WASHINGTON – The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Board of Directors met virtually for its First Quarter and Annual Board Meeting on February 23 and 24. NIHB’s Chairman William Smith, Board Member of the Valdez Tribe, presided over the meeting and facilitated discussion as they set priorities for 2022 and held Executive Committee elections.
The Legislative and Policy Agenda lays the path for NIHB’s work annually to further advance the organization’s mission. NIHB Member organizations and Tribal organizations collaborated to achieve the final agenda, which is used to guide NIHB’s legislative, regulatory, and Administration advocacy. It is the blueprint for ensuring all American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people and communities can achieve the highest level of health and well-being
That includes native veterans needing to travel four hours roundtrip to visit the VA clinic, the elderly clan mother’s daily dialysis treatment, the family with three children needing braces, and the young pregnant woman hesitant to get vaccinated.
Throughout the year NIHB engages with Tribes and Tribal leaders through outreach, consultation, and caucuses to determine the year’s key political topics and priorities. Development of the Legislative and Policy Agenda 2022 was directly shaped by feedback NIHB gathered from Indian Country. These findings and many others have led to further analysis by Tribal advocates and lawmakers in Indian health.
Serving as the conduit between Indian Country and federal agencies, NIHB relies on the Tribally identified priorities during meetings with Congress and the Administration. To strengthen Tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship, the NIHB will pursue the priorities below in 2022: