About Us

Welcome to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board website.  You will notice that we are engaged in many areas of Indian health, including legislation, health promotion and disease prevention, as well as data surveillance and research.  Our strengths include an active board, talented staff, and a forward thinking organization.  We know that there is much work to be done to improve the health status in Indian Country, but we do not shy away from the challenge.

Established in 1972, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB or the Board) is a non-profit tribal advisory organization serving the forty-three federally recognized tribes of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  Each member tribe appoints a Delegate via tribal resolution, and meets quarterly to direct and oversee all activities of NPAIHB.

What We Do

NPAIHB Delegates create and update a strategic plan, which contains four main functional areas:

  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Legislative and policy analysis
  • Training and technical assistance
  • Surveillance and research

NPAIHB houses a tribal epidemiology center (EpiCenter), several health promotion disease prevention projects, and is active in Indian health policy.


The Executive Director (E.D.) is responsible for all staff and programs at NPAIHB and answers directly to a five person Executive Committee, composed of the elected officers of the Board. A four person Management Team consists of the Executive Director, Administrative Officer, EpiCenter Director, and Information Technology Director. The Team acts in an advisory capacity to the E.D., assists in the research and development of organizational policy and practices, and is a liaison between the E.D. and staff. NPAIHB’s Strategic Plan maps its priorities, organizational values, mission, and health issues and concerns. Please see the organizational chart for the managerial structure of the Board. NPAIHB collaborates with the Indian Health Service (IHS), federal and state agencies, universities, and private organizations. The Finance Department assists Project Directors in monitoring program budgets. Personnel in each program prepare and report progress and activities to the Board Delegates at Quarterly Board Meetings.

Stategic Plan

The purpose of NPAIHB’s Strategic Plan is to provide guidance in the operation and execution of its mission. The Strategic Plan illustrates the Board’s mission, values, vision, and expectations. Its goals and objectives serve as a roadmap for NPAIHB’s daily operations and assists it in addressing Northwest tribal identified community health needs.  Delegates and Board staff update the Strategic Plan every five years.


BroadwayOfficeThe NPAIHB administrative office is located in downtown Portland, Oregon adjacent to the Portland State University campus and less than a mile from the Oregon Health & Science University’s main campus. The NPAIHB office is also conveniently located approximately two miles from the Portland Area Indian Health Service office, and is within five miles of the Bureau of Indian Affairs office. It is easily accessed via freeway or light rail.  The 16,000 sq. ft. office facility is equipped with high-speed internet access and other equipment selected with consideration of environmental impact; it has a fully operational local area network (LAN), wireless access, a comprehensive website with weekly postings of announcements and information related to Board concerns and a computer integrated phone system.  An electronic records training room accommodates 24 students per session.  An open floor plan is complemented by 6 meeting rooms of various sizes.


Executive Director

Laura Platero, JD

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) is pleased to announce the hiring of its new Executive Director, Laura Platero, a citizen of the Navajo Nation.  Laura assumed the position in 2020 and comes to the Executive Director position after having served NPAIHB for nearly four years as the Director of Government Affairs and Health Policy.   For 18 years, Laura’s work and graduate education has centered around serving tribes and American Indian/Alaska Native people and advocating for fulfillment of trust and treaty obligations. Laura served in advocacy or leadership positions at the National Congress of American Indians, Pueblo of Laguna Development Corporation, and National Native American AIDS Prevention Center. She holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of New Mexico with a Certificate in Indian. Laura is poised to provide outstanding leadership to fulfill NPAIHB’s mission to Northwest Tribes and we look forward to her leadership.  Welcome, Laura!

The Executive Director is responsible for all staff and programs of the NPAIHB and answers directly to the Executive Committee of the NPAIHB.  A Management Team, consisting of the Executive Director, Administrative Officer, IT Administrator and Tribal EpiCenter Director acts in an advisory capacity to the Executive Director, and assists in research and development of organizational policy and practices.  The NPAIHB Strategic Plan maps priorities, organizational values, mission, and health issues and concerns; the Board updates the Plan every five years.  All NPAIHB staff work to advance achievement of the goals of the Strategic Plan.

Fiscal Management

The finance department is staffed by an Accounts Payable Specialist, a Business Manager, and a Fund Accounting Manager, and is under the supervision of the Administrative Officer. A Grants Administrator works closely with the Fund Accounting Manager in setting and reviewing budgets with project directors. All purchases are pre-authorized; payments are processed utilizing forms that code for the funding source. A Manager certifies the availability of the required funds and the Executive Director or Administrative Officer approves the purchase. The Board utilizes a software accounting system that meets the informational and reporting requirements of the NPAIHB and its funders. Payroll is processed electronically through a payroll contractor. The Board complies with the annual external audit requirement of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circular on Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. A budget report is presented to the Board Delegates at their quarterly meetings; Delegates also review and approve the annual audit report.

Organizational Capacity

The Board is staffed with approximately 45 individuals, the majority of whom have BA/BS or advanced degrees and training to meet the needs of diverse activities provided to the tribal health programs of the 43 NPAIHB member tribes. The EpiCenter has four core purposes: Administrative, Data Management/Analysis, Training, and Research. The NPAIHB organizational chart outlines the managerial structure.
From early in the history of the NPAIHB, the Northwest Tribes recognized that data, surveillance, and research were central to building awareness about health disparities afflicting American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Northwest Tribal EpiCenter has successfully engaged Northwest tribes in collaborative research and surveillance activities and, as a result, serves as an essential resource for these tribes for tribal health data and health information services support, including capacity building. All data from such activities belong to the tribes involved in the research. In addition, the NPAIHB hosts the Portland Area IHS Institutional Review Board (IRB), which oversees protection of human subjects in research occurring in Northwest Indian communities.
Over 190,000 American Indians/Alaska Natives reside in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, representing 6.3 percent of the United State

Board Members

In 1972, several Northwest tribal members recognized the need to exercise control over the design and development of health care delivery systems in their local communities.  Today, every federally recognized tribe in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho serves as a Delegate to NPAIHB.  Many Delegates also serve on their tribe’s council.


The NPAIHB Executive Committee is comprised of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant-at-Arms.  The Executive Committee approves the Quarterly Board Meeting agendas, approves Executive Committee resolutions, develops and refers policy issues to the entire delegation for approval, reviews and monitors NPAIHB financial matters, represents NPAIHB at regional and national meetings, and is the direct supervisor to the Executive Director.


  • Twila Teeman, Burns Paiute Tribe 

  • Denise Ross, Chehalis Tribe 

  • Gene H. James, Coeur d’Alene Tribe 

  • Andy Joseph, Jr., Colville Tribe 

  • Illiana Montiel, Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Tribes 

  • Eric Metcalf, Coquille Tribe 

  • Sharon Stanphill, Cow Creek Tribe 

  • Kay Culbertson, Cowlitz Tribe 

  • Cheryle Kennedy, Grand Ronde Tribe 

  • Dawn Gomez, Hoh Tribe 

  • Brent Simcosky, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe 

  • Nick Pierre, Kalispel Tribe 

  • Laurel Robinson, Klamath Tribe 

  • Jennifer Dickison, Kootenai Tribe 

  • Francis Charles, Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe 

  • Nickolaus D. Lewis, Lummi Nation 

  • Timothy Greene, Makah Tribe 

  • Jaison Elkins, Muckleshoot Tribe 

  • Ryan Oatman, Nez Perce Tribe 

  • Vacant, Nisqually Tribe 

  • Lona Johnson, Nooksack Tribe 

  • Hunter Timbimboo, NW Band of Shoshone Indians 

  • Jolene Sullivan, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe 

  • Vacant, Puyallup Tribe 

  • Douglas Woodruff, Jr., Quileute Tribe 

  • Noreen Underwood, Quinault Nation 

  • Dana Matthews, Samish Tribe 

  • Tempest Dawson, Sauk-Suiattle Tribe 

  • Kim Coombs, Shoalwater Bay Tribe 

  • Claudia Washakie, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes 

  • Selene Rilatos, Siletz Tribe 

  • Denese LaClair, Skokomish Tribe 

  • Robert de los Angeles, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe 

  • Greg Abrahamson, Spokane Tribe 

  • Vacant, Squaxin Island 

  • Jill Malone, Stillaguamish Tribe 

  • Steve Kutz, Suquamish Tribe 

  • J.J. Wilbur, Swinomish Tribe 

  • Teri Gobin, Tulalip Tribes 

  • Aaron Hines, Umatilla Tribes 

  • Marilyn Scott, Upper Skagit Tribe 

  • E. Austin Greene, Conf. Tribes of Warm Springs 

  • Katherine Saluskin, Yakama Nation 


NPAIHB Executive Committee Members 2024

  • Nickolaus Lewis, Chair, Lummi Nation

  • Andy Joseph, Jr., Vice Chair, Colville Tribe

  • Aaron Hines, Treasurer, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

  • Greg Abrahamson, Secretary, Spokane Tribe of Indians

  • Kim Coombs, Sargeant-at-Arms, Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Other Committees

  • Resolutions Committee
  • Personnel Committee
  • Public Health Committee (Ad Hoc)
  • Behavioral Health Committee (Ad Hoc)
  • Youth Committee (Ad Hoc)
  • Elders Committee (Ad Hoc)
  • Veterans Committee (Ad Hoc)
NPAIHB Social Media


We R Native – https://www.wernative.org/

Healthy Native Youth – https://www.healthynativeyouth.org/

Native CARS – http://www.nativecars.org


Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board – https://www.facebook.com/npaihb/

NW Tribal Food Sovereignty Coalition –https://www.facebook.com/NWTribalFoodSovereigntyCoalition

Native Dental Therapy Initiative – https://www.facebook.com/nativedentaltherapy/

Healthy Native Youth – https://www.facebook.com/HealthyNativeYouth

We R Native – https://www.facebook.com/weRnative

Dancing in the Square – https://www.facebook.com/DancingInTheSquare/


Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board – https://twitter.com/npaihb?lang=en

Native Dental Therapy Initiative – https://twitter.com/NWDentalTherapy

We R Native – https://twitter.com/wernative?lang=en

Healthy Native Youth – https://twitter.com/healthyn8vyouth


Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board – https://www.instagram.com/npaihb/?hl=en

We R Native – https://www.instagram.com/wernative/?hl=en


Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Portland_Area_Indian_Health_Board


NPAIHB – https://www.youtube.com/@npaihb7788

We R Native – www.youtube.com/user/wernative


Healthy Native Youth – https://vimeo.com/healthynativeyouth


Text NATIVE to 94449

Text FITNESS to 94449

Text DELEGATE to 94449

Text SEX to 94449

Text HEALER to 94449

Text STEM to 94449

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