LTSS Newsletter—October 2020

Funding opportunities, news, events, and resources for tribal and urban Indian LTSS programs
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Upcoming webinar: Money Follows the Person Tribal Initiative, Part 3

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
October 2020
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Lifestyle changes to protect against dementia

While Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are not fully preventable, some everyday actions can help reduce the risk of dementia.

Full-body health that honors physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing plays a large role in protecting against dementia. The Alzheimer's Association recommends the following approaches to combatting dementia through strengthening overall health:

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    New dementia resource library on LTSS TA Center
    Explore the new webpage on the CMS LTSS TA Center for resources on LTSS and dementia in Indian Country.
These materials explore and recommend cultural considerations for treating dementia for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Resources include:
  • Reports on barriers to diagnosis and best practices for cognitive assessments in Indian Country
  • Webinar recordings on promising practices for dementia care, a music and memory program, dementia care services for tribal communities, and support for caregivers of people with dementia
The cover of the report, LTSS Research: Cognitive Assessment Tools
A report from the LTSS TA Center, LTSS Research: Cognitive Assessment Tools

NIHB COVID-19 response

Tribal Infection Control Advisory Committee

Project Firstline: CDC's National Training Collaborative for Healthcare Infection Prevention & Control

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is recruiting members for a Tribal Infection Control Advisory Committee. This committee will help inform program materials and approaches for Project Firstline.

Project Firstline is a joint effort between the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To create long-lasting results in the field of infection prevention and control, the project intends to empower frontline health care providers through training and practical tools.

Please contact Carmen Sanders at for more information or to request an application.

Call for tribal COVID-19 resources

NIHB COVID-19 Resource Center -

NIHB is gathering materials from tribes that document their responses to COVID-19. To guide other tribes in responding to the pandemic, NIHB will add these resources to its COVID-19 Tribal Resource Center.

Please submit materials or resources to Courtney Wheeler at NIHB can make information or tools anonymous, as requested.

COVID-19 discharge planning for people with disabilities

A male Seminole elder

Home- and community-based care helps people with disabilities who need long-term care stay connected to their homes, families, and communities. In many cases, quarantine, illness, and other pandemic-related issues have changed how and where people receive care. To support their overall wellbeing, it is important to reconnect them to their established community-based care network.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response created a discharge planning toolkit designed to reintegrate people with disabilities into their communities after receiving acute care for COVID-19. Topics include care coordination, legal considerations, person-centered planning, and more.

New toolkit: COVID-19 considerations for long-term care facilities

Group settings, like long-term care facilities, can place people at increased risk of getting COVID-19. The resource COVID-19 Considerations for Long-Term Care Facilities (PDF, 777 KB, 16 pp), from the HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, provides information to help keep residents safe.

This comprehensive toolkit compiles lessons learned from the early months of the pandemic and resources to support planning and response efforts. Topics include emergency planning, infection prevention, staffing, transportation, testing, and more.

Caregiver's corner

Helping elders and people with disabilities vote

With a major election occurring during the pandemic, helping elders and people with disabilities vote safely is an important consideration. During September's LTSS webinar, Charmain Fuller Cooper, South Region Campaign Field Manager for AARP, shared information on what AARP is doing to ensure everyone has the chance to vote safely and that everyone's vote is counted.


"Americans 50+ deserve to be able to vote safely… We must all work together to protect the right to vote for everyone, including those in our long-term care facilities."
– Charmain Fuller Cooper


For each state, AARP's election 2020 website lists state-specific information regarding registration deadlines and voting requirements, including whether voting by mail is an option for a certain state.


If a caregiver accompanies an elder or person with disabilities to the polls to vote in person, they can help them stay safe and healthy while voting by:

  • Bringing masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from others
  • Bringing a chair, water, and a snack, as well as any important medications or medical equipment, in case the line is long
  • Paying attention to surroundings and reporting any unsafe behavior to the local election office

Caregivers can also reach out to their local election office with any questions about the ability of the person they care for to cast their ballot, such as for people who may have cognitive issues.

Funding Opportunity

Rural health care employment grant program

Application deadline: November 13, 2020
Learn more: Rural health care employment grant program


The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has announced a funding opportunity to create sustainable training programs for health care providers within rural communities. ETA expects to award 40 programs between $500,000 and $2.5 million each, to total $40 million.

Upcoming event

NADONA Long-Term Care Annual Conference

Virtual pre-conference date: November 1
Virtual conference dates: November 2, 4, 5, & 10–12
Register: NADONA conference


NADONA Virtual Conference: Our Time to Thrive!Join the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA) virtual conference to learn more about changes in long-term and post-acute care and effective communication with patients, families, and staff. See the schedule at a glance (PDF, 10 MB, 11 pp).


The agenda includes over 30 sessions, recordings of which will be available after each presentation. Participants will have the opportunity to earn 30 hours of live nursing credits and 19 hours of credits for the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards.

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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. If you are a member of the group already, you can access it by clicking the group name under Groups on the left side of your LinkedIn landing page.
Upcoming webinar

Money Follows the Person Tribal Initiative, Part 3

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

For the October LTSS webinar, hear from tribal nations in Wisconsin and Oklahoma on the Money Follows the Person Tribal Initiative (MFP-TI).


Panelists will review their efforts to expand the availability of home- and community-based services in tribal communities through MFP-TI resources. Additionally, the panelists will include information about health equity, tribal sovereignty, and the importance of establishing government-to-government relationships.


By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • describe the goals and purpose of the MFP-TI
  • discuss the importance of culturally specific services and tribal sovereignty
  • summarize at least 3 successful strategies and challenges for establishing LTSS in Indian Country

Review the recordings from the last two installments of the MFP-TI series:


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

Please note your location's call-in time:

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



Ericka Kowalkowski
Aging and Long-Term Care Director
Menominee Nation (Wisconsin)

Dawn Klaeser
Aging and Long-Term Care
Menominee Nation (Wisconsin)

David Larson
Continuum Care Director
Oneida Nation (Wisconsin)

Russell Coker
(Seminole Nation)
MFP/Living Choice Project Director
Oklahoma Health Care Authority (Oklahoma)

Send Us Your News

Do you have news to share about LTSS in Indian Country? Send it to, and we'll include it in a newsletter. Contact us with other comments or feedback, too.

About the Newsletter

American Indian/Alaska Native 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