NCUIH Newsletter | October 7, 2019 

Environmental Health Webinar Series

October 12, 2019

Join the National Council of Urban Indian Health for the first webinar in a new series "Intersections of Urban Indian Health and Environmental Health: Data, Programming, and Partnerships".


National Caucus of Native American State Legislators Addressed the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Epidemic During Annual Meeting


The Administration for Native Americans and the National Council of Urban Indian Health facilitated the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators' (NCNASL) annual meeting in Washington, DC on September 23-24, 2019. The focus of the meeting was to address, “Improving outcomes for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.” Several Urban Indian Organization leaders and NCUIH board members provided their thoughts for attendees to spark discussion for identifying gaps and opportunities for collaborative strategies to address and prevent this epidemic. The Office of Urban Indian Health Programs Acting Director Dr. Rose Weahkee and Selina Keryte, Division of Behavioral Health also attended the NCNASL meeting. On September 24th a Moment of Silence for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) was held on the US Capitol steps, where many supporters and congressional members gathered. Lance Fisher (Northern Cheyenne) provided an honor song.


Skip to Upcoming Events | Technical Assistance and Research

Policy Center Highlights 

FY2020 Interior, Environment Appropriations Bill Approved by Senate Committee on Appropriations 

The Senate committee passed a $35.8 billion measure to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Service, and other agencies for FY2020.

This bill included $6.041 billion for the Indian Health Service, an increase of $237.5 million above the FY2019 level. Also funding Urban Indian Health programs to $53.1 million providing an increase of $1.8 million above the current enacted level and going against the  proposal to reduce the program. 

IHS budget highlights with funding comparisons to FY19:
                 Appropriations, 2019                      $4,103,190,000
                 Budget estimate, 2020                   $4,286,541,000
                 Committee recommendation          $4,318,884,000 

  • Urban Indian Health: $53 million (+ $1.8 million)
    • Includes $1,369.9 million transfer for the former National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA]) programs from Alcohol and Substance Program to Office of Urban Indian Health Programs.
  • Hospitals & Clinics: $2.339 billion (+ $192.3 million)
    • Maintains the $4 million increase for the domestic violence prevention initiative provided in FY 2019.
  • Information Technology System improvements: $3 million
    • The Committee directs the Service to report within 90 days of enactment  - the number of tribal organizations that use their own system, how any upgrade will be compatible with the new Veterans Affairs system and with systems used by Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations that do not currently use the resource patient management system (RPMS).
  • Mental Health: $108.5 million (+ $3.2 million)
    • Maintains the behavioral health integration Initiative and the suicide prevention initiative.
  • Alcohol/Substance Abuse: $247.8 million (+ $2.2 million)
    • continues $10 million for opioid abuse
  • Purchased/Referred Care: $967.3 million (+ $2.5 million)
  • Community Health Aide program [CHAP] expansion: $5 million
    • This expansion should not divert funding from the existing CHAP program and it will continue at the current 2019 funding levels.
    Indian Health Professions: $57.7 million (+ $433K)
Read the Bill

National Council of Urban Indian Health Submits Comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) along with their partners, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) submitted comments regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) proposed revision to the categorical eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which as proposed will have a substantial negative impact on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals participating in the SNAP program.With nearly 25 percent of American Indians and Alaskan Natives relying on federal food assistance through SNAP, we do not support this proposed rule in its current form because it will have widespread harmful impacts, including the loss of benefits, across Indian Country. Data shows that an estimated 500,000 children are in families slated to lose their SNAP benefits would also lose automatic eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals.

Read the Comments

Short Term Funding for the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians 

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a short term funding bill to keep the government open through November 21 and the Senate approved with anticipated buy-in from the White House, averting a shutdown and maintaining the SDPI. The short-term bill called a Continuing Resolution (CR) will keep the government operating at current levels giving Congress additional time to negotiate a Fiscal Year 2020 budget and departmental appropriations. The Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and other public health extenders were included in the CR and will ensure funding for the programs remain available through November 21, 2019.  The current funding is set to expire on September 30, 2019. 
Current Legislation

IHS Initiates Urban Confer on the FY 2021 Distribution of SDPI Funds

Last On October 2, the Indian Health Service (IHS) published a Dear Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter (DULL) to initiate Urban Confer on the distribution of funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in FY 2021. The current authorization will expire on November 21, 2019, after a partial extension under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019 (H.R. 4378). Although it is not yet known if or when Congress will address the full reauthorization of SDPI, IHS is initiating confer now to ensure UIO leaders have the opportunity to provide comments.

IHS seeks comments on all issues related to SDPI and also provides the follow two questions on which it seeks comments:

     a. If SDPI is funded at $150M, should there be changes in the funding
          distribution? If so, what changes should be made?
     b. If the SDPI receives an increase in funding above the current $150M,
          how should those funds be utilized?

Comments can be submitted to by Monday, December 2, 2019.

IHS enclosed a detailed SDPI FY 2019 budget, which you may view here

Update: Plaintiffs in ICWA Litigation Petition Court for Rehearing 

On October 1, Plaintiffs in Brackeen v. Bernhardt, the case centering on the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), filed petitions for rehearing of the case en banc. Essentially, the Plaintiffs are asking the entire 17-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to rehear the case, in effect setting aside the decision a panel of three Fifth Circuit judges issued in August.

NCUIH will continue to monitor progress in the case, along with other amici curiae, and will provide updates as we receive them. It is important to note that although the Fifth Circuit will first have to act on the petition for rehearing, Plaintiffs will still be able to petition the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Learn More

Lawsuit Filed Against Indiana Regarding Medicaid Work Requirements 

Indiana residents who participate in the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan argue in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that new work requirements will harm them and tens of thousands of other Medicaid recipients in the state.

Indiana is the only state that has an approved implemented work requirement. However, five other states have received federal approval for their waivers but have not implemented them – While several other states have waivers pending to adopt their own work requirements. This lawsuit is the fourth action brought on behalf of Medicaid recipients who live in states with work requirements.

Learn More
Back to Policy Center | Top
Skip to Technical Assistance and Research

Upcoming Events Highlights 

Host an Event for Indigenous Pink Day 2019 (October 17, 2019) 

The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) is excited to launch another Indigenous Pink event this October, and invites clinic partners serving AI/AN communities to join in the Indigenous Pink fun by hosting a breast health awareness event at their clinic. Indigenous Pink is a national breast cancer awareness campaign for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in Native women, and is the second leading cause of cancer death. Indigenous Pink aims to educate people about the importance of early detection, and encourage both men and women to stay up to date on cancer screenings. Because this national campaign happens on a digital platform, community members are able to participate from anywhere!

Follow AICAF on social media to engage with them during #IndigenousPink2019!
Learn More

Medicare's Open Enrollment Begins October 15

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period is just two weeks away. From October 15 to December 7, you can enroll in health and drug plans for 2020. There is a lot of new information for this Medicare Open Enrollment Period that can be viewed on CMS' “Get ready for Medicare’s Open Enrollment” blog:

Beneficiaries can start looking at new 2020 health & prescription plans online on October 1st with the new and improved Medicare Plan Finder tool. Click here.
Learn More

Webinar: Liver Cancer in Indian Country (October 23, 2019)

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 12-1pm ET. Register Today
October is Liver Cancer Awareness month! Join the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) for a sponsored webinar titled 'Liver Cancer in Indian Country'. Information will be presented by Dr. Mary Own.

Webinar: Financial Focus: Insights into Accounts Receivable & Denial Management (October 21, 2019) 

  • Monday, October 21, 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. ET
Denied claims and aging accounts receivable (A/R) – they’re some of the most common problems plaguing behavioral health organizations today. So, how do we get around them? During this free webinar, we’ll teach you how to decrease denials and shorten A/R days in your organization, leading to improved efficiencies and increased success.

Webinars: IHS FY 2022 Tribal Budget Formulation and Area Instructions (October 21, 2019 and November 13, 2019) 

The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced 3 webinars that cover the same information on the Tribal Budget Consultation Process and Area Instructions Presentation. The budget formulation and consultation process informs the annual budget request of IHS. Priorities identified during the consultation process are instrumental in creating the annual IHS budget justifications.

Webinar Information for the Next Session

View slides for the webinars.

Questions can be submitted via e-mail to


Training: Substance Use Disorder ECHO Training for DATA Waiver (November 6, 2019 in Seattle, WA) 

  • November 6, 2019 in Seattle, WA

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board will be holding a Substance Use Disorder ECHO Training on November 6th in Seattle, Washington. The training will be put on by Project ECHO, at no cost to you. This is a wonderful opportunity if you or your providers are interested in obtaining a DATA Waiver, as well as connecting with their staff and Substance Use Disorder subject matter experts in person.

Back to Upcoming Events | Top

Technical Assistance & Research Highlights 

Program Spotlight: Native American Lifelines of Boston Holds Suicide Prevention Workshops 

The Native American Lifelines of Boston held a "youth basket making for suicide prevention workshop" in September. Youth were able to learn and weave their own baskets while chatting about personal topics. Special guest, Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs Ben Smith and Nashville Area Director Beverly Cotton visited during the event while attending the Region 1 Tribal Consultation held in Boston. The urban Indian organization serves the Baltimore and Boston metropolitan areas and promotes health and social resiliency within urban American Indian communities. They also apply principles of trauma informed care to provide culturally-centered behavioral health, dental, and outreach and referral services.

Funding: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Parts A and B (October 15, 2019)

This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding for the “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America — Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Parts A and B”.  The program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB). Grantees will be funded to implement effective and innovative strategies, interventions, approaches, and services to reduce new HIV infections in the United States. The overarching goal for this initiative is to reduce new HIV infections in the United States to less than 3,000 per year by 2030.  Applications will be accepted 08/13/2019 to 10/15/2019, and awards are projected to be made on 03/01/2020.

Deadline: October 15, 2019 
Learn More and Apply

Funding: HUD for Specialized Housing and Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (October 30, 2019) 

Through the FY 2019 Specialized Housing and Services for Victims of Human Trafficking solicitation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, in conjunction with OVC, seeks to address the housing and service needs of victims of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Program Applications

  • Successful applicants will implement and provide housing and trauma-informed, victim-centered services to victims of human trafficking. HUD expects to make up to 20 awards, with an estimated total amount awarded of up to $13.5 million.
Deadline: October 30, 2019.
Learn More

New Funding: Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University 

The Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University (CFF) is pleased to announce their call for applications for the 2020-2021 year. At the Harvard Medical School, Boston, applications are now being accepted for a one-year, degree-granting, full-time fellowship beginning July 2020. 

The CFF Fellowship prepares physicians, particularly physicians from groups underrepresented in medicine, to become leaders who improve the health of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through transforming healthcare delivery systems and promoting innovation in policies, practices and programs that address health equity and the social determinants of health.

Applications deadline is 5:00 pm Eastern Time on December 2, 2019. All applications materials must be submitted in the online application system by the deadline.

Informational Webinar

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Eastern Time
  • Register
Deadline: December 2, 2019
Learn More
Back to TA & Research | Top
NCUIH Facebook
NCUIH Twitter
Copyright © 2019 National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), All rights reserved.

National Council of Urban Indian Health
924 Pennsylvania Ave., SE | Washington, DC 20003 | Phone: 202 544 0344 |

This publication was made possible by Award Number H723IHS0003 from the Indian Health Service (IHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the IHS or HHS.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.