FDA Advisory Committee, VRBPAC, Holds Public Covid-19 Vaccine Development Meeting

On October 22, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory group, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research’s (CBER) held a 9-hour meeting to discuss the authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine. This meeting highlighted what is known about COVID-19 and touched on major key points and challenges facing vaccine development and distribution: how trials will be conducted in terms of safety and efficacy in the event of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), instilling the public’s trust in the vaccine, and the inclusion of underserved minority groups and high risk populations.

The safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine raised concerns and was discussed among the committee in yesterday’s meeting. Dr. Doran Fink, Deputy Director in the Division of Vaccines and Related Products at CBER, presented on data to support a COVID-19 vaccine EUA, highlighting that there is a 2-month minimum follow-up for vaccine participants after completing the full vaccine process. Concerns were raised that the time allotted for monitoring was too short to evaluate safety and effectiveness. It was noted that and issuance of an EUA can risk unblinding a trial, and cause trial participants who are both interested in the emergency COVID-19 vaccine and approved under the EUA to withdraw— resulting in insufficient enrollment in placebo-controlled trials.

The topic of gaining the public’s trust in a COVID-19 vaccine was also of top concern among committee members. The CEO of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, Susan Winckler, presented on their COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Project that assists the FDA with understanding public perception about the vaccine by: identifying themes in the media about the vaccine, hosting listening sessions to gather opinions, addressing concerns and questions, and checking the credibility and relevancy of messages regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Direct quotes from their listening sessions echo concerns about the speed of the process, distrust of government, distrust of the healthcare system, concerns that politics and economics will be prioritized over science, fears that the vaccine will not work for individuals or their community, and fears based on past experiences.

Many concerns were raised among committee members regarding the inclusion of minority groups, such as American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) and African Americans, in trials as well as high-risk groups like those with comorbidities and the elderly. Dr. Hilary Marston, Medical Officer and Policy Advisor for Pandemic Preparedness at National Institute of Health (NIH) presented that trials overseen by NIH have explicit parameters for volunteer enrollment with risk factors. She also stressed that proactive community engagement with minority groups is a top priority for NIH. VRBPAC committee members emphasized that AI/AN and other underserved minority groups are often unrepresented in medicine and are imperative to ensure widespread efficacy in the COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XTiL9rUpkg&feature=youtu.be

PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH Announces Partnership with CDC’s Project Firstline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, mraimondi@NCUIH.org, 202-932-6615

Project Firstline aims to provide health workers foundations for infection control; trainings to equip with skills and best practices in fight against COVID-19.

Washington, D.C. (October 28, 2020) – The National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are collaborating on an infection control training initiative for frontline healthcare personnel, including Urban Indian Organization health workers.

“We are thrilled that CDC’s Project Firstline is inclusive of the frontline health heroes serving American Indians and Alaska Natives since day one of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), NCUIH CEO. “The trainings offered through Project Firstline will be beneficial for urban Indian health workers to enhance their skills and practices as they continue the fight against COVID-19 that is ravaging our communities.”

CDC’s Project Firstline is a collaborative of diverse healthcare and public health partners that will provide infection control training for millions of healthcare workers in the United States, as well as members of the public health workforce.

Project Firstline aims to provide every person working in a U.S. healthcare facility the foundation for infection control trainings to protect the nation from infectious disease threats, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NCUIH is currently accepting applications for the Project Firstline IPC Champions Grant until October 30, 2020, and for UIO Staff Professional Development Scholarships on a rolling basis. Learn more about NCUIH’s commitment to CDC’s Project Firstline here.

New UIO Funding Deadlines and Opportunities Plus Student Fellowship Extension

Funding for UIOs

New Funding Deadlines for GOTV, UIO Champion Funding, Professional Development, Student Fellowships

Please see below for new special opportunities for UIOs to receive up to $40,000 in funding:

One-on-One Grant Application Assistance

Our Technical Assistance (TA) team is standing by to help your team complete any of the below applications! We are here to answer any questions and provide a walk-through of the application to ensure correct and timely completion. Please contact Marc Clark at mclark@ncuih.org to schedule an appointment for assistance in submitting any of these applications.

 

Apply Now

Funding Opportunity: GOTV Partnership with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC)

We have extended the opportunity to apply for a minimum of $2,500 in funding for all UIOs for work that promotes both Get Out the Census and Get Out the Vote efforts. The deadline has for applications has been extended to October 16, 2020. As we move into the last few weeks, it has come to our attention that some organizations underestimated their capacity, materials, etc. for their initial application. This is an opportunity for you to request an increase in funds with a maximum request of $40,000 dollars. Our focus is making a final push as we move toward final voter registration deadlines in all States and want to supplement you with resources to meet the needs of your community. Please feel free to submit an additional application for an increase of funds.

Note: UIOs are eligible for this funding EVEN if the UIO already receives funding for these efforts. These funds can be used to supplement your existing GOTV plans. This final round of funding will be open to UIO applicants (and those re-applying)  UIOs who have the capacity to spend should  apply again and ask for more.  (It is ok to use previous application language with updated details.)

Deadline: October 16, 2020 11:59 pm ET

Funding Opportunity: UIO Infection Prevention Control Project Champions

NCUIH is recruiting Urban Indian Organizations (UIO) to become Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Systems Champions with awards up to $40,000 to undertake locally-defined initiatives accompanied by a core set of requirements for targeted training and development as part of Project Firstline.

About Project Firstline Champions

Selected UIOs will have the opportunity to tailor activities and learning opportunities unique to Indian Country and to share their knowledge and expertise in adapting current IPC guidelines to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines of their organizations. Collaborative activities will be facilitated by NCUIH and co-created by UIO IPC Systems Champions in a model that embraces Champions as teacher-learner and relies on 4 key principles of adult learning (involvement, experience-based, problem-centered, immediate relevance).

Goal of the Champion Initiative

Identify and implement sustainable UIO systemic changes in infection prevention and control critical to a culture of safety and create organizations that are flexible and responsive to ongoing needs during the pandemic and beyond.

Opportunity Overview for UIO IPC Systems Champions (IPCSC)

  • Maximum of 5 UIOs will be selected
  • Competitive awards of up to $40,000
  • Duration of participation is 8 months (November 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021)
  • Participation requires a commitment to complete the core set of required activities
  • Selected Systems Champions will support information gathering, training module and modality development, pilot testing of materials, and participation in frontline staff training within their organization, including potential participation in CDC-supported Project Echo activities
  • NCUIH staff bring expertise, experience and support in multiple performance improvement methodologies, including LEAN, Six Sigma, and Just Culture
  • Participants are provided access to CDC and other subject matter and training experts
  • Option to participate in additional infection prevention and control train-the-trainer opportunities offered by CDC
Deadline: October 30, 2020 11:59 pm ET
Learn More

UIO Project Champions Pre-Application Webinar Recording
Click to View Recording
Read More
About the Project Champion Funding Opportunity & download a sample application packet:
Click to Visit


Ask Questions

About all of our upcoming opportunities
ipc@ncuih.org

Learn More About IPC Champions
Apply Here

Professional Development Scholarship

Scholarships for professional development, certification and training in the amount up to $1100 will be awarded to individual UIO staff to support infection prevention and control or systems-based training to improve UIO approaches to care (safety, just culture, teams-based care). Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Apply Here

Student Fellowships

 

NCUIH is seeking fellowship applications from students in public health, health, communications, nursing, medicine or other related disciplines to support CDC-funded infection prevention and control training project activities.

Fellowship recipients should have a focus on urban Native health in one of the following areas:

  • infection prevention and control
  • public health
  • public health nursing
  • mental health
  • behavioral health
  • health communication
  • improving health processes
  • improving health quality
  • or a related area

Click for more info

Application Deadline October 14, 2020 11:59 pm ET

Apply for Fellowship

PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH Honored with 2020 Heroes in Health National Impact Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, 202-932-6615, mraimondi@ncuih.org

Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2020) – On October 14, 2020, the National Indian Health Board honored and awarded the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) with an Outstanding Service Award for National Impact. The National Impact Award is given to individuals, programs and organizations who led health advocacy efforts across Indian Country to improve the lives and health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“The National Council of Urban Indian Health is honored to receive this award for our work on COVID-19,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), NCUIH CEO. “Since February, NCUIH has been fighting to ensure that all of Indian Country receives the necessary resources to combat this pandemic that is killing our people every single day. Due to our advocacy, resources for urban Indians were included in all legislation addressing COVID-19.  With our partners, we continue to apply pressure to Congress to ensure appropriate resources are included in every legislative packages on COVID-19.  We are working to ensure that frontline health heroes in Indian Country must receive access to PPE, supplies, and testing, as they risk their lives every day. We will continue to hold this Administration and Congress to their trust and treaty obligations.”

NCUIH commends urban Indian health leader Toni Lodge, CEO of the NATIVE Project in Spokane, Washington for being recognized for a 2020 Area and Regional Impact Award.

Other National Impact Awardees include Dr. Donald Warne, Dr. Winifred Booker, Indian Health Service, Division of Environmental Health Services, Strong Hearts Native Helpline, and Native American Research Internship in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah. The 2020 Heroes in Health Award Gala, which was held virtually this year, is an annual event as part of the National Tribal Health Conference.

PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH Honored with 2020 Heroes in Health National Impact Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, 202-932-6615, mraimondi@ncuih.org

Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2020) – On October 14, 2020, the National Indian Health Board honored and awarded the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) with an Outstanding Service Award for National Impact. The National Impact Award is given to individuals, programs and organizations who led health advocacy efforts across Indian Country to improve the lives and health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“The National Council of Urban Indian Health is honored to receive this award for our work on COVID-19,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), NCUIH CEO. “Since February, NCUIH has been fighting to ensure that all of Indian Country receives the necessary resources to combat this pandemic that is killing our people every single day. Due to our advocacy, resources for urban Indians were included in all legislation addressing COVID-19.  With our partners, we continue to apply pressure to Congress to ensure appropriate resources are included in every legislative packages on COVID-19.  We are working to ensure that frontline health heroes in Indian Country must receive access to PPE, supplies, and testing, as they risk their lives every day. We will continue to hold this Administration and Congress to their trust and treaty obligations.”

NCUIH commends urban Indian health leader Toni Lodge, CEO of the NATIVE Project in Spokane, Washington for being recognized for a 2020 Area and Regional Impact Award.

Other National Impact Awardees include Dr. Donald Warne, Dr. Winifred Booker, Indian Health Service, Division of Environmental Health Services, Strong Hearts Native Helpline, and Native American Research Internship in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah. The 2020 Heroes in Health Award Gala, which was held virtually this year, is an annual event as part of the National Tribal Health Conference.

PRESS RELEASE: First Presidential Candidate Platform to Include Urban Indians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, 202-932-6615, mraimondi@ncuih.org

Biden campaign announces plan to continue support of tribal rights and sovereignty, extend protections to urban Indians

Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2020) – On October 8, Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice-President Joe Biden, with running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, announced a Tribal policy plan that will build on efforts made by the Obama administration, “which were instrumental in rebuilding trust, good faith and respect for the tribal-federal relationship.” This is, the first plan from any US Presidential Candidate to prioritize resources for the over 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives that live in cities.

“The United States of America was founded on the notion of equality for all,” the 15-page document starts. “We’ve always strived to meet that ideal, but never fully lived up to it. Throughout our history, this promise has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial.”   “This is an historic day for urban Indians,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), CEO of NCUIH. “There has never been a plan like this that included American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban areas. I’m glad presidential candidates are finally listening to us and I hope that all potential candidates take the trusty and treaty obligation seriously and include a platform dedicated to Indian Country.”

From the plan: Meeting obligations to urban Native Americans. According to the 2010 Census, over half of Native Americans live off reservation. Biden will ensure that we don’t leave anyone behind by creating a strategy to support our country’s urban Indian populations, ensure that their voices are heard by the federal government, and to fight invisibility of urban Indians across the country. That means ensuring that urban Native American populations have the support they need to access quality health care, culturally relevant education, adequate and affordable housing, and other needed resources. This includes ensuring that Urban Indian Organizations receive 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for Medicaid, just as IHS tribal providers already receive.”

Other important points from the policy plan for Indian Country include:

  • Tackle the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
  • Provide reliable, affordable healthcare.
  • Invest in Native students.
  • Ensure Tribal nations will have a strong voice and role in federal government.
  • Immediately reinstate and make permanent the White House Council on Native American Affairs and the Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
  • Make Tribal self-governance and sovereignty cornerstones of federal policy.
  • Restore Tribal lands and safeguard natural and cultural resources.
  • Tackle climate change and pollution
  • Expand economic and community development in Indian Country
  • Fight for Native voting rights.

For more information on the Biden policy plan for Indian Country, click here.

###

About the National Council of Urban Indian Health The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is the national organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban settings. NCUIH envisions a nation where comprehensive, culturally competent personal and public health services are available and accessible to AI/ANs living in urban communities throughout the United States.  NCUIH is the only organization that represents all 41 Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) federally funded by the Indian Health Service.

Funding Opportunities for UIOs

Funding for UIOs

New Funding Deadlines for GOTV, UIO Champion Funding, Professional Development, Student Fellowships

Please see below for new special opportunities for UIOs to receive up to $40,000 in funding:

One-on-One Grant Application Assistance

Our Technical Assistance (TA) team is standing by to help your team complete any of the below applications! We are here to answer any questions and provide a walk-through of the application to ensure correct and timely completion. Please contact Marc Clark at mclark@ncuih.org to schedule an appointment for assistance in submitting any of these applications.


Funding Opportunity: GOTV Partnership with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC)

APPLY NOW

We have extended the opportunity to apply for a minimum of $2,500 in funding for all UIOs for work that promotes both Get Out the Census and Get Out the Vote efforts. The deadline has for applications has been extended to October 16, 2020. As we move into the last few weeks, it has come to our attention that some organizations underestimated their capacity, materials, etc. for their initial application. This is an opportunity for you to request an increase in funds with a maximum request of $40,000 dollars. Our focus is making a final push as we move toward final voter registration deadlines in all States and want to supplement you with resources to meet the needs of your community. Please feel free to submit an additional application for an increase of funds.

Note: UIOs are eligible for this funding EVEN if the UIO already receives funding for these efforts. These funds can be used to supplement your existing GOTV plans. This final round of funding will be open to UIO applicants (and those re-applying)  UIOs who have the capacity to spend should  apply again and ask for more.  (It is ok to use previous application language with updated details.)

Deadline: October 16, 2020 11:59 pm ET

Funding Opportunity: UIO Infection Prevention Control Project Champions

NCUIH is recruiting Urban Indian Organizations (UIO) to become Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Systems Champions with awards up to $40,000 to undertake locally-defined initiatives accompanied by a core set of requirements for targeted training and development as part of Project Firstline.

About Project Firstline Champions

Selected UIOs will have the opportunity to tailor activities and learning opportunities unique to Indian Country and to share their knowledge and expertise in adapting current IPC guidelines to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines of their organizations. Collaborative activities will be facilitated by NCUIH and co-created by UIO IPC Systems Champions in a model that embraces Champions as teacher-learner and relies on 4 key principles of adult learning (involvement, experience-based, problem-centered, immediate relevance).

Goal of the Champion Initiative

Identify and implement sustainable UIO systemic changes in infection prevention and control critical to a culture of safety and create organizations that are flexible and responsive to ongoing needs during the pandemic and beyond.

Opportunity Overview for UIO IPC Systems Champions (IPCSC)

  • Maximum of 5 UIOs will be selected
  • Competitive awards of up to $40,000
  • Duration of participation is 8 months (November 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021)
  • Participation requires a commitment to complete the core set of required activities
  • Selected Systems Champions will support information gathering, training module and modality development, pilot testing of materials, and participation in frontline staff training within their organization, including potential participation in CDC-supported Project Echo activities
  • NCUIH staff bring expertise, experience and support in multiple performance improvement methodologies, including LEAN, Six Sigma, and Just Culture
  • Participants are provided access to CDC and other subject matter and training experts
  • Option to participate in additional infection prevention and control train-the-trainer opportunities offered by CDC
Deadline: October 30, 2020 11:59 pm ET

Professional Development Scholarship

Scholarships for professional development, certification and training in the amount up to $1100 will be awarded to individual UIO staff to support infection prevention and control or systems-based training to improve UIO approaches to care (safety, just culture, teams-based care). Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Student Fellowships

 

NCUIH is seeking fellowship applications from students in public health, health, communications, nursing, medicine or other related disciplines to support CDC-funded infection prevention and control training project activities.

Fellowship recipients should have a focus on urban Native health in one of the following areas:

  • infection prevention and control
  • public health
  • public health nursing
  • mental health
  • behavioral health
  • health communication
  • improving health processes
  • improving health quality
  • or a related area

Click for more info

Application Deadline October 14, 2020 11:59 pm ET

APPLY NOW

PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH URGES CONGRESS TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROVIDE COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR INDIAN COUNTRY AT HEARING TODAY

THE LAST COVID-19 PACKAGE WAS SIX MONTHS AGO.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Meredith Raimondi
mraimondi@NCUIH.org
202-932-6615

Washington, DC (September 30, 2020) – On September 30, Francys Crevier (Algonquin), Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), testified before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to provide updates on urban Indian health impacts of COVID-19. In addition to Ms. Crevier, the Subcommittee heard from Kevin J. Allis, CEO of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle, COO and Director of Public Health Policy and Programs at the National Indian Health Board (NIHB). The hearing highlighted the non-partisan commitment of this subcommittee to upholding and honoring trust responsibilities to Indian Country.

“[I]t is my duty today to convey to you the severity of this crisis and how it is impacting the Indian Health System including our 41 [urban Indian organizations]. The last time a law was enacted was six months ago, the CARES Act of March 27, 2020, where Indian Country received a mere 0.5% of the total funding. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on Indian Country as our people are disproportionately contracting and dying every single day from COVID-19. Since mid-July alone, when I last testified, IHS has seen a 51% increase in infections. Positive rates among Natives are 3.5 times higher than rates for non-Hispanic Whites and hospitalization rates are 4.7 times higher. Last week, CDC reported Native children were among the 78% of pediatric deaths. Black and brown children are dying and no one is paying attention,” stated Francys Crevier, CEO of NCUIH.

“The need to examine and address the ongoing situation in Indian Country is apparent. Congress needs to understand the full impact of the pandemic on Native Americans, and how to better meet the needs of the communities you are testifying on behalf of in future relief packages. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve advocated for personal protective equipment, or PPE, complete test kits, and other supplies to be made available to Indian health facilities and to Tribal governments. Without these items, Native Americans are unable to ensure their safety while receiving essential government services, such as health care, welfare checks, law enforcement services, and domestic violence assistance,” stated House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum.

“I recognize that COVID-19 has hit Indian Country disproportionately harder than the rest of the nation, that the situation is dire, and that additional funding is needed not only to keep tribal governments and communities functioning but to save lives. If there was ever a time for the Subcommittee to hold firm in its non-partisan commitment to tribes, this is it,” stated House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Ranking Member David Joyce.

Ms. Crevier’s testimony focused on the current status of UIOs, including:

  • The need for additional resources for testing and contact tracing with $2 billion for IHS and $64 million for UIOs;
  • Equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once approved, with a minimum 5% set-aside for the I/T/U system;
  • $80 million in facilities funding for UIOs;
  • $1 million for a UIO infrastructure study;
  • $7.3 million annually for 3 years in behavioral health funds for UIOs; and
  • $20 million in telehealth and health information technology funds for UIOs; and a spend-faster anomaly to insulate UIOs and the entire I/T/U system from the dire consequences of a potential government shutdown.

NEXT STEPS

The House released a new COVID-19 package this week. Discussions between the White House and Congressional leadership are ongoing, however, time is running out before Congress departs until after the election.