News Release

Indian Health Service

As part of President Biden’s continued efforts to ensure the pandemic response reaches all people and all communities, the Biden Administration is announcing an investment of $1.8 billion to combat COVID-19 in Indian Country. This is in addition to an investment of more than $4 billion that was announced in April 2021 .

“This investment from the American Rescue Plan will strengthen the public health workforce in Indian Country, support mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment, continue efforts to detect and treat COVID-19, and meet facility and equipment needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Elizabeth Fowler, Indian Health Service acting director. “Investing in our workforce and providing our team with the facilities, equipment, supplies, and funds they need is absolutely critical to ensuring our ability to fulfill the Indian Health Service mission of raising the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

Yesterday’s allocations include:

$240 million for public health workforce activities

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, Indian Health Service will invest $240 million for public health workforce activities, to recruit and retain additional public health professionals at Indian Health Service, tribal health programs, and urban Indian organization health programs. Indian Health Service will also use these funds to create a new Indian Health Service career opportunities web site and improve the loan repayment application process.

$420 million for mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment

Indian Health Service will invest $420 million to expand mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services, at Indian Health Service, tribal health programs, and urban Indian organization health programs and to support nationwide mental health and substance abuse prevention support activities.

$500 million to detect, diagnose, trace, monitor, and mitigate COVID-19 infections

The Indian Health Service will invest an additional $500 million to directly support detection, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and mitigation of COVID-19.

  • $220 million will be distributed to Indian Health Service facilities, tribal health programs, and urban Indian organization health programs.
  • $280 million will be allocated to the Indian Health Service National Supply Service Center to purchase testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and related COVID-19 supply needs to be provided to Indian Health Service, tribal, and urban Indian health programs at no cost. In addition, these funds will expand the National Supply Service Center warehouse footprint and stockpiling capacity for these critically needed materials.

$600 million for COVID-19-related facilities activities

The Indian Health Service will invest $600 million for COVID-19 related facilities activities:

  • $381 million to Indian Health Service, tribal, and urban Indian health programs for the lease, purchase, construction, alteration, renovation, and maintenance and improvement of facilities.
  • $167 million to Indian Health Service and tribal health programs for COVID-19 related sanitation facilities construction projects.
  • $23 million to Indian Health Service and tribal health programs for COVID-19 equipment needs.
  • $29 million to support the appropriate management and oversight of facilities-related expenditures and to expand COVID-19 related environmental health activities.

The Indian Health Service continues to work closely with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners, as well as state and local public health officials, to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For more on the federal response in Indian Country, visit https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/ .

The Indian Health Service, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. Follow the agency via social media onFacebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.