The Alaska Native Health Board has worked with our partners to develop a “Guide to Exchanging COVID-19 Health Information” to help support the safety, security, and public health of Alaska Native communities and patients. This guide collects information and guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to apply the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended, to better help Tribal communities understand applications of the HIPAA Privacy Rule in a public health context.
The Alaska Native Health Board, in an effort to help inform lawmakers and policymakers, has been developing a series of white papers that touch on the impacts, preparedness, capacity, and difficulties facing the Alaska Tribal Health System and Alaska Natives during the Novel Coronavirus Response and Crisis of 2020.
Currently in this series:
- COVID-19 and Alaska Native Communities
- Coronavirus Public Health Response to Alaska Fisheries in Rural Alaska Native Communities
As the impacts and response to Novel Coronavirus continue to evolve, the Alaska Native Health Board will work to present the most up-to-date and relevant information affecting Alaska’s Tribal Health System and its Native peoples.
The National Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup has finalized their recommendations for the Indian Health Service Fiscal Year 2022 Budget. Below is a copy of those recommendations. A link to the full document is here.
ANHB President and CEO, Verné Boerner, provided testimony to Congress on September 25, 2019. The Legislative Hearing, entitled Advance Appropriations: Protecting Tribal Communities from the Effects of a Government Shutdown, was before the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. Ms. Boerner was one of many Tribal leaders who discussed the impacts that government shutdowns have on Tribal operations and patient care, highlighting the positive impacts that advance appropriations authority would give to Indian health programs.
The hearing focused on two pieces of legislation introduced during the 116th Congress. The first was H.R. 1128, the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act, introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum. H.R. 1128 seeks to authorize advance appropriations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the Indian Health Services. The second bill was H.R. 1135, the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act, introduced by Congressman Don Young. H.R. 1135 seeks to provide advance appropriations authority only to the Indian Health Service. Congressman Young has introduce similar bills in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses and has been a long-time advocate of advance appropriations authority for the Indian Health Service.
Each of the House bills also now has a Senate companion legislation. On September 25, 2019, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Office introduce a companion bill to H.R. 1135, S. 2541. The bill was introduced with Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) as original co-sponsors. The companion legislation to H.R. 1128 is S. 229, introduced by Senator Udall’s Office. Currently, the entire Alaska Congressional delegation supports Indian Health Service advance appropriations authority.
Below is a copy of Ms. Boerner’s testimony.
Video of the Subcommittee Hearing.
ANHB held its February Mega Meeting in Juneau February 5-7 to resounding success. As part of the Mega Meeting, ANHB along with its sponsors was able to hold a 50th Anniversary Evening Reception. During the event, the Tlingit dance group Wosh.ji.een from Juneau performed traditional local dances, even getting attendees in on the action. Welcome remarks were given by Chairman Andrew Jimmie, and an opening prayer was given by Lincoln Bean, Sr. of the Organized Village of Kake.
A silent auction was held with donated items from ANHB’s member organizations featuring beautiful art from across the state. The fundraising efforts of the auction raised just under $8000 for ANHB cultural and welcome events, including the 2020 National Indian Health Board Consumer Conference which ANHB will host in Anchorage, September 2020. One of ANHB’s member organizations, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, created a Special ANHB 50th Year Anniversary video. The video documents the early history of the ANHB, its achievements, and interviews with many former and current board members.
As part of the celebratory events, ANHB’s Board of Directors directed the creation of a commemorative coin for the 50th anniversary. ANHB worked with the Alaska Mint to develop a coin featuring the ANHB logo on the obverse and a 50th anniversary design on the reverse. These coins were given as commemorative gifts of thanks to the Board of Directors and the Association of Tribal Health Directors. The coins have also been presented to members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation as a thank you for their work on behalf of Alaska Native peoples.
Below is the Special ANHB 50th Year Anniversary video.
ANHB would like to thank the sponsors and donors of our 50th anniversary celebration.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association
Arctic Slope Native Association
Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
Copper River Native Association
Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments
Eastern Aleutian Tribes
First National Bank Alaska
Hobbs, Straus, Dean, & Walker
Kenaitze Indian Tribe
Ketchikan Indian Community
Kodiak Area Native Association
Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium
Norton Sound Health Corporation
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Corporation
Valdez Native Tribe
Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Diana L. Zirul