SDPI Legislative Update

GLATHB-logoFebruary 9th, 2018

The Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board is pleased to announce that with the signing of today’s spending bill by President Trump, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) has been renewed at the current funding level of $150 million until the end of FY’ 19. We would like to thank all Tribal advocates across the country who helped to make this goal possible.

According to the CDC, Native American adults have higher rates of Type II Diabetes than any other race or ethnicity at roughly 16%. Over the past 20+ years, SDPI funds and services have attributed to a 54% decrease in Kidney Failure among Native Americans (CDC, Vital Signs, 2017). These SDPI funds are of critical importance to our Tribal communities in the fight against Diabetes and regaining our Health and Wellness.

The Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board will continue to support and advocate for a more long-term approval of SDPI funds. For more information on legislative alerts please follow this link:

MAST Impact Week March 21-27, 2017 

The Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes announced MAST Impact Week was held in Washington, DC, March 21 through 24, 2017. Many Tribal leaders and health directors attended. Visit for more information.

Sam Moose, speaks up for Tribal Health


January 27, 2017. Today in Washington, DC, NIHB Board members are on Capitol Hill advocating for the health of Tribal nations. Sam Moose of Mille Lacs, also a member of the Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board, is there to ask legislators to preserve permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The Board members are bringing this message to the Senate Appropriations staff and the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Photo: Sam Moose speaking on behalf of National Indian Health Board

Other events:

ITU Budget Formulation Technical Assistance meeting in Minneapolis, MN – January 31st, 2017

Budget Formulation National Meeting in Arlington, VA – February 16th-17th, 2017

Request to Preserve the IHCIA

Phyllis Davis, Chair of The Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board, was one of the signatories to a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The letter, signed by 16 Tribes and Tribal organizations on behalf of 567 Tribes, asks the congressional leaders to support retention of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act (IHCIA) in any efforts to repeal or replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You can read the letter here: tribal-organization-ihcia-support-letter (pdf). (December 20, 2016)

Annual Director’s Report 2016

Boozhoo and miigwich for the opportunity to provide an overall picture of the success of the Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board (GLATHB) over the past year! I have been in the Health Board Director position for one year and am proud to report on our activity since July 2015.

GLATHB Directors Meeting

Part 2 of strategic planning at the September 9 GLATHB Directors meeting in Milwaukee.First and foremost is the new name of the Health Board. Previously called the Midwest Area Tribal Health Board, members voted in April of this year to change the name to Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board. This name change promotes unity and fosters a collective voice representative of the geographic region. We also have a new logo to go with it.

On behalf of the GLATHB, I have had many great opportunities over the past year to help raise awareness of the Board and its mission through participating in events and networking.

In August 2015, I presented “Cultural Congruence in Healthcare” at a conference sponsored by the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center (GLITEC) as part of the CDC Good Health & Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) project.

We participated in community net­working events to share information about GLATHB and our function, as well as assist the mission of other organizations. These events included:  Native Com­muni­ty Well­­ness at the Indian Council of the Elderly in Milwaukee in early November; the Native Nurses Summit at Stockbridge-Munsee (which we helped to organize, and which was attended by over 150 native American nurses and nursing students, educators, and others); and the Lac du Flambeau “Minobimaadiiziwin” Expo in May.

We’re working on gaining a voice in the Indian Health Service’s ITU Budget Formulation Process. We attended the IHS/ITU meeting in Green Bay last fall, and the FY2017 Pre-Negotiation meeting in Minneapolis in June.

Earlier this year, the Native American Interest Group of Mayo Clinic invited me to present on cultural congruence in healthcare.

As part of a collaboration between the State of Wisconsin and GLITC, I participated in the Adolescent Substance Abuse/Misuse Treatment Services Webinar.

In March I presented at the Annual Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference on “Increasing Cultural Congruence Among Nurses.” I also co-presented “American Indian 101 and Traditional Medicine” with Isaiah Brokenleg to the SOAR Program, an employee training for rural nurses in Wisconsin.

I partnered with the Native Amer­ican Research Center on Health (NARCH) as part of a planning committee meeting for Indigenous Health & Wellness Day 2016 at UW-Madison. Native youth attended a 2-day event including a powwow, campus tour, resource fair; and meeting with ­native student organizations.

One of the most rewarding things I have been able to do this past year is to reach out to the tribal communities of the Great Lakes region. It is critical to build relationships with tribal leaders and health directors. I joined the Bemidji Area Tribal Environmental/Public Health Advisory Committee for their meeting last summer and have met with the Lac du Flambeau Health & Wellness Committee, where I presented on the GLATHB and am partnering on local issues.

One of the important pieces to helping the GLATHB grow is to learn what other Indian health boards across the country are doing, how they grew and what challenges they faced. One initiative from last year’s strategic planning session was outreach to NIHB. We’ve made contacts with the California Rural Indian Health Board, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board; Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board; Inter-tribal Council of Arizona; and NIHB conference calls.

As part of our efforts to raise awareness of the GLATHB, we now have a Facebook page—Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board—and we will begin work on a website in the coming weeks.

During our next year, we will continue to develop relationships with the tribes as a high priority. We’ll also focus on our by-laws, membership guidelines and recruitment. Other specific goals include outreach to Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan and Chippewa Tribes in Minnesota; developing a strategy to lead budget formulations with tribes and IHS; developing position papers as a resource for tribal communities; and defining priorities for lobbying. We will be at the IHS Behavioral Health Conference in August and attend the NIHB Annual Consumer Conference in September.

(This article is as printed in the GLITEC Gazette. Follow the link below for the original report.)

Full version of Annual Director’s Report 2016. Click here for report (docx)