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The tribes of Idaho, Oregon and Washington formed the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB or Board), an intergovernmental health policymaking organization. The purpose of the Board is to assist member tribes to improve their health status and quality of life The Board assists tribes in each of its three states to proactively track tribal/state health policy issues by: 1) providing a forum for unified tribal positions on health issues; 2) building effective partnerships between Northwest tribes and the IHS; 3) developing and providing support for health promotion/disease prevention programs, and 4) developing epidemiology, research, information systems, and data analysis capacity. The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board maintains an extensive communication with its member tribes on health issues and proposed agreements to tribal leaders having the authority to make decisions. This organization includes information on tribal/state policy issues, discussions, and decisions in its communications to tribes. Unlike many parts of the country where state/tribal health care issues have no forum, Northwest tribes have begun the development of a stable and ongoing policy process that strives for positive outcomes, and promises a fair hearing for issues raised by both states and tribes.

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