Supporting American Indian Health Leaders

In 2016, MHCF began organizing quarterly meetings of the tribal health directors and urban Indian health center directors in Montana, at their request. This group has become known as the American Indian Health Leaders group (AIHL). The goal of this initiative is to continue to provide support to the American Indian Health Leaders group so that they can develop a foundation for effective planning and implementation of initiatives that improve American Indian health in Montana.

The leaders of tribal health departments and urban Indian health programs face many challenges in common, yet they have few opportunities to meet, learn from each other, and collaborate on programs, health system reforms, strategic planning, and policy. The tribes and urban Indian health centers in Montana have no representation on many federal advisory committees that set important tribal health policies, whereas tribes in some parts of the country have the organizational support that enables them to provide effective, technical input that shapes key federal policy changes. Many U.S. regions have Indian health boards that have tribally-delegated authority to run health programs and have staff with policy and technical expertise to support tribal and urban Indian health programs. Montana currently has no one who provides these core functions.

This initiative will:

  • Continue to support the AIHL meetings and goals.
  • Provide funding for leadership development for staff of AIHL participant organizations (tribes and urban Indian health centers).

If you are interested in learning more about the AIHL group or in applying for leadership development support, please contact MHCF Senior Program Officer Tressie White. 

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