LTSS Newsletter—February 2019


Upcoming webinar: Elder Locator website redesign—Feb 27, 2019
Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
February 2019
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Prevent diabetes for heart and brain health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people, and evidence suggests that people with heart disease are more likely to develop dementia (PDF, 1.5 MB, 15 pp).

According to a recently published article in the Journal of Diabetes Research (PDF, 825 KB, 8 pp), high rates of diabetes and obesity contribute to the problem of heart disease in AI/AN populations. For that reason, addressing diabetes is linked to addressing heart disease.

Fortunately, results of a 10-year study (PDF, 1.5 MB, 9 pp) show that even minor weight loss can help reduce risk for diabetes in AI/AN communities.


Diabetes and Native health


Learn more about how diabetes affects AI/AN communities.




Patient-centered care through storytelling

Sharing stories is a major consideration for providing health care at the Southcentral Foundation, which offers health services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people in southcentral Alaska. The Southcentral Foundation bases its services on a foundation of trust between care providers and patients.

Through storytelling, providers and patients build relationships while honoring tribal traditions. A short video from the Southcentral Foundation describes the role of storytelling in their care model and offers examples of its positive effects on health outcomes.


Emergency preparedness for people with disabilities

People with disabilities are especially vulnerable during a fire, flood, or other disaster, so planning ahead to ensure their safety is crucial.

On November 28, 2018, CDC hosted a webinar titled "Addressing the Needs of People with Disabilities in Public Health Emergencies." Available online, the webinar slides (PDF, 1.7 MB, 33 pp) and transcript include tips and strategies to:

  • help people with disabilities determine what assistance they need during an emergency,
  • minimize caregiver stress, and
  • include people with disabilities and their caregivers in emergency preparedness and response plan development.

Many states offer emergency preparedness tools and resources for people with disabilities, caregivers, emergency planners, first responders, and other community members. Additionally, the Administration for Community Living has an emergency information card (PDF, 44 KB, 1 p) that patients or caregivers can download and customize with information about the cardholder's disability.


Funding opportunity: Substance use disorder treatment

Applications due: March 25

The funding opportunity, Targeted Capacity Expansion: Special Projects, will fund the development and implementation of substance use disorder treatment for special populations, such as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) elders.

This opportunity will fund public and private nonprofit organizations up to $375,000 for up to 3 years. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration plans to award 22 organizations through this grant.


Find out what's covered through Medicare app


Medicare beneficiaries or their caregivers can use Medicare's new app to quickly see which services or items their Medicare plan covers and learn more about how much their care will cost. After you download the "What's Covered" app, it will work without an internet connection. You can install the app for free on a phone or tablet through the App Store or Google Play.

Try the new Medicare benefits app


Public comment open for pain management best practices

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is seeking comments on their draft report, Pain Management Best Practices, before they submit it to Congress.

Eldercare Locator, Celebrating 20 Years, Connecting You to Community Services

The report focuses on balanced pain management, patient-centered care, safer management of medications, and a multidisciplinary approach to addressing chronic pain. It also looks at access to care, stigma, education, and innovation, among other topics. The report highlights special populations, including older adults, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Veterans.

The public comment period will end on April 1.

Join the conversation on LinkedIn

Want to learn more about or discuss LTSS in Indian Country? Looking to connect with others working in the same field? Join the Tribal Affairs Group on LinkedIn and join the conversation.



Upcoming webinar

Find Local Providers and Resources with the Eldercare Locator

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Eldercare Locator connects older adults and their caregivers with trusted local resources. The Locator's recently redesigned website includes a searchable database of local agencies and programs and offers a library of helpful, consumer-based resources.


The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging administers this service from the Administration for Community Living.


During this webinar, representatives of the National Resource Center on Native American Aging will present the Eldercare Locator website's new features and provide navigation tips.


Webinar participants will:


  • Learn how the Eldercare Locator helps connect older adults and their caregivers to services and programs
  • Learn why people use the Eldercare Locator
  • Learn how to effectively navigate the redesigned website
  • Explore the website's array of brochures and materials

Have questions for our presenters? Let us know before the webinar by emailing

Patrice Earnest

Patrice Earnest 
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Cole Ward

Cole Ward 
Research Specialist
National Resource Center on Native American Aging
University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences


Please note your
location's call-in time:

9 a.m. Hawaii
10 a.m. Alaska
11 a.m. Pacific
12 p.m. Mountain
1 p.m. Central
2 p.m. Eastern






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About the Newsletter

Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions is published monthly by the CMS Division of Tribal Affairs to share information, funding opportunities, and resources with LTSS planners, tribal leaders, and supporters.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Indian Health Service Administration for Community Living