ANHB Releases White Paper on Ongoing Barriers to Access Water and Sanitation in Rural Alaska

Date Posted: June 20, 2023       Categories: News

ANHB’s Water and Sanitation Committee has released a White Paper, entitled “Ongoing Barriers to Access Water and Sanitation in Rural Alaska”, to highlight continued barriers to achieving access to water and sanitation systems in our unserved and underserved rural Alaska communities.

Executive Summary

Piped water prevents disease and unnecessary suffering, and saves money and lives. Health disparities in rural Alaska persist due to lack of piped water systems. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided $3.5 billion to the Indian Health Service (IHS) for sanitation facilities construction for Alaska Native and American Indians, but the projects in rural Alaska still require cost contributions for the costs to serve public facilities. The State of Alaska is in a position now to support these projects through its Village Safe Water (VSW) Program, yet several barriers exist for rural Alaska communities to access this funding. Operation and Maintenance Best Practices scores and Sustainability Plan requirements prevent communities from accessing VSW Program funds, which are required to match federal funds from USDA and EPA. The result of these barriers is that our rural Alaska, predominately Alaska Native communities will miss the opportunity to leverage VSW funds to fully serve communities. We should act now to take advantage of the opportunity the IIJA offers to provide lifesaving water and sanitation in rural Alaska.

You can read the full White Paper by following this link.

Guide to Exchanging COVID-19 Health Information

Date Posted: June 29, 2020       Categories: News

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.

Attachment Links:

Alaska Native Health Board Announces RFP for Audit Services

Date Posted: June 19, 2020       Categories: News

The Alaska Native Health Board (ANHB) is placing this Request For Proposal (RFP) for the preparation of its yearly audited financial statements and related filings for a three-year period beginning with the 2023 fiscal year and ending with the 2025 fiscal year.  Our organization does not require a federal single audit. The audit of ANHB’s financial statements must be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.


ANHB was established in 1968 and incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization under Alaska State Law in 1976. ANHB serves as the statewide voice on Alaska Native health issues. ANHB is a 28-member representing tribes and tribal organizations carrying out health services on behalf of the 229 federally recognized Tribes in Alaska, and works on behalf of over 177,000 Alaska Native People; additionally, as a critical component of the Alaska Public Health System, the Alaska Tribal Health System serves thousands of Non-Alaska Native People. As the statewide tribal health advocacy organization, ANHB assists tribal partners, state and federal agencies with achieving effective communication and consultation with tribes and their tribal health programs. ANHB’s objectives are to enlighten and give the public a better understanding of the matter and problems of health affecting Alaska Natives. The mission of ANHB is to promote the spiritual, physical, mental, social, cultural well-being, and pride of Alaska Native people. The primary funding sources for the organization are membership dues, special events, and private grants and contracts.

ANHB’s financial statements are presented on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United State of America.

The financial statement presentation follows the recommendations of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in its Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 958, Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Organizations. Under ASC 958, ANHB is required to report information regarding its financial position and activities according to three classes of net assets: unrestricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and permanently restricted net assets.

Further information and a Scope of Work can be found in the attached RFP document.

Tentative Timeline

  • ANHB 2023 Fiscal Year End – September 30, 2023
  • RFP release – Friday, October 6, 2023
  • Submitting RFP Questions Deadline – Friday, October 20, 2023, 3:00 p.m.
  • RFP Submission Date – Friday, November 3, 2023, 11:59 p.m. AKDT.
  • Evaluation, Interview and Selection Period – November 3, 2023 – November 17, 2023
  • Tentative Award Date – Monday, November 20, 2023
  • Tentative Audit Office/Virtual Site Visit – Week of December 4, 2023
  • ANHB 2023 Annual Financials Completed – February 1, 2024


Additional information for this RFP is available in the attached document.

RFP ANHB Auditing Services FY23-FY26 FINAL

ANHB Releases Novel Coronavirus Response White Papers

Date Posted: May 13, 2020       Categories: News

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:

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.


Updated  5/13/2020

National Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup FY2022 IHS Budget Recommendations

Date Posted: May 7, 2020       Categories: News

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 Testifies Before Congress in Support of Advance Appropriations

Date Posted: October 2, 2019       Categories: News

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.

Alaska Native Health Board Turns 50!

Date Posted: April 9, 2019       Categories: News

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.

Woosh.ji.een Dance Group of Juneau performed at the ANHB 50th Anniversary Reception.

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

Maniilaq Association

Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium

Norton Sound Health Corporation

Southcentral Foundation

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Corporation

Valdez Native Tribe

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Alberta Unok

Verné Boerner

Ileen Sylvester

Diana L. Zirul



IHS Announces New Medicare-Like Rates Regulation

Date Posted: March 21, 2016       Categories: home-banner News

IHS Implements New Medicare Like Rate Regulation for Tribes

The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced that it will be implementing a new regulation that gives IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs the ability to cap payment rates at a “Medicare-Like rate” to physician and other non-hospital providers and suppliers who provide services through the Purchase and Referred Care (PRC formally CHS) program.

Background: The PRC budget supports essential health care services from non-IHS or non-Tribal providers and includes inpatient and outpatient care, emergency care, transportation, and medical support services such as diagnostic imaging, physical therapy, laboratory, nutrition, and pharmacy services. PRC programs routinely pay full-billed charges for non-hospital services, including physician services. On average, this would add up to 70% more than would be paid by Medicare. As a result, the PRC program was running out of funds each year.

There was some Tribal concerns on changing this rule because many believed that lowering the rates would cause many providers to stop contracting with I/T/Us.  However, implementing rates for non-hospital based providers will more likely increase the volume of services being sought which will result in providers achieving more volume to offset the decrease in rates.

The proposed rule is opt-in and not a requirement.  This is in recognition of Tribal sovereignty and self-determination as Tribes have the right to negotiate with providers and determine how best to meet the needs of their community when providing health care.

The IHS announcement and the published rule states that the final rule became effective on March 20, 2016. IHS recognizes that this rule will have significant Tribal implications so in order to ensure that all concerns are taken into account, it will be implemented as a final rule with another 60 days for the public to provide comment on the rule.  In addition, IHS will be conducting outreach and education to PRC administrators and participating providers and suppliers so that everyone is on the same page with the rule and there are no adverse impacts on the PRC system.

If you have comments or questions, please contact Eric Jordan, ANHB Policy Analyst at

Access to Rural Home Health Services: Views from the Field Report Released

Date Posted: March 9, 2016       Categories: News

The WWAMI Rural Health Research Center recently released a new report titled Access to Rural Home Health Services: Views from the Field.

In this report, key informants identified solutions for consideration to address barriers to access to home health services including, payment reforms (e.g. approving new provider types for reimbursement) and increasing telehealth options. Participants also raised concern about the growing burden of administrative requirements associated with reimbursement.

For the full report, click here.

New IHS Principle Deputy Director, Mary Smith

Date Posted: March 9, 2016       Categories: home-banner News

On March 1, 2016 Secretary Burwell announced Mary Smith’s assumption of the IHS Principle Deputy Director position, reporting that Robert McSwain requested to serve in another capacity so as to spend more time with his family. The Alaska Native Health Board congratulates Mary Smith on her new role and expressed our appreciation for Mr. McSwain for his service.

Secretary Sylvia M Burwell’s announcement:


I am pleased to announce that IHS Deputy Director Mary Smith, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, has agreed to serve as the Principal Deputy of the Indian Health Service and will be delegated the responsibilities of the Director, effective today. As such, she will report directly to the Secretary and be responsible for the day to day operations of the IHS as well as our priority IHS initiatives. She will also work directly with Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield on the Executive Council on Quality focused on our critical work related to the Great Plains Area and making sustainable improvements for direct service tribes throughout Indian country.

Since joining IHS in October 2015, Mary has led a number of key agency priorities including providing leadership on the progress we have made in behavioral health, native youth initiatives, such as Generation Indigenous, and serving as the primary IHS liaison to other federal agencies. She has also made significant contributions to the progress we’ve made on contract support costs as well as in our work on Medicaid in states where expansion will be of particular benefit to Native Americans. Mary has significant management experience from her time working in federal and state government and in the private sector. Mary’s expertise on Native American issues and track record of delivering impact for the tribal community will undoubtedly be great assets to IHS as she assumes this new role. I am very pleased to have Mary serve as Principal Deputy, and look forward to working with her in her new role.

I also want to express my appreciation to Bob McSwain, who has diligently carried out the responsibilities of the Director since February 2015. Bob has requested to serve in another capacity within IHS to allow more time to be with his family. Bob, a member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California, is a long time civil servant who began his federal career with the Indian Health Service in 1976. Bob has been a steward for IHS and committed to its mission of ensuring high quality comprehensive health services are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people across the United States. I appreciate Bob’s willingness to lead IHS during this important time.

Please join me in thanking Bob for his leadership and congratulating Mary on her new position.

Sylvia M. Burwell