LTSS Newsletter—April 2021

Next LTSS webinar: Aging in Place Project: Building Sustainable
LTSS Capacity in your Tribal Community,
April 28, 2021

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
April 2021
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Minority Health Month and COVID-19 vaccination

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the health disparities that racial and ethnic minority communities often face.

#VaccineReady community toolkit

A sample graphic from the OMH toolkit with a photo of an AI/AN man and the text 'National Minority Health Month. #VaccineReady'

This April, the HHS Office of Minority Health is using the observance as a platform to encourage people to be #VaccineReady.

By providing accurate information from trusted experts and asking people to share why they are choosing vaccination, the campaign aims to build confidence in vaccine effectiveness. The goal is to boost vaccination rates in vulnerable communities to help address the disparities related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have emerged in these communities.

The campaign includes a toolkit for communities that contains shareable graphics, social media posts, and guidelines on how to prepare for vaccination.

Resources for providers

Health care providers across the nation play direct, crucial roles in safeguarding vulnerable populations during the pandemic. To keep providers informed on how to best protect all communities, the CMS COVID-19 Partner Resource page offers a variety of resources from CDC and other partners.

    #VaccineReady in Indian Country  
    Tribal long-term care programs have been working hard and innovating to protect their communities since the outset of the pandemic.

See a webinar recording from the CMS LTSS Technical Assistance Center (56:14) to learn more about the tools tribal nursing homes have been using to protect their residents, staff, and communities.

Now that vaccines are becoming more widely available, vaccination is a crucial step in protecting elders, caregivers, and communities.

In a recent video from the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, a Bois Forte Band of Chippewa elder discusses her experience with COVID-19 vaccination.

She explains why she chose to be vaccinated and encourages others to do the same, saying she felt that, "If I could help even one person by having this shot, I'd gladly do it."

Elder receiving a vaccine

Next steps for addressing disparities

The disproportionate effects of the pandemic on minority communities stem from long-standing health disparities. To progress toward solutions for reducing these disparities, the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities recently released a strategic plan that outlines actionable next steps.

Simplifying telehealth services

A graphic showing a patient and provider communicating via video chat

CMS has released new telehealth resources to further support health care providers and patients during the pandemic, as they continue to adjust to virtual appointments and services.

To help make virtual care as seamless as possible, these resources include instructions for providers and shareable information in a variety of formats. Guidance for patients or their family members is also available.

Upcoming webinar

The Native Aging in Place Project: Building sustainable LTSS capacity in your tribal community

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


The Native Aging in Place Project (NAPP) provides LTSS designed to enable Spirit Lake Tribal elders to live independently in their homes.

In this webinar, the presenters will discuss the NAPP's successes and lessons learned. They will share best practices for strengthening local capacity to deliver direct services to elders and describe how the NAPP helped develop a sustainable model for community-based services.

Learning objectives:

Please note your
location's call-in time:

8 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

  • Discuss the value of the NAPP
  • Learn how to accelerate and strengthen local capacity to develop, deliver, and evaluate an LTSS program for tribal elders
  • Discuss how to develop a sustainable model of community-based services to support tribal elders in aging in place within their communities

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

Register now.

Collette Adamsen

Collette Adamsen, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Rural Health
University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Heather Lawrence

Heather Lawrence
Long-Term Support Services Tribal Liaison
National Resource Center on Native American Aging and NAPP

Michelle Meyer

Michelle Meyer
Project Coordinator

Caregiver's corner

COVID-19 and brain health

The infographic, COVID: Protect your brain, too

The Global Council on Brain Health's report, COVID-19 and Brain Health (PDF, 4.6 MB, 20 pp), recommends steps to safeguard brain health in adults ages 50 and older, especially during the pandemic.

According to the report, research shows that people living with dementia are twice as likely to get COVID-19, and their caregivers are experiencing additional stress amid the pandemic.

Because many caregivers are also older than 50, recommendations focus on both elders with dementia and their caregivers.

See the infographic, COVID: Protect Your Brain, Too (PDF, 1 MB, 1 p), for steps caregivers can take to protect brain health for themselves and those they care for.

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Upcoming events

2021 NIHB National Tribal Public Health Summit

Dates: April 27–29

Heart-shaped NIHB word cloud

Register now and view the agenda for this year's National Tribal Public Health Summit, which will be held virtually.

Hosted by the National Indian Health Board (NIHB), the summit will bring together public health professionals, researchers, and policy experts to discuss evidence-based promising practices in public, behavioral, and environmental health.

Funding opportunities

Community Rides Grant Program

Application due date: May 10
Apply for a Community Rides Grant

The National Rural Transit Assistance Program is offering Community Rides Grants to develop or strengthen transportation partnerships that address social determinants of health in rural and tribal communities.

Grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded for a 15-month performance period. Eligible applicants include existing rural or tribal transit systems that receive Federal Transit Administration Formula Grants for Rural Areas (Section 5311) or Tribal Transit Program funding.

Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services

Application due date: May 24
Apply for an Innovations in Nutrition grant

Is your tribe creating a garden to deliver fresh produce to elder care facilities or using other innovative approaches to improve nutrition for elders? Apply for the Administration for Community Living's grant, which will award programs up to $300,000 over a 3-year period for the creation or documentation of promising innovations in nutrition for elders.

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