On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) celebrated 50 years as an organization by kicking off its 39th Annual Tribal Health Conference in Washington, D.C.

The four-day conference is intended to advance tribal capacity to influence federal law and policies and serves as a forum to discuss tribal health care. This year’s conference is themed “The Power of Identity: A Path to Tribal Health Equity.”

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More than 800 people are attending from across Indian Country, according to The NIHB.

Workshops yesterday included: Transformational Policy Change to Achieve Health Equity; Beyond Health Care: A Holistic Approach to Health Equity; Leveraging Tribal Resources for Health Equity; Respecting Tribal Sovereignty: A Path to Accelerating Tribal Health Equity; and Honoring our Past, Preparing for our Future.

Dr. Rose Weahkee, acting Deputy Director of Indian Health Service (IHS), delivered an update on behalf of IHS. Her speech focused on how the agency is working to achieve its mission to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of Native Americans and Alaska Natives by delivering quality comprehensive health services. 

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“There has never been a better time to push Native American issues forward than now,” Weahklee said to the crowd, according to a statement.

Weahklee encouraged conference goers to network and have important conversations to affect change and progress in advancing health equity.

To view a full summary of the conference agenda, click here.

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