Tester Secures More Than $3 Million for Tribal Health Workforce

Funds will go towards Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council’s Public Health Workforce Expansion in Indian Country

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured more than $3 million for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council to support its Public Health Workforce Expansion in Indian Country.

“In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we have to make sure Montana Tribes have the health care resources and workforce capacity to keep folks in Indian Country healthy and safe,” said Tester. “Now more than ever, it’s absolutely critical that Washington upholds its trust and treaty responsibilities to Montana’s Tribal communities, and I am going to work day and night to make sure the federal government delivers on those promises.”

Tester secured this $3,005,629 through the Tribal Public Health Capacity Building and Quality Improvement program, which is a cooperative agreement between 25 Tribal nations and Tribally designated organizations, and the Centers for Disease Control. Together, these partners work to increase capacity in Indian Country to identify and respond to public health threats.

The goal of this cooperative program is to focus on building Tribal public health systems’ capacity in one or more of the following areas:

  • Improving Tribal public health system infrastructure and operational capacity
  • Building the competencies of the Tribal public health workforce
  • Improving Tribal public health data and information systems
  • Strengthening Tribal public health programs and services
  • Improving the provision of Tribal public health resources and communication
  • Developing and maintaining Tribal public health partnerships

Tester has led the charge to make sure Native American communities are not left out of the COVID-19 response. He called on the Trump Administration to engage with Tribal leaders to make sure that the CARES Act resources are directed quickly and where they are most needed, and that the federal government lives up to its trust and treaty responsibilities. Tester also demanded U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar release $80 million Congress appropriated as a part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act after a nearly two week delay, and has pressed the Administration to work with Native American communities and Tribal leaders in coordinating their response to the outbreak.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak