United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 01, 2024

§ 1603.
In this chapter:
Area office

The term “Area office” means an administrative entity including a program office, within the Indian Health Service through which services and funds are provided to the service units within a defined geographic area.

Behavioral health
In general

The term “behavioral health” means the blending of substance (alcohol, drugs, inhalants, and tobacco) abuse and mental health disorders prevention and treatment for the purpose of providing comprehensive services.


The term “behavioral health” includes the joint development of substance abuse and mental health treatment planning and coordinated case management using a multidisciplinary approach.

California Indian

The term “California Indian” means any Indian who is eligible for health services provided by the Service pursuant to section 1679 of this title.

Community college
The term “community college” means—
a tribal college or university; or
a junior or community college.
Contract health service
The term “contract health service” means any health service that is—
delivered based on a referral by, or at the expense of, an Indian health program; and
provided by a public or private medical provider or hospital that is not a provider or hospital of the Indian health program.

The term “Department”, unless otherwise designated, means the Department of Health and Human Services.

Disease prevention
In general
The term “disease prevention” means any activity for—
the reduction, limitation, and prevention of—
disease; and
complications of disease; and
the reduction of consequences of disease.
The term “disease prevention” includes an activity for—
the development of diabetes;
high blood pressure;
infectious agents;
occupational hazards and disabilities;
sexually transmittable diseases; or
toxic agents; or
fluoridation of water; or

The term “FAE” means fetal alcohol effect.

The term “fetal alcohol syndrome” or “FAS” means a syndrome in which, with a history of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the following criteria are met:
Central nervous system involvement such as mental retardation, developmental delay, intellectual deficit, microencephaly, or neurologic abnormalities.
Craniofacial abnormalities with at least 2 of the following: microophthalmia, short palpebral fissures, poorly developed philtrum, thin upper lip, flat nasal bridge, and short upturned nose.
Prenatal or postnatal growth delay.
Health profession

The term “Health profession” means allopathic medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatric medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, podiatric medicine, nursing, public health nursing, dentistry, psychiatry, osteopathy, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, public health, social work, marriage and family therapy, chiropractic medicine, environmental health and engineering, an allied health profession, or any other health profession.

Health promotion
The term “health promotion” means any activity for—
fostering social, economic, environmental, and personal factors conducive to health, including raising public awareness regarding health matters and enabling individuals to cope with health problems by increasing knowledge and providing valid information;
encouraging adequate and appropriate diet, exercise, and sleep;
promoting education and work in accordance with physical and mental capacity;
making available safe water and sanitary facilities;
improving the physical, economic, cultural, psychological, and social environment;
promoting culturally competent care; and
providing adequate and appropriate programs, including programs for—
abuse prevention (mental and physical);
community health;
community safety;
consumer health education;
diet and nutrition;
immunization and other methods of prevention of communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS;
environmental health;
exercise and physical fitness;
avoidance of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders;
first aid and CPR education;
human growth and development;
injury prevention and personal safety;
behavioral health;
monitoring of disease indicators between health care provider visits through appropriate means, including Internet-based health care management systems;
personal health and wellness practices;
personal capacity building;
prenatal, pregnancy, and infant care;
psychological well-being;
reproductive health and family planning;
safe and adequate water;
healthy work environments;
elimination, reduction, and prevention of contaminants that create unhealthy household conditions (including mold and other allergens);
stress control;
substance abuse;
sanitary facilities;
sudden infant death syndrome prevention;
tobacco use cessation and reduction;
violence prevention; and
such other activities identified by the Service, a tribal health program, or an urban Indian organization to promote achievement of any of the objectives referred to in section 1602(2) of this title.
Indian health program
The term “Indian health program” means—
any tribal health program; and
any Indian tribe or tribal organization to which the Secretary provides funding pursuant to section 47 of this title.
Indians or Indian
The term “Indians” or “Indian”, unless otherwise designated, means any person who is a member of an Indian tribe, as defined in subsection (d) hereof,1
 See References in Text note below.
except that, for the purpose of sections 1612 and 1613 of this title, such terms shall mean any individual who 2
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a dash.
 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.
irrespective of whether he or she lives on or near a reservation, is a member of a tribe, band, or other organized group of Indians, including those tribes, bands, or groups terminated since 1940 and those recognized now or in the future by the State in which they reside, or who is a descendant, in the first or second degree, of any such member, or
is an Eskimo or Aleut or other Alaska Native, or
is considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose, or
is determined to be an Indian under regulations promulgated by the Secretary.
Indian tribe

The term “Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or group or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688) [43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.], which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

Junior or community college

The term “junior or community college” has the meaning given the term in section 1058(e) 1 of title 20.

In general

The term “reservation” means a reservation, Pueblo, or colony of any Indian tribe.

The term “reservation” includes—
former reservations in Oklahoma;
Indian allotments; and
Alaska Native Regions established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

The term “Secretary”, unless otherwise designated, means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.


The term “Service” means the Indian Health Service.

Service area

The term “Service area” means the geographical area served by each area office.

Service unit

The term “Service unit” means an administrative entity of the Service or a tribal health program through which services are provided, directly or by contract, to eligible Indians within a defined geographic area.

Substance abuse

The term “Substance abuse” includes inhalant abuse.


The term “telehealth” has the meaning given the term in section 254c–16(a) of title 42.


The term “telemedicine” means a telecommunications link to an end user through the use of eligible equipment that electronically links health professionals or patients and health professionals at separate sites in order to exchange health care information in audio, video, graphic, or other format for the purpose of providing improved health care services.

Tribal college or university

The term “tribal college or university” has the meaning given the term in section 1059c(b) of title 20.

Tribal health program

The term “tribal health program” means an Indian tribe or tribal organization that operates any health program, service, function, activity, or facility funded, in whole or part, by the Service through, or provided for in, a contract or compact with the Service under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).1

Tribal organization

The term “tribal organization” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).1

Urban center

The term “Urban center” means any community which has a sufficient urban Indian population with unmet health needs to warrant assistance under subchapter IV, as determined by the Secretary.

Urban Indian

The term “Urban Indian” means any individual who resides in an urban center, as defined in subsection (g) hereof,1 and who meets one or more of the four criteria in subsection (c)(1) through (4) of this section.1

Urban Indian organization

The term “Urban Indian organization” means a nonprofit corporate body situated in an urban center, governed by an urban Indian controlled board of directors, and providing for the maximum participation of all interested Indian groups and individuals, which body is capable of legally cooperating with other public and private entities for the purpose of performing the activities described in section 1653(a) of this title.

(Pub. L. 94–437, § 4, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1401; Pub. L. 96–537, § 2, Dec. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 3173; Pub. L. 100–713, title II, §§ 201(b), 203(b), title V, § 502, Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4803, 4804, 4824; Pub. L. 102–573, § 3(c), title IX, § 902(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4529, 4591; Pub. L. 104–313, § 2(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3820; Pub. L. 111–148, title X, § 10221(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 935.)
cite as: 25 USC 1603