On October 31, 2023, the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) submitted written comments in response to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health’s (OMH) September 13, 2023, letter regarding the development of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) entitled Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicators Initiative (LHII). In its comments, NCUIH urges OMH to consider the health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native people living in urban areas when developing the NOFO, in accordance with Congress’ directive in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act “to raise the health status of Indians and urban Indians to at least the levels set forth in the goals contained within the Healthy People 2010 initiative or successor objectives,” like Healthy People 2030. NCUIH highlighted particular leading health indicators (LHIs) which impact American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban areas, such as maternal deaths, food insecurity, diabetes, behavioral health, substance use disorders, and drug overdose deaths, and also urged OMH to facilitate partnerships between grantees and UIOs to ensure American Indians and Alaska Natives can be served by the LHII no matter where they reside.
Healthy People 2030 identifies public health priorities to help individuals, organizations, and communities across the United States improve health and well-being. Healthy People 2030, the initiative’s fifth iteration, builds on knowledge gained over the first four decades. The Healthy People 2030 LHII is intended to identify innovative adaptations of evidence based/evidence informed practices that improve health outcomes related to Healthy People 2030 LHIs among racial, ethnic, tribal and other disadvantaged communities.
LHIs are a small subset of high-priority Healthy People 2030 objectives selected to drive action toward improving health and well-being. Most LHIs address important factors that impact major causes of death and disease in the United States, and they help organizations, communities, and states across the nation focus their resources and efforts to improve the health and well-being of all people. Healthy People 2030 includes 23 LHIs that are organized by life stage: Infants, Children and Adolescents, Adults and Older Adults, and All Ages.
Projects funded under the LHII will implement public health improvement models intended to improve health for one to two Healthy People 2030 LHIs in geographic areas targeted by the recipients. OMH also expects the initiative will result in enhanced capacity of public health, community, and government entities to address and reduce health disparities in geographic areas targeted by the recipients.
NCUIH will continue to monitor the development of the Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicators Initiative and advocate on the inclusion of issues of importance to American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban areas and the UIOs that serve them.