News

Advocacy 101: Gaining Congressional Support for Tribal Public Health — April 13, 2018

Last week, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) celebrated National Tribal Public Health Week. Learn more about the resources NIHB shared as part of the celebration! For example, see the diagram below about how a bill becomes a law, from our webinar, Advocacy 101: Gaining Congressional Support for Tribal Public Health.

To view the slides, Click Here. To watch the recording, Click Here.

Title VI (FY2017) Online Reports are available for submission! — April 4, 2018

REMINDER: The (12 month) SF 425 for Period Ending March 31, 2018 is due by July 30, 2018.

· For Title VI, Parts A/B, C, and NSIP-- (NSIP awards only; no indirect cost allowed for NSIP program)

· SF 425 financial reports can be submitted in Title VI Online Reporting System:

Online at https://apps.acl.gov/aoa-tvi/title_vi/Login/Login_Tribe.asp (HIGHLY ENCOURAGED)

If you need help to access the online system, contact Cecelia Aldridge (202) 795‐7293 or cecelia.aldridge@acl.hhs.gov

         BUDGET Period:          04/01/2017 – 03/31/2018 (12-month report)

         PROJECT Period:        04/01/2017 – 03/31/2020

Meal Delivery Programs Reduce the Use of Costly Health Care in Dually Eligible Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries— April 4, 2018

Delivering food to nutritionally vulnerable patients is important for addressing these patients’ social determinants of health. However, it is not known whether food delivery programs can reduce the use of costly health services and decrease medical spending among these patients. We sought to determine whether home delivery of either medically tailored meals or nontailored food reduces the use of selected health care services and medical spending in a sample of adults dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Compared with matched nonparticipants, participants had fewer emergency department visits in both the medically tailored meal program and the nontailored food program. Participants in the medically tailored meal program also had fewer inpatient admissions and lower medical spending. Participation in the nontailored food program was not associated with fewer inpatient admissions but was associated with lower medical spending. These findings suggest the potential for meal delivery programs to reduce the use of costly health care and decrease spending for vulnerable patients.

Tribal Technical Assistance Program for Transporation— March 30, 2018

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Innovative Program Delivery’s Center for Local Aid Support recently established a national Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) as a one-stop transportation resource for tribal communities across the country.

The TTAP Center provides comprehensive transportation training and technical assistance to tribal communities, building skills and expertise to ensure the safety and maintenance of tribal roads and the continuous professional development of tribal transportation workforces. To visit the site, click here.

Get Ready for New Medicare Cards— March 29, 2018

Between April, 2018 and April, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare.  The new cards will have a new unique Medicare Number instead of a Social Security Number.  Medicare will automatically mail the new cards to the beneficiary address on file with the Social Security Administration. 

CMS will mail the new cards in waves.  Starting in April 2018, people with Medicare will be able to check the status of card mailings in their area on Medicare .gov. The first wave of cards will be mailed between April and June to people with Medicare in the following 11 states and territories:

  • Alaska
  •  American Samoa
  •  California
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

After receiving a new card, people with Medicare are advised to take 3 steps to make it harder for someone to steal their information and identity:

  1. Destroy your old Medicare card.
  2. Use your new card right away. Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards and are ready to accept the new cards. 
  3. Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare Number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card.  If you think someone is trying to steal your identity or otherwise commit fraud related to the new Medicare cards, you can report them to  your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).

Information and resources for partners and providers related to the roll-out of the new cards is available from CMS.gov.  

Social Security's American Indian Alaska Native (AIAN) Geospatial Map— March 28, 2018

This map presents data on tribal information, Social Security Video Service Delivery (VSD) sites, and Social Security Field and Resident Station locations to assist with American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) outreach. Please use the navigation keys on our map + / - to zoom in and out of this map. Symbols on the map will appear, as you zoom in on the map. Click on any of the symbols to find SSA Video Service Delivery (VSD) sites, field offices, or resident stations, closest to your tribe or reservation locations. To view the map, click here.

Resources for Justice- Involved Veterans: A Guide for Tribal Justice Systems— March 19, 2018

This Guide will describe several efforts currently underway to address the need for treatment and other services among Veterans in the criminal justice system.  Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC) are an example of one approach, although not the only one, and will receive particular attention.  The Guide will discuss the components common to most VTCs and suggest the steps a tribal government may take to implement a certain piece of the model.  One purpose of this Guide is to provide interested tribal governments with a breakdown of how VTCs work and identify the movable parts of various programs that would allow tribal governments to choose the parts it wants to explore using in its tribal justice system.  No less important, the Guide is intended to identify resources available to justice-involved Veterans, regardless of whether their communities have adopted the VTC model.

Click here to read the Guide.

Rx Pain Medications. Know the Options. Get the Facts— February 26, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SAMHSA have developed a series of fact sheets entitled Rx Pain Medications. Know the Options. Get the Facts.  These fact sheets are designed to increase awareness of the risks associated with prescription opioid use and misuse, as well as to educate patients who are prescribed opioids for pain about the risks and to provide resources on methods for alternative pain management. 

Many of these fact sheets are relevant to older adults, and we will be sharing these fact sheets with you periodically this year.  The first fact sheet that we are distributing as part of this effort focuses on alternative pain management methods such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation.  

To get the fact sheets, please click here

Protecting Nursing Home Residents During Emergencies— February 23, 2018

Many tribal nursing homes have developed emergency preparedness plans to safeguard elders in the event of a flood, fire, or other emergency.

A new best practices report from CMS describes how 5 tribal nursing homes prepare for emergencies. It shares their recommendations on partnerships, funding, and staff training that other LTSS facilities can use in their own planning.

CMS Emergency Preparedness rule: CMS now requireed health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, including nursing home, to have emergency preparedness plans in place to protectthe wellbeing of their patients and staff.  More information about the emergency preparedness rule available on CMS.gov.

Rx Pain Medications: Know the Options Fact Sheet — February 8, 2018

Although prescription pain medications can be effective at treating certain types of pain, there are different treatment options and therapies available. Whether one approach is safer and more effective than another will depend on your unique situation.

To access the fact sheet, Click Here.

Webinar Recording Available: Strategies to Combat Opioid Use in Rural Communities — January 23, 2018

The opioid epidemic is an ongoing problem in rural areas. Rural youth, young adults, women experiencing domestic violence, and people living in states with large rural populations suffer from higher rates of opioid use than their urban counterparts. Opioid overdose deaths are growing faster in rural counties than urban counties. This presentation by John Gale, MS, of the University of Southern Maine focused on a wide range of strategies that communities can use to combat the opioid problem. In particular, it discussed cost-effective, evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that have been successfully implemented in rural communities. It concluded by describing community organizing strategies to engage a wide range of local stakeholders to reduce the burden of opioid use.

To access the recorded webinar, presentation, and transcript, click here.

Funding Opportunity: US Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation— January 11, 2018

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for funding to improve public safety and victim services in tribal communities. This solicitation provides federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia an opportunity to apply for funding to aid in developing a comprehensive and coordinated approach to public safety and victimization. DOJ’s existing Tribal Government–specific programs are included in and available through this single Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation.

To view the grant, click here.

NIEJI Announces 2018 Elder Abuse Innovation Award Recipients— January 11, 2018

Eight tribes from eight states were awarded a total of $150,000 from the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI) Innovation Program to address elder abuse in their communities. NIEJI is part of the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The CRH works with tribal communities to help improve the health and well-being of American Indians. The grants are funded by an award from the Administration for Community Living.

To read more, click here.

Tribal Climate Health Champions: Spotlight on the Village of Wainwright— January 11, 2018

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) funds three Tribal climate health projects as part of the  Climate Ready Tribes Project with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NIHB is currently highlighting each of these Tribes and their climate health efforts through email spotlights. You can view the previous email in this series here. Also look for updates coming soon to the NIHB climate page to share information about all of the awardees and their projects. 

Today's spotlight highlights work in Alaska, the largest and one of the least populated states in the US. The Village of Wainwright (VOW) is located in the northern Alaskan Arctic, on the shores of the Chukchi Sea. It is situated within a region commonly referred to as the North Slope, which begins in the interior just north of the Brooks Range and stretches down to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Wainwright is approximately 70 miles southwest of the hub city of Barrow and three miles northeast of the Kuk River estuary. The Kuk is a 35-mile-long stream that discharges to the Chukchi via the Wainwright Inlet. Wainwright is itself situated on a wave-eroded coastal bluff of a narrow peninsula that separates the Wainwright Inlet from the Chukchi Sea. Wainwright received its contemporary moniker from the Inlet, which was given its English name in 1826 by Captain F.W. Beechey in honor of his officer, Lt. John Wainwright (North Slope Borough, 2014).
To read the full article, click here.

Stress and Health Disparities Report— January 8, 2018

 There are well-documented disparities in health by socioeconomic status and race and ethnicity (National Center for Health Statistics, 2012.) Stress has been identified as one of the top 10 determinants of disparities in health (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008). This report presents a state-of-the-science overview of research examining stress as a driver of disparities in health. Stress occurs when individuals experience demands or threats without sufficient resources to meet these demands or mitigate the threats (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). We document disparities in stress exposures; explore biopsychosocial mechanisms that may link stress to health, with a particular focus on disparities in depression, cardiovascular disease, and cancer; and identify interventions on the individual, family, community and national levels that may reduce stress and the effects of stress on health among health disparity populations. The aim is to identify actions that APA and others can take to reduce stress and stress-related health disparities.

To read the full report, click here.

Climate Change: The Science- Free Online Course— December 7, 2017

This free course begins January 22. 2018, is offered online through Future Learn. Their website states, "Climate Change poses an increasing threat to the stability of Earth's systems. If we want to protect our planet from dangerous and unprecedented change, first we must understand the science behind climate change. 

On this course you will explore this science, looking back across 4 billion years of Earth's history to help you learn the difference between 'natural' and 'human' induced change; looking to the present to see how the impacts of climate change are already being felt; and finally looking to the future to see what it might hold for our planet." 

The course is free and estimates that it will take around 3 hours per week for four weeks to complete the course. 

 Learn more about this educational opportunity or register HERE

 Learn more about the National Indian Health Board's climate project HERE or contact Angelica at AColagreco@nihb.org for more information

Read a recent highlight on Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and their climate health work HERE

Success Story from Northwest Tribes: Native CARS (Children Always Ride Safe) Partnership to Improve Child Passenger Safety— December 7, 2017

In the beginning of the 2000s, Northwest Tribes noticed that vehicle accidents leading to injuries and death were impacting their communities. The Northwest Tribal EpiCenter (NWTEC) confirmed this disparity and noticed, finding that American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) were experiencing the highest death rate compared to other groups as a result of vehicle accidents. The NWTEC contacted experts and formed partnerships to investigate if this mortality rate might be connected to the low use of safety seats. Partnerships included the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC). The group explored this data for six Tribes and found that correct safety seat usage was low - between 25 and 55 percent only. 

The six Tribes are: Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Klamath Tribes, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and Spokane Tribe. 

This led to community-based participatory research (CBPR) through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) in collaboration with the six Tribes, NWTEC, and HIPRC. The Tribes gave the study a name: Native Children Always Ride Safe (Native CARS). 

To Read More, Click Here

Read the NIMHD article that inspired and informed this broadcast article HERE

Providing Specifically Designed Services for LGBT Elders and Traditional Services Welcoming to All — December 6, 2017

By Kathy Greenlee

One of the highlights of my seven years of service as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging was the op­portunity to travel just about everywhere in the United States, and to visit wonder­ful programs for older adults.

One of the more memorable stops was the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Accord­ing to their website, “the Center’s 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world.” To provide you a scale comparison, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) employed ap­proximately 200 people when I left in July 2016.  To read more, click here.

New Issue Briefing on Community Living for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders — October 27, 2017

One aspect of the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) mission is to assist American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders to live with dignity and self-determination, while participating fully in their communities. The Administration on Aging, which is part of ACL, implements this mission through its Older Americans Act programs and relationships with other federal agencies and their services. The Administration helps assure successful outcomes in part by recognizing the strengths and resiliency of American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders and respecting Native communities’ sovereignty, culture, and self-determination.  To read more, click here.

The Green House Project — October 23, 2017

In  Green House homes, authenticity matters - for example, we strive to build real homes, not fake homes, not pretend homes, not places that look like a home but really feel more like an institution.  We want to create that sense of belonging, of warmth and deep knowing that we all crave.  We want the elders to feel connected to the people and the space. Best Life supports elders living with dementia (ELWD), and here too, we strive for authenticity.  For many ELWD, their experience has been one of loss and lack of choice.  Family, friends, and professionals may respond to their diagnosis rather than to the individual person, focusing on inabilities rather than retained talents and abilities.  The opportunities for real, authentic life experiences may be taken away, justified by saying, "It doesn't really matter, they won't know the difference."  To see the website, click here

New Materials Available for Nutrition Services Program Outcome Evaluation — October 23, 2017

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is conducting a three-part evaluation of its Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP), which promotes access to nutritious meals, facilitates social contact, supports family caregivers and helps older adults maintain dignity in their homes and communities.  For more information, click here.

ACL Grants to Promote Diversity and Cultural Competency Across Developmental Disabilities Network — September 28, 2017 

Recently, ACL issued a series of grants to University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities to continue to promote diversity and cultural competence across the developmental disabilities network. The National Training Initiative grants will fund partnerships with minority-serving institutions (MSIs), a diversity and inclusion training program, and 12 diversity and inclusion fellowships.

MSI partnership planning grants will provide seed money for four UCEDDs to partner with MSIs or community colleges to jointly plan and co-design training and use innovative knowledge exchange and transfer strategies that promote and create interdisciplinary approaches to research, training, and services. To read more, click here.

Principles for person-Directed Services and Support during Serious Illness — September 1, 2017

By Edwin L. Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, and Bob Williams, Director, Independent Living Administration, Administration for Community Living (ACL)

At ACL, we believe that every person has the right to make choices and to control their own decisions. This right is independent of age or disability or stage of illness.  To help ensure that people who have serious illnesses are able to control their care and services, ACL, in consultation with its stakeholders, developed Principles for Person-directed Services and Supports during Serious Illness. ACL will be using these principles to inform policy discussions and enhance its existing programs and services related to serious illness among older adults and individuals with disabilities.

To develop these principles, ACL engaged in several activities: development of educational materials and resources, review of relevant literature, discussions with aging and disability stakeholders, and stakeholder review of draft principles.  

American Indian Elder Group Benefits of Group-based Exercise Program for Older Adults — August 29, 2017

New research cited by the Philadelphia Inquirer shows that a standing-exercise program is more effective for seniors than commonly used seated exercises.  

Among nearly 300 participants who were an average age of 80, the study showed that those who participated in a standing-exercise program were able to walk farther and faster than those in a seated-exercise program. Lead researcher Jennifer Brach, a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, remarks, "Older adults who are interested in improving their mobility should consider participating in a group-based exercise program like 'On the Move.' The timing and coordination exercises are designed to be more challenging for participants, but they are important for walking and can improve mobility." According to Brach, the standing program was designed to enhance the motor skills and muscle control needed for walking. It includes a warm-up, stepping patterns, walking patterns, strengthening, and a cool-down period.  

The alternate exercise program was done while seated, focusing on flexibility, strength, and endurance. It included a warm-up, along with arm and leg strength exercises, aerobic activities, and a cool-down. Those in the former exhibited a small increase in their speed and distance in walking for six minutes, while those in the latter did not show as much improvement. In total, 142 seniors completed the On the Move program, while 139 completed the seated program. It should be noted that those in the standing-exercise classes were more likely to experience falls, fatigue, and pain, while none of these occurred in the seated-exercise classes. The report was published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

New Report on Nutrition Services Program Availabe: Client Outcome Study- Part 1 — July 13, 2017 

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is conducting a three-part evaluation of its Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP). The newest report, Client Outcome Study: Part I, is now available. To read more, please click here.

Implementation of the REACH model of dementia caregiver in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities — June 14, 2017 

The Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregivers Health in the VA (REACH VA) dementia caregiving intervention has been implemented in the VA, in community agencies, and internationally. As identified in the 2013 and 2015 National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease, REACH is being made available to American Indian and Alaska Native communities.  Implementation activities are carried out by local Public Health Nursing programs operated by Indian Health Service and Tribal Health programs, and Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging funded Tribal Aging program staff already working. The implementation is described using the Fixsen and Blasé implementation process model. Cultural, community, health system, and tribe-specific adaptations occur during the six implementation stages of exploration and adoption, program installation, initial implementation, full operation, innovation, and sustainability. Adaptations are made by local staff delivering the program. Implementation challenges in serving AI/AN dementia caregivers include the need to adapt the program to fit the unique communities and the cultural perceptions of dementia and caregiving. Lessons learned highlight the importance of using a clinically successful intervention, the need for support and buy-in from leadership and staff, the fit of the intervention into ongoing routines and practices, the critical role of modifications based on caregiver, staff, and organization needs and feedback, the need for a simple and easily learned intervention, and the critical importance of community receptivity to the services offered.

FY2017 Grant Update Notification — May 9, 2017 

To all Title VI Grantees: Although Congress recently appropriated full year funding through September 30, 2017 (FFY), funds are apportioned by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and uploaded to HHS.  ACL receives allotments from HHS. Unfortunately, the grant award process could take approximately four to eight weeks before we are able to distribute final (FY2017) Notice of Award to grantees.   

Coeur D'Alene Exercise Program: Powwow Sweat — April 17, 2017 

In Indian Country, a gym membership isn’t a cultural norm. The incidence of heart disease and obesity are high there. So northern Idaho's Coeur D’Alene tribe is incorporating culture into its fitness programs. The Coeur D'Alene tribe has created an exercise program based on powwow dancing called Powwow Sweat.

Falls Prevention Tip Sheet — April 6, 2017 

National Falls Prevention Resource Center’s new resource on engaging Tribal elders in falls prevention programs "Tip Sheet

Profile of Older Americans: 2016 — March 15, 2017 

The annual summary of the latest statistics on the older population, A Profile of Older Americans: 2016, is now available. This profile covers 15 topical areas including population, income and poverty, living arrangements, education, health, and caregiving.  A description of the highlights of this document is below and the full document is attached.

The profile has proven to be a very useful statistical summary in a user friendly format.  It is a web based publication and is posted here.

FCC Discounted Internet Service — March 8, 2017

As of March 31, 2016 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has approved rules to modify the current Lifeline program, which previously provided discounted telephone services, to also include discounted Internet services for people who meet the qualifications.

This modernization update from the FCC will help provide 21st century access for any low-income individual, helping to reduce the barriers that prevent access to educational and career opportunities.   For more information about the updates to the Lifeline program, please visit the FCC web-page:   https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/lifeline-support-affordable-communications

Study - Interventions to Prevent Alcohol Use Among AI/AN and Rural Youth — March 6, 2017 

Study finds effective interventions to prevent alcohol use among American Indian and rural youth. Rural youths, including those who are a racial minority relative to their community, are at increased risk for alcohol misuse.

DOJ is Introducing ElderJustice.Gov — February 28, 2017 

The Department of Justice is committed to supporting federal, state and local efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial fraud and exploitation through training, resources, and information.

Join the Department of Justice as they launch ElderJustice.gov with the next webinars in the series catered to professionals involved in elder abuse cases.

Food Safety Tips January 28, 2017 

You've taken steps to train and encourage employees to follow the best procedures to ensure your kitchen is storing, preparing and serving food that is high-quality and safe. Yet it is important to remain vigilant and continually enhance your culture of food safety. Read More Here.

Tribal Resources for American Indians and Alaskan Natives from CMS — January 18, 2017 

The CMS Division of Tribal Affairs is responsible for creating and disseminating informational materials to American Indian Alaska Native (AI/AN) beneficiaries, providers, and relevant health professionals on CMS programs.  This includes multimedia (video & radio), printed materials, webinars and training materials.  Many of these materials were developed in collaboration with HHS (Intergovernmental External Affairs), the Indian Health Service, the CMS TTAG, and national Indian organizations.  These materials can be downloaded from this page or ordered from the CMS warehouse. Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentations

National Institute on Aging Infograph on Genetics and Alzheimer's — January 18, 2017 

Learning about your family health history may help you know if you are at increased risk for certain diseases or medical conditions, like Alzheimer's disease. Share this infographic and help spread the word about Alzheimer's genetics.

Seniors’ Agenda Top Ten List of 2016 — January 3, 2017 

Title VI Programs: Many of you attended the Long Term Services and Supports Conference that we held in November, and heard Olivia Mastry from the Collection Action Lab talk about how we can make our communities more “age friendly”.  This is an excellent example of that effort.  As you look through this think about your own list of aging or elder-related events that you hold throughout the year. I challenge each of you to make your 2017 list and share them on our olderindians Facebook page next December.  I’m anxious to see all that you do in 2017! Cynthia

SSA Tribal Benefits Coordinator Guide — January 3, 2017 

Please check out the the SSA Tribal Benefits Coordinator Guide. We believe it will be of great help to many of you working with tribal members as it relates to their Social Security.  It will also be an excellent resource to share with your outreach workers, benefits coordinators, information and referral specialists, caregivers and others.

News about Traditional Foods — January 3, 2017 

A nutrition update and resources from Melissa A. Chlupach, MS RD LD | Regional Healthcare Dietitian, NMS, Anchorage, AK

NCUIH January e-new and Updates — January 3, 2017

National Council of Urban Indian Health January Newsletter

Not Dead Yet and Respecting Choices Announce Successful Collaboration — December 12, 2016 

Not Dead Yet and other disability advocates and rehabilitation physicians have worked with Respecting Choices, a national leader in the field of advance care planning, to develop fact sheets on feeding tubes and breathing supports. Today, they announce the results of an over two year collaborative effort. Read More Here

Not Just Your Grandma’s Diabetes — March 9, 2016 

Think of the typical person with type 2 diabetes. Did you imagine someone older, overweight, inactive? You’d be partly right, but the big picture is more complicated and far-reaching.

For more information, read the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Bulletin about how age, weight and activity relate to diabetes.

Medicaid and American Indians and Alaska Natives — March 7, 2016

Read the Summary of Findings (and Issue Brief, Appendices and End Notes) from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It provides an “overview of the health needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives, discusses the role of Medicaid and the potential impact of the Medicaid expansion for this population, and summarizes new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that expands the scope of Medicaid services provided to American Indians and Alaska Natives that may qualify for 100% federal match.”

Oregon Approves Coos Bay Tribes to Integrate Mid-Level Native Dental Therapists — March 2, 2016

ICTMN Staff, 2/10/16

A project that will train and employ Native Americans to perform basic oral health in their own Coos Bay-area communities has been approved by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

The mid-level providers will deliver dental care to populations with the highest oral disease rates. American Indians and Alaska Natives are disproportionately affected by lack of oral health care and have the highest rates of cavities and gum disease in the world. Read More.

First-of-its-Kind PSA Campaign Targets the 86 Million American Adults with Prediabetes! — March 1, 2016

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Diabetes at Work E-News, March 2016

Eighty-six million US adults have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts people at elevated risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Awareness and diagnosis are key. Research shows that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

To raise awareness and help people with prediabetes know where they stand and how to prevent type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with the Ad Council to launch the first national public service announcement (PSA) campaign about pre diabetes.

Take the quiz: Do I Have Pre-diabetes?

CMS All Tribes’ Call Regarding State Health Official Letter on Policy Change for 100% FMAP — February 26, 2016

From the National Indian Health Board

On February 26, 2016 CMS released a State Health Official (SHO) Letter on the agency’s reinterpretation 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) reimbursement policy for services provided to Medicaid eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives. Read the State Health Official Letter (PDF).

CMS provided an overview of its new 100% FMAP policy through a webinar PowerPoint presentation (PPT).

If you have additional questions, comments, or feedback on the new 100% FMAP policy, please contact CMS at tribalaffairs@cms.hhs.gov.

ACL FY2017 Budget Request — February 26, 2016

ACL’s FY 2017 budget request is $2.076B, an increase of $28.4M over the FY 2016 enacted level. The request maintains the increases received in FY 2016 and continues to focus on sustaining core programs that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and community integration for older adults and people of all ages with disabilities, allowing them to remain independent and involved in their communities.

The budget requests additional funding for four priority investment areas—nutrition and supportive services for older adults, adult protective services and elder justice, respite care, and streamlined access to community-based services. The request also includes funding to cover increased costs associated with ACL’s new headquarters location and external services. Finally the budget also reflects the transfer (consistent with the FY 2016 appropriation) of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program from the Health Resources and Services Administration to ACL. Read more and view additional FY2017 budget documents.

Special Report: Strengthening Supports for Low-Income Older Adults and Caregivers — February 26, 2016

Margaret is a mom with two teenagers at home, a husband, and a full time job. Her mother Sadie lives alone on a limited income in an adjacent town. Margaret checks in on her every day, and is always on call for transportation to doctor’s appointments, help with bills, and groceries. Margaret is a family caregiver, one of nearly 35 million Americans providing unpaid care to an older adult.

A new paper by Justice in Aging, Advocacy Starts at Home: Strengthening Supports for Low-Income Older Adults and Caregivers, and accompanying video outline the challenges Margaret faces in helping her mother age safely at home in dignity. As the population ages and the prevalence of cognitive disorders among older adults increases, policymakers and the media are paying more attention to the challenges of caregiving. These challenges are even more acute for low-income older adults and their families.

That’s why we’ve released this paper now, with the support of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Center on Law and Aging, to make recommendations for policy changes and expanded programs to better serve everyone, but especially low-income older adults and their caregivers. Download the paper, view the video, read the blog post, and access other materials on family caregivers.

CDC Releases Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Core Data Elements — January 20, 2016

CDC recently released Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Core Data Elements (PDF), one of the first publications designed to promote consistent terminology and data collection across organizations that work to prevent elder abuse. CDC developed the document with and for a wide range of stakeholders, including researchers on aging and individuals who work with service providers in roles that promote prevention, detection, and reporting of elder abuse. Differences in definitions and data elements used to collect information on elder abuse have made it difficult to measure elder abuse across jurisdictions and identify its trends and patterns. Consistent definitions and data elements are needed to move the elder abuse prevention field toward more robust epidemiologic estimates for evaluating prevention strategies and setting prevention priorities. The newly released document is a starting point for advancing public health surveillance aimed at preventing elder abuse.

From NIH: Order Your 2016 A Year of Health Planners Today! — December 15, 2015

The holidays are fast approaching, which also means it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Is improving your health one of them? Order your free A Year of Health: A Guide to a Healthy 2016 for You and Your Family health planners from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) to help you reach your health goals. Download the Planner (PDF), or order the Planners in bulk (more than 10 copies).

From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Beware of Scams Targeting Older Adults — December 8, 2015

Scams that target older people occur every day, but you can count on scammers to ramp up their efforts to prey on people’s generosity during the holiday season. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans is working to provide older consumers and their families with the tools and information they need to protect themselves from frauds and scams. Read their blog on scams that target older adults during the holidays.

Make it Local: Recipes for Alaska’s Children — December 1, 2015

Alaska Child Nutrition Programs just completed the development of a new cookbook for schools, child care centers, and Head Start agencies called Make It Local: Recipes for Alaska’s Children (PDF). The recipes all use locally grown or harvested foods, meet USDA nutritional requirements for the federal programs, and have been standardized. You may request a printed copy by contacting office assistant Jan Mays at jan.mays@alaska.gov or 907-465-8708.

New Processing Plant Prepares Traditional Alaska Native food — November 24, 2015

First it was musk ox stew. Then the Alaska nursing home served up musk ox meatloaf to its elderly Inupiat residents and their visiting family members.

The reaction at the long-term residential senior care facility was immediate. "'It was the bomb!'" is how home administrator Val Kreil recalled one young relative describing it. "You don't hear that every day about meatloaf."

The facility in Kotzebue, a commercial hub of 3,100 people in northwest Alaska, is incorporating traditional foods donated by hunters into the regular menu — a practice that's gaining interest nationally under a new federal law.  Read More.

Alaska Nursing Home Praised for Putting Native Foods on Menu November 24, 2015

Maniilaq Association’s nursing home in Alaska is earning praise from residents and their families for a new partnership that brings a taste of traditional native foods to the facility.

ACL Blog: Recognizing the Value of Respite for Caregivers November 23, 2015

By Greg Link, Aging Services Program Specialist, Administration for Community Living

Each November, we recognize family caregivers for all they do to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of the people they care for. Family caregivers are the social and economic underpinning of America’s long-term care system. Without them, the burden of providing care likely would fall upon the formal, more costly healthcare delivery system, and many people who otherwise could remain in their homes and communities would  have to live in institutional settings. Supporting caregivers is critical—and a key part of ACL’s mission. Read more.

Alaska Dispatch News: Traditional Alaska Thanksgiving Recipes November 21, 2015

Food writer and cookbook author John Hadamuscin once wrote the following: "There are four unbroken rules when it comes to Thanksgiving -- there must be turkey and dressing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie."

Apparently Hadamuscin has never spent a Thanksgiving in Alaska, where instead of turkey, polar bear, whale steak and pickled maktak might well be the table centerpiece. Read More and get the recipes.

What the ACA Means for Me November 19, 2015

A new infographic from the HHS Office of Minority Health provides important information about the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, defines eligibility for the Health Insurance Marketplace and the benefits of enrolling, and identifies where to get more information. American Indians or Alaska Natives must take certain steps to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. There are also benefits that may be available to if you’re a member of a federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act shareholder.

Helping Clients with Medicare Open Enrollment Questions November 9, 2015

From Justice in Aging:

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period closes on December 7. The Open Enrollment Period is the only time all year when every Medicare beneficiary can change coverage, and the options can be confusing.

Justice in Aging has created a short, easy-to-use resource (PDF) for advocates that will help even those advocates who don’t know much about Medicare. It provides a list of five steps you can take and questions you can ask to best serve your low-income Medicare-eligible clients..

Justice in Aging also have a fact sheet for consumers (PDF) you can give to your clients who have Medicare, put in your waiting room, or use for outreach.

CMS Issues Final Rule for EOL Conversation Reimbursement November 4, 2015

Excerpted from The Conversation Project November 3, 2015, e-newsletter:

On October 30, the Obama administration issued a final rule that allows Medicare to reimburse physicians for having end-of-life care conversations with patients. The final rule creates new billing codes for advance care planning as part of Medicare’s physician fee schedule. The rule will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

“We received overwhelmingly positive comments about the importance of these conversations between physicians and patients,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, the Chief Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). “We know that many patients and families want to have these discussions.”

In a letter submitted to CMS as a public comment on the regulation, Harriet Warshaw, The Conversation Project’s Executive Director, emphasized why the reimbursement changes are critical for promoting end-of-life conversations and patient-centered care:

“As we speak to clinicians all over the country three reasons are given for the limited number of end of life conversations taking place: Training, Time and Payment. In our experience training will take place and time will be found IF there is payment for these critical conversations. It is for this reason that CMS’s proposed payment to clinicians is critical for moving the needle on advance care planning.”

Read more about the final rule in the NY Times.

New Mexico Tribes Meet with U.S. Administrator Greenlee to Advance Aging in Indian Country November 3, 2015

October 21, 2015 was a remarkable day for the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA). Despite the cold and rainy weather, NICOA hosted a very important meeting to discuss New Mexico Aging in Indian country. Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, and Cynthia LaCounte, Director of the Office of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs, and representing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Community Living, listened to several testimonials presented by Tribal leaders as well as Tribal and State aging services program administrators. Learn more and see photos of the visit.

National Diabetes Month Resources from CDC Divisiton of Diabetes Translation October 30, 2015

November is National Diabetes Month, a perfect time to remember that if you have diabetes, what you do every day has a big impact on your health and quality of life. Good blood sugar control can help prevent or delay complications, and early detection and treatment of complications can keep them from getting worse.

To help take charge of your diabetes, take these actions every day:

  • Follow a healthy eating plan by eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt.
  • Get physically active – 10 to 20 minutes a day is better than an hour once a week.
  • Take diabetes medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly to understand and track how food, activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels.

And make sure you know your diabetes ABCs. By managing your ABCs, you can help lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications:

  • A – the AIC test, which measures average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months
  • B blood pressure, the force of blood flow inside blood vessels
  • C cholesterol, a group of blood fats that affect the risk of heart attack or stroke
  • S– stop smoking or don’t start

Living with diabetes is challenging, but taking good care of yourself makes a big difference in feeling your best and being your healthiest now and in the future.

For more information:

 

Video on Understanding Memory Loss October 23, 2015

From Cat Koehler, Home Instead Senior Care:

“A while ago, I told you about a study proving that people with dementia retain the feelings associated with an experience even if the actual experience is quickly forgotten. That’s why it’s important to continue to provide your loved one with positive experiences, even if you think they won’t remember. That message is underscored in this video, The Bookcase Analogy, with an interesting non-technical explanation of how Alzheimer’s affects both memories and emotions. Even though I’ve learned a lot about Alzheimer’s disease, this bookcase analogy gave me a new perspective on memory loss and why forgotten experiences still matter. Let me know what you think about it.”

Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Board on Helping Financial Caregivers October 23, 2015

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a family member or friend who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. We’ve heard from these financial caregivers about how tough it can be. So we created guides for caregivers all over the country. Read about how we are helping financial caregivers.

Because people’s powers and duties overseeing another person’s finances vary from state to state, we’ve learned that people need more than a one-size-fits-all guide. So we’re creating state-specific guides for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon and Virginia (check out the Florida and Virginia guides now). And for the other 44 states, we just released tools (PDF) to make it easy for state experts to adapt our guides for financial caregivers in their states.

Tribal Health News Items October 7, 2015

Cynthia says, “Are you involved in discussions about the ICDBG Program for your Tribe? Funds can be used towards senior facilities, long-term care facilities, housing construction. Get involved!”

Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages
Grants for the development of Indian and Alaska Native communities, including new housing construction; housing rehabilitation; land acquisition to support new housing; green energy projects; mold remediation; homeownership assistance; public service facilities such as healthcare entities, child care facilities, and employment-related agencies; economic development; and microenterprise programs.

Cynthia says, “Advocate for oral health care for our tribal Elders! These statistics are horrible. Total health care is directly affected by poor oral health. No one should not be able to chew or eat because of poor teeth or no teeth!”

The Oral Health Crisis Among Native Americans
Describes use of dental health aide therapists to help alleviate the lack of access to dental services among American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

OAIANNHP Director Cynthia LaCounte Represents Tribal Aging Programs on the Surgeon General’s Go4Life Walk September 18, 2015

Group at Surgeon General’s Go4Life Walk

Justice in Aging: New 50 State Survey of Dementia Training Requirements August 26, 2015

With more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, there’s a growing need for robust training  standards for health care professionals in the special needs of people with cognitive impairment. For example, though 64% of nursing home residents have dementia, only 23 states have laws prescribing training requirements for direct care staff in nursing homes and, of those, only one state requires staff to pass competency examinations. Only ten states require dementia training for law enforcement.

These are among the findings of an in-depth 50-state survey of statutes and regulations that Justice in Aging conducted with the support of the Alzheimer’s Association. We looked at dementia training requirements for professionals in a variety of health care and community settings and found wide variation among states in both the amount and the content of required training. We compiled our findings in a five-paper series, Training to Serve People with Dementia: Is our Health Care System Ready? We also presented a webinar outlining the major findings of the study and offering an initial roadmap for advocates working to address training gaps. You can view it on Justice in Aging’s Vimeo channel after August 26.

National Center on Elder Abuse New Blog Series August 10, 2015

The National Center on Elder Abuse is proud to be producing a new series of blogs featuring expert opinions and diverse views in the field. Each month, the blogs will focus on topics brought to us by the Elder Justice Roadmap. Themes will concentrate on practice improvement, education, policy and research. The blogs will also address trending topics based on technical assistance inquiries and social media conversations. News and resources surrounding our monthly themes will be disseminated on our Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, join us the third Thursday of every month for our Twitter chat series featuring national experts! Read the blog now!

Guidance Update on Eligibility for Title VI Services Under Title VI, Parts A and C July 29, 2015

Title VI grantees have the option of using their Title VI, Part A and Part C funds to provide services to older eligible Indians who are not members of their Tribe but live in the proposed service area. It is the grantee’s responsibility to ensure that these individuals are not counted by more than one grantee in their application(s) and there is no duplication of services or reporting.

Federal Transit Administration Information May 29, 2015

For fixed route service supported with Federal Transit Administration formula funds, older adults and people with disabilities who present a Medicare card get half price fares. If a Medicare card is presented during off peak hours, these individuals will not be charged more than half the peak hour fare. Learn more. (PDF)

NCEA WEAAD Blog Series (Week 7) Expanding Knowledge May 22, 2015

Why is support of research important to the field of elder abuse? Would not scarce available resources be better spent on programs and services to address this problem?

In truth, support for both research and practice is essential to advance understanding of and response to elder abuse as a health and social problem, human rights issue, and sometimes a crime. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine thoughtfully undertaking practice without the contributions of research and vice versa. Read the full newsletter.

FEMA Mobile App Updated with New Features May 1, 2015

FEMA launched a new feature to its free app that will enable users to receive weather alerts on severe weather happening anywhere they select in the country, even if the phone is not located in the area, making it easy to follow severe weather that may be threatening family and friends. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and Disaster Recovery Centers, and tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters. Other key features of the app include:

Safety Tips: Tips on how to stay safe before, during, and after over 20 types of hazards, including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Disaster Reporter: Users can upload and share photos of damage and recovery efforts

Maps of Disaster Resources: Users can locate and receive driving directions to open shelters and disaster recovery centers

Apply for Assistance: The app provides easy access to apply for federal disaster assistance

Information in Spanish: The app defaults to Spanish-language content for smartphones that have Spanish set as their default language

The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices. Watch a YouTube video about the app.

National Library Services May 1, 2015

We have just learned about a wonderful service for blind or visually impaired individuals through a national network of cooperating libraries. NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. Learn more and learn where the libraries are located in your state at www.loc.gov/nls/.

Spring 2015 Edition of the National Indian Health Board’s Public Health Digest April 21, 2015

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites you to learn more about the latest developments in Tribal public health, including updates on NIHB’s current projects. We also invite you to share your news items, comments or questions. Access their Spring 2015 edition.

ACL Blog Post: Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Diversity April 1, 2015

As Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month draws to a close, it is important that we take time to reflect on the values embodied within the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. The DD Act, as it is commonly known, ensures that people with developmental disabilities in the United States and their families have access to services and supports that promote self-determination, independence, and inclusion in their communities. Read more

ACL in the News March 27, 2015

ACL was recently featured in two news stories about older adults and individuals with disabilities:

Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Commissioner Aaron Bishop Visits Arizona: Commissioner Bishop visited all four Developmental Disability Act programs in Arizona and participated in the Fourth Annual African American Symposium on Disability in Phoenix.

ACL Administrator Kathy Greenlee was quoted in a story, The Invisible Older Woman. The article focuses on the exclusion of older women from data and programs, and highlights some of the global issues for older women, including poverty and increased risk for abuse.


Last modified Apr 13, 2018