingredients in vape pods can cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease. Read more here.
Behavioral Health On-Demand Training: Courses Available!

The Indian Health Service (IHS) now has a variety of behavioral health online courses with free continuing education (CE) credits. A list of course and how to register is available here.

Course Topics include:
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Ethics for Behavioral Health Providers
  • Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
New! COVID-19 Resources

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!
Webinar: Mental Health and Resiliency TeleECHO Program
Today! Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on both health care providers and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) patients. This teleECHO, supported with funding from the Indian Health Service (IHS), aims to support healthcare providers such as physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors, etc., in treating AI/AN patients and supporting peers during the pandemic crisis and its aftermath, while managing their own well-being. Join the webinar here.
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COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Information Session for Tribal Communities
Tomorrow! Friday, September 25, 2020 from 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

Please join the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) this Friday, September 25 for an important information session on COVID-19 vaccine planning. The purpose of this NIHB webinar is to introduce Tribal leaders to COVID-19 vaccine distribution options and planning considerations. The webinar will include an overview of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine planning activities, and will highlight considerations for Tribal leaders and health organizations serving Tribal and urban Indian communities making decisions about vaccine distribution. The goal of the webinar is to provide background information about COVID-19 vaccine development and potential distribution scenarios in preparation for the Department of Health and Human Services regional Tribal consultation calls about COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Meeting ID: 602 882 0884
Passcode: 09232020
Training Spotlight: Region II COVID-19 Recovery Virtual Tabletop Exercises

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II will host virtual tabletop exercises for emergency managers from critical infrastructure facilities, private businesses, houses of worship, government agencies, and other organizations in September. Emergency managers will have the opportunity to share lessons learned and exchange ideas from their respective responses to COVID-19. Contact Devin Kerins at for more information.

Focus on Aging: Social Isolation and Loneliness Webinar
Monday, September 28, 2020 at 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

This webinar will focus on how social isolation and loneliness affect older adults’ health and well-being, particularly amid the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will also address social isolation and loneliness in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, emphasize the impact of health disparities, and provide information on potential interventions and mitigating technologies.
The webinar series is a joint project of four of the federal agencies that support the health and wellness of older adults in the United States: the Administration for Community Living, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Institute on Aging. Register here.
CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management Live Q&A Sessions
Multiple days at 4:00 PM 5:00 PM ET

Join the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) twice a month on Thursdays for live Q&A sessions on how to help prevent infection in nursing homes. You can choose to attend one or more of the live sessions. Register here.
IHS Invites Tribal Consultation on FY 2020 Funds for CHAP Implementation

The Indian Health Service (IHS) has invited Tribal consultation on the use of FY 2020 Funds to support Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) expansion. Comments on how funding can be used to support Tribes and Federal Facilities to begin operating CHAP, support the development of National and Area Certification Boards to certify CHAP Providers, investing in training for CHAP Providers, and continuing community education on the value of CHAP into Tribal and Federal Programs. By November 23rd, 2020, Tribal Leaders are invited to send their comments by email to with the subject line "National CHAP Expansion Funding."

As part of the consultation, IHS will be hosting a CHAP Virtual Learning Series. This series is a four-part session that covers topics related to CHAP, the dates are:
  • Oct. 1st, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET: CHAP Expansion Learning Series CHAP Policy Explained.
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  • Oct. 2nd, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET: CHAP Expansion Learning Series: Background of Consultation & Implementation Priorities.
  • Link:
  • Oct. 7th, 2020 at 2:00 PM ET: CHAP Expansion Learning Series: Deep Dive into the Behavioral, Community, & Dental Health Aides for Tribal Communities.
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  • Oct. 8th, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET: CHAP Expansion Learning Series: Understanding the Roles of the CHR and CHAP Workforce.
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If Tribal Leaders may have any questions about CHAP, they can contact Ms. Minette Galindo, Public Health Advisor, IHS by email at
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.
Mental Health Suicide Prevention
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET

Join the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Tribal Government Relations (OTGR) and the U.S. Indian Health Service Division of Behavioral Health, VISN 19 Rocky Mountain Network, Sheridan VA Health Care System for a webinar on mental health suicide prevention. You can join via computer, phone audio or the Webex mobile app. If you have any questions or require special accommodations, contact Clay Ward,, 202-461-7445. Join the webinar here and read more here.
Children’s Environmental Health Day
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Join the Children’s Environmental Health Network for the 5th annual Children’s Environmental Health Day virtually on October 8th, 2020. Each year on the second Thursday of October, the environmental health community comes together to discuss education, and for individuals and organizations to take action on behalf of children’s environmental health. Advocates for a healthier environment for US children are encouraged to join. Read more here.
Virtual Meeting of the Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health (ICSH)
Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the meeting of the Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health (ICSH) in accordance with section 10(a) (2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463) as listed in the ‎Federal Register. The topic of the meeting is Youth Tobacco Cessation’. The objective of the meeting is to identify Federal actions to prioritize areas for research that can be expedited to support tobacco cessation treatments for youth. This meeting is open to the public but you must register to participate. All persons interested in making an oral public comment must submit an email request to CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health at no later than 11:59 PM ET, October 8, 2020. The email request should include the speaker’s first and last name, organization, address, phone, and email. Read more 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