Tribal Foundational Public Health Services

Tribal Foundational Public Health Services

Contact: VIcki Lowe, Executive Director, American Indian Health Commission, vicki.lowe.aihc@outlook.com


Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) are basic underlying capabilities and programs that must be present in every community to protect the health and safety of all citizens. These are core governmental services needed in each community. Tribes exercise their sovereignty when they establish, control, operate and deliver public health services. Through the Tribal FPHS project, Tribes and UIHPs in Washington are working to establish definitions for Tribal FPHS, assess current capabilities and capacities to provide Tribal FPHS in order to assess gaps and understand funding needed to fully provide these services.

2020 Tribal and State Leaders Health Summit

Strengthening Tribal Foundational Public Health Services VIDEO


In the 2019 Washington State Legislative session, the Foundational Public Health Services policy bill passed into law.

This bill established the Foundational Public Health System (FPHS) comprised of the State of Washington Department of Health (DOH), Washington State Board of Health (SBOH), local health jurisdictions (LHJ), and Sovereign Tribal nations and Indian health programs, as well as establishing ongoing funding to support the delivery of services in an effective and efficient manner:

These governmental public health services should be delivered in ways that maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall system, make the best use of the public health workforce and evolving technology, and address health equity.

In September of 2018, the AIHC Executive Committee and Executive Director began attending the Foundation Public Health Services Steering Committee meetings to get a broader understanding of the work being done and bring the voice of Tribes and Indian Health programs to the table.

In December of 2019, AIHC convened a Tribal FPHS Summit to introduce the project and prepare for regional meetings to work, to understand and define Tribal FPHS and developing model Tribal FPHS codes as a template for Tribes to adopt or to update codes.

Regional Meetings:

  • Tues, May 5th – 8 am to Noon at Skagit Resort: North Sound Tribes
  • Wed, May 20th – 8 am to Noon at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe: Olympic and Pacific Coast Tribes
  • Mon, June 1st – 1 pm to 5 pm, Cowlitz Tribe at ilani: South Sound Tribes Including SIHB and Snoqualmie
  • Wed, June 17th – 8 am to Noon, Yakama: Eastside Tribes

The Tribal Foundational Public Health Services Summit, December 11th, 2019. 

Documents from the Summit in a Google folder.