Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board: Indian Leadership for Indian Health


Andy Joseph, Chairman, Confederated Tribes of Colville, NPAIHB Chair
Welcome to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board website.  You will notice that we are engaged in many areas of Indian health, including legislation, health promotion and disease prevention, as well as data surveillance and research.  Our strengths include an active board, talented staff, and a forward thinking organization.  We know that there is much work to be done to improve the health status in Indian Country, but we do not shy away from the challenge.

Joe Finkbonner (Lummi), Executive Director
It is an honor to be the Executive Director of such a reputable organization and I would like to thank the Delegates for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility. The Northwest tribes have worked hard and consistently for more than three decades to build this organization as a nationally reputed leader in Indian health. They have faced difficult questions and issues, and have consistently put health improvement above all else. I am proud to be a part of such an approach. We have a bright future and a great team to continue our work.

Who We Are
Established in 1972, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB or the Board) is a non-profit tribal advisory organization serving the forty-three federally recognized tribes of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  Each member tribe appoints a Delegate via tribal resolution, and meets quarterly to direct and oversee all activities of NPAIHB. 

What We Do
NPAIHB Delegates create and update a strategic plan, which contains four main functional areas:  health promotion and disease prevention, legislative and policy analysis, training and technical assistance, and surveillance and research.  NPAIHB houses a tribal epidemiology center (EpiCenter), several health promotion disease prevention projects, and is active in Indian health policy. 

Organizational Capacity
The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for all staff and programs at NPAIHB and answers directly to a five person Executive Committee elected by Board delegates.  A four person Management Team consists of the Executive Director, Administrative Officer, EpiCenter Director, and Health Resource Coordinator. It acts in an advisory capacity to the ED, assists in the research and development of organizational policy and practices, and is a liaison between the ED and staff.  NPAIHB’s Strategic Plan maps our priorities, organizational values, mission, and health issues and concerns.  The organizational chart outlines the managerial structure of the Board.  NPAIHB collaborates with the Indian Health Service (IHS), federal and state agencies, universities, and private organizations.  The Finance Department assists Project Directors in monitoring program budgets.  Personnel in each program prepares and reports its progress and activities to the Board Delegates at Quarterly Board Meetings. 

Strategic Plan
The purpose of NPAIHB’s Strategic Plan is to provide guidance in the operation and execution of its mission. The Strategic Plan illustrates the Board’s values, vision, mission, and expectations. It serves as a roadmap for NPAIHBs daily operations and assists it in addressing Northwest tribal community health needs.  Every five years Delegates and Board staff revisit and update the Strategic Plan. 

Board Members
In 1972, several Northwest tribal members recognized the need to exercise control over the design and development of health care delivery systems in their local communities.  Today, every federally recognized tribe in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho serves as a Delegate to NPAIHB.  Many Delegates also serve on their tribe’s council. 

The NPAIHB Executive Committee is comprised of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms.  The Executive Committee approves the Quarterly Board Meeting agendas, approves Executive Committee resolutions, develops and refers policy issues to the entire delegation for approval, reviews and monitors NPAIHB financial matters, represents NPAIHB at regional and national meetings, and is the direct supervisor to the Executive Director.

National Workgroups
Tribal Leader Diabetes Committee
Indian Health Service Budget Formulation Workgroup
Indian Health Service Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Policy Advisory Committee
Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee
Tribal Self Governance Advisory Committee
Facilities Advisory Appropriation Board
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Tribal Technical Advisory Group
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee

Public Health Committee
Legislative Committee
Personnel Committee
Behavioral Health Committee
Elders Committee
Veterans Committee

NPAIHB Coalitions
Northwest Tribal Cancer Coalition
Red Talon STD/HIV Coalition