Tribal Public Health and Relations

Partnering With Federally Recognized Tribes

The governmental public health system includes tribal nations and Indian health programs as primary partners with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the State Board of Health, and local health jurisdictions.

The Centennial Accord created a unique government-to-government relationship between many federally recognized tribal governments and the state of Washington. State agencies, including DOH, have responsibilities for their work with federally recognized tribes as outlined in RCW 43.376. To ensure we fulfill these responsibilities, DOH follows a consultation and collaboration procedure, which includes:

  • Sending Dear Tribal Leader letters to elected tribal officials when developing and implementing policies, agreements, and programs that directly affect Indian tribes.
  • Consulting with tribal nations to promote government-to-government partnerships and ensure effective health services for Indian people.
  • Designating the tribal relations director as the liaison to tribal nations.
  • Ensuring staff who work with tribal governments and public health partners receive training on tribal history and culture and tribal relationships with federal and state governments.
  • Submitting an annual report to the governor for The Centennial Accord meeting.

Dear Tribal Leader Letters


Date Letter Subject More Information
June 4 Collaborative – health analysis on Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (PDF)
May 21 Informative – update on DOH COVID-19 Testing Kiosk Program (PDF)  
May 3 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for April 16 to April 30, 2024 (PDF)  
May 1 Collaborative – Tribal wellness and resiliency gathering (PDF)
May 1 Informative – final revision meeting for the 2025 Healthy Youth Survey (PDF)
  • Meeting: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 28 - Zoom link
April 24 Collaborative – early child development and family well-being (PDF)  
April 19

Collaborative – grant proposal to build an e-learning video training series for home-visit professionals (PDF)

April 18 Collaborative – commercial tobacco tribal listening sessions (PDF)
  • Listening session 1: 2-3:30 p.m. April 29 - Zoom link
  • Listening session 2: Noon-2 p.m. April 30 - Zoom link
April 18 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for April 1 to April 15, 2024 (PDF)  
April 18 Informative – notice of Health Equity Zone for Native communities submission closing date extension (PDF)  
April 18 Informative – potential agency request legislation for cottage food operations (PDF)  
April 18 Informative – potential agency request legislation for water recreation facilities (PDF)  
April 10 Collaborative – upcoming funding opportunity for school based health centers (PDF)  
April 3 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for March 18 to March 31, 2024 (PDF)  
April 1 Collaborative – adolescent and young adult health updates (PDF)
  • Listening session 1: 7 a.m. April 9
  • Listening session 2: Noon April 9
March 26 Collaborative – invitation to Tribal briefing on two environmental justice grants (PDF)
  • Virtual briefing: 3:30-5:30 p.m. May 8 - Zoom link
March 21 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for March 1 to March 15, 2024 (PDF)  
March 20 Collaborative – new Washinton Administrative Code (WAC) chapter for private detention facilities (PDF)
  • Listening session 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 10 - Zoom link
March 14 Informative – initiation of the Washington State Child Wellness Survey (PDF)  
March 12 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for January 16 to February 29, 2024 (PDF)  
March 8 Consultation – House Bill 1477 Crisis Response Improvement Strategy Committee 2024 progress report consultation close out (PDF)  
March 8 Informative – "For Our Lives" (formally Tribal Opioid Solutions Media Educational Campaign) resources to tribes to localize campaign (PDF)  
March 4 Collaborative – Health Equity Zone for native communities submission opening (PDF)  
February 21 Collaborative – seeking health care providers for Power of Providers (POP) Advisory Group (PDF)  
February 13 Informative – DOH 988 general population campaign (PDF)  
February 12 Informative – disadvantaged communities rulemaking follow up (PDF)  
February 5 Collaborative – seeking advice on preventive health and health services block grant community investment (PDF)  
February 2 Informative – pollen system surveillance (PDF)  
January 31 Collaborative – tribal state plan for suicide prevention listening session (PDF)
  • Listening session 9 a.m.-noon February 21 - Zoom link
January 23 Informative – information on agency rulemaking for January 1-15, 2024 (PDF)  
January 18

Announcing the executive director of Washington State Department of Health’s new Office of Tribal Public Health and Relations (PDF)

January 12 Informative – series of four listening sessions for the Healthy Youth Survey revision (PDF)
  • Listening session 1: 3-5 p.m. February 15 - Zoom link
  • Listening session 2: 3-5 p.m. February 22- Zoom link
  • Listening session 3: 9-11 a.m. March 19- Zoom link
  • Listening session 4: 9-11 a.m. March 28- Zoom link
January 10

Informative – information on agency rulemaking for December 2023 (PDF)

January 4

Collaborative – foundational public health services subject matter expert and technical workgroups (PDF)

January 4

Collaborative – Maternal and Child Health Block Grant needs assessment request for proposals (PDF)

January 4

Collaborative – new communities building resilient youth prevention grant (PDF)



Date Letter Subject More Information
December 12 Informative – Workgroup Formation regarding opioid and methamphetamine contamination (PDF)  
December 8

Informative – funding availability for Climate and Health Adaptation Initiative Community Capacity Building Grants (PDF)

December 6

Informative – information on agency rulemaking for November 16-30, 2023 (PDF)

November 30

Consultation – consultation closure on environmental justice capacity grant (PDF)

November 16

Informative – information on agency rulemaking for November 1-15, 2023 (PDF)

November 15 Consultation – Washington State Department of Health Tribal Public Health Emergency and Preparedness allocation formula (PDF)
  • Roundtable 1: 9:30-11 a.m. December 4
  • Roundtable 2: 1:30-3 p.m. December 12
  • Consultation: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. December 19
November 13

Informative – Nirsevimab and Abrysvo supply shortages and prioritization of distribution to tribal clinics (PDF)

November 9

Washington Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System Advisory Committee (PDF)

November 7

Consultation on House Bill 1477 Crisis Response Improvement Strategy Committee (PDF)

November 6 Definition and criteria of "disadvantaged communities" under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (PDF)
  • Listening session: 3-5 p.m. November 27
November 6

Informative – information on agency rulemaking (PDF)

October 30 Consultation II update – environmental justice capacity grant prioritization requested by November 13, 2023 (PDF)
  • Comment period open until 11:59 p.m. November 13
October 26

Informative – Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program vendor and participant compliance rulemaking (PDF)

October 16

Informative – information on agency rulemaking (PDF)

October 10 Consultation II on environmental justice grant programs (PDF)
  • Second consultation: 8-10 a.m. October 27
October 5 Adolescent and young adult health projects (PDF)
  • Presentation: 1 p.m. November 8
October 3 Tribal briefing - community engagement guide review (PDF)
  • Tribal briefing: 1-2 p.m. October 23
September 14

New DOH program to address environmental health issues associated with homelessness (PDF)

August 23 Vaccine engagement and funding survey (PDF)
  • Responses requested by September 5
August 17 Standards for designation of 988 contact hubs (PDF)
  • Workshop 1: 2-4 p.m. September 26
  • Workshop 2: 9-11 a.m. September 28
August 15 Invitation to consultation (PDF)
  • First tribal roundtable 3:30-5 p.m. September 6
  • Second tribal roundtable 3:30-5 p.m. September 13
  • Consultation 3:30-5 p.m. September 27 
August 3 Second Substitute House Bill 1745: Improving diversity in clinical trials (PDF)  
August 1 HEAL Act updates – environmental justice assessments, environmental justice in agency budgeting and funding; and draft guidance for state agencies using environmental health disparities map (PDF)  
July 31 Behavioral health support specialist rulemaking (PDF)  
July 28 Building Community Capacity for Equitable COVID-19 Recovery – funding opportunity (PDF)
  • Technical assistance session for all eligible organizations 4-5 p.m. August 10
  • Technical assistance session for tribal organizations and partners 10-11 a.m. August 11
July 26 New peer specialist credentials (PDF)  
July 21 DOH 2024 legislative package review (PDF)
  • General session for all partners 10 a.m. August 28
  • Tribal-specific session 11 a.m. August 30
July 20 Physician visa waivers rulemaking (PDF)  
July 20 Rulemaking for acute care hospitals to help implement Senate Bill 5120 (PDF)  
July 20 Rulemaking for behavioral health agencies to help implement Senate Bill 5120 (PDF)  
July 18 Amendments to home care aide rules (PDF)  
July 17 Massage therapy rulemaking about education and training requirements (PDF)  
July 11 Consultation on tribal foundational public health services funding allocation for state biennium 2023-2025 (PDF)
July 7 Request legislation for state issued standing orders (PDF)  
June 29 Transfer of public water systems within boundaries of tribal lands from Washington State Department of Health to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Water Division under the Safe Drinking Water Act (PDF)  
June 28 Washington State Department of Health launching new Office of Tribal Public Health & Relations (OTPHR) (PDF)
  • Virtual conversation 3-5 p.m. July 20
June 22 Federal publication date revision to WAC 246-247-035, national standards adopted by reference for sources of radionuclide emissions (PDF)  
June 14 Department of Health implementation of new grant programs during 2023-2025 biennium (PDF)
  • Virtual listening session 3:30-5:30 p.m. August 9
June 12 Maternal and Child Health Block Grant (PDF)
  • Virtual listening session 3-5 p.m. July 6
  • Virtual listening session 1-3 p.m. September 7
June 9 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund lead service line inventory and replacement intended use plan (PDF)  
June 7 Healthcare preparedness and response (PDF)  
May 31 Washington State Department of Health launching new Office of Tribal Public Health & Relations (OTPHR) (PDF)  
March 15 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund rule making (PDF)  
January 23 Rulemaking regarding health equity continuing education requirements for registered nurses (RNs), advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), and licensed practical nurses 
(LPNs) (PDF)
January 6 Expanding access to Naloxone within American Indian and Alaska Native communities in Washington state (PDF)  

Contact Us

For more information, call 360-819-7626 or email