LTSS Newsletter—January 2022

LTSS webinar: Managed Care and Home- and Community-Based Services,
January 26

American Indian/Alaska Native Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care
January 2022
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Mitigating COVID-19’s impact on LTSS

A recent AARP Public Policy Institute report (PDF, 765 KB, 24 pp) notes that the pandemic has amplified risks to LTSS providers’ physical and mental health and contributed to staffing challenges.

Recognizing the need to address those challenges, the report discusses various approaches with the potential to:

  • Increase staffing levels
  • Improve pay and benefits
  • Enhance training
  • Mitigate the health risks that LTSS staff face on a daily basis

The report also reviews CMS’s guidance regarding a set of nationally validated core competencies to help ensure LTSS staff have the necessary skills to provide person-directed care.

    Addressing LTSS staffing challenges in care facilities  

LTSS providers play a key role in keeping care facility residents safe and optimizing their quality of life. That’s why maintaining adequate staffing levels is so important.

To hear about strategies to overcome staffing challenges, watch CMS’s LTSS webinar, Staffing Shortages in Tribal Facilities: Past, Present, and Future.

And to learn more about best practices for tribal long-term care facilities, visit the LTSS Technical Assistance Center for fact sheets, reports, and other helpful resources.


Tracking and preventing the spread of COVID-19

The emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant emphasizes the continued need for data visualization tools that track COVID-19’s spread in tribal communities. It also underscores the importance of COVID-19 booster shots, which help prevent hospitalizations and deaths.

Over the past year, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have achieved considerable success with respect to COVID-19 vaccination. A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Covid-19 Vaccination in American Indians and Alaska Natives — Lessons from Effective Community Responses, attributes that success to several factors, including Indian Health Service and tribal health infrastructure and culturally attuned messaging.

Another article in The Spokesman-Review highlights the role of vaccine mandates in preventing COVID-19 infections at the Colville Tribal Convalescent Center in Nespelem, WA.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center's COVID-19 data visualization tool
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Upcoming webinar

Managed Care and Home- and Community-Based Services

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


This webinar will discuss Oneida Nation’s experience during the transition from a 1915(c) waiver to providing home- and community-based services (HCBS) under 1915(b). Topics will include the problems encountered and possible solutions.

Please note your
location's call-in time:

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


  • Describe Oneida Nation’s journey from providing HCBS based on a fee-for-service model to providing those services based on a managed-care model
  • Summarize how 1915(b) waivers differ from 1915(c) waivers
  • Identify unique problems with 1915(b) waivers that must be resolved during the transition from 1915(c) waivers
  • Suggest strategies to ease the move into a 1915(b) environment

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

Register now.

David Larson (Oneida)

David Larson (Oneida)
Director of Continuum Care
Oneida Nation

Caregiver’s corner

Respite care toolkit for elders with dementia

Access to culturally appropriate respite care can enhance caregivers’ quality of life and enable people with dementia to age in place.

To that end, the International Association for Indigenous Aging has announced the availability of a new Indigenous respite care toolkit that will help build capacity for the provision of community-based respite care.

The toolkit is the result of collaboration between:

  • Morning Star Lodge, an Indigenous community-based health research lab
  • File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
  • A community research advisory committee comprised of people from 11 First Nations communities

Email Morning Star Lodge for copies of the toolkit, which can be adapted to meet the needs of Indigenous peoples and communities outside of Canada.

Funding opportunities

Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program

Deadline: March 18

Learn more about the Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is offering funds to expand public health capacity through health care job development, training, and placement in rural communities affected by COVID-19. Tribes and tribal organizations are encouraged to apply.

Small Health Care Provider QI Program

Deadline: March 21

Learn more about the Small Health Care Provider QI Program

HRSA's Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program is offering funds to support the planning and implementation of quality improvement (QI) activities for rural primary care providers or health care service providers that serve rural residents. The program anticipates awarding 40 grantees up to $200,000 each for a 4-year performance period. Grantees will be required to use an evidence-based model or promising practice to achieve:

  • Improved health outcomes
  • Expanded capacity for essential health care services
  • Increased financial sustainability
Upcoming events

CDC tribal consultation on AI/AN worker safety and health

February 3, 4:15–6 pm Eastern
Register for the CDC NIOSH tribal consultation session

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) will host a virtual tribal consultation session to receive input and recommendations on a draft document, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Worker Safety and Health Strategic Plan, 2022–2031 (PDF, 219 KB, 8 pp).

Webinars on dementia

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) hosts webinars for case managers, social workers, health care professionals, and others who support elders with dementia and people affected by dementia-related illnesses. Upcoming AFA webinars are listed below.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Logo. 20 years. 2002-2022. Making a difference.

American Society on Aging annual conference

April 11–14, New Orleans, LA
Register for the American Society on Aging annual conference

Plan to attend this year’s American Society on Aging (ASA) annual conference. The conference’s theme is “Advancing Economic Security.” Keynotes, general sessions, workshops, and special events will cover the following 5 priority areas:

Logo for American Society on Aging annual conference
  • Justice and equity
  • Innovation and social impact
  • Health and well-being
  • Economic security
  • Ageism and culture

ASA requires all conference attendees, speakers, and exhibitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and adhere to the requirements of both the City of New Orleans and the host hotel.

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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