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Notice

American Indians Into Nursing; Nursing Program

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Start Preamble

Announcement Type: New and Competing Continuation Limited Competition.

Funding Announcement Number: HHS-2016-IHS-NU-0001.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 93.970.

Key Dates

Application Deadline Date: June 1, 2016.

Review Date: June 15, 2016.

Earliest Anticipated Start Date: August 1, 2016.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting competitive cooperative agreement applications for American Indians into Nursing. This program is authorized under section 1616e of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 94-437, as amended (IHCIA). This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under 93.970.

Background

The IHS, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is responsible for providing Federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The mission of the IHS is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of AI/AN. The IHCIA authorizes the IHS to provide grants and cooperative agreements to colleges, universities, and other entities to develop and maintain nursing education programs and recruit individuals to become registered nurses, certified nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners who will provide services to AI/AN people. The programs administered are designed to attract and recruit qualified AI/AN individuals into nursing and advance practice nursing professions. The American Indians into Nursing program cooperative agreements or grant is used by the educational institution to provide IHS scholarships to students enrolled in nursing education programs.

Purpose

The purpose of this IHS cooperative agreement is to recruit, retain, graduate and increase the number of registered nurses, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners who deliver health care services to AI/AN communities. The primary objectives of this cooperative agreement grant award are to: (1) Recruit and train AI/AN individuals to be registered nurses; (2) facilitate associate degree registered nurses becoming baccalaureate prepared registered nurses; (3) provide a program that prepares practicing registered nurses for advance nursing education; (4) provide a program that encourages registered nurses and advance practice nurses to provide or continue to provide, health care services to AI/NA communities; and (5) provide scholarships to individuals that will cover tuition, books, fees, room and board, stipend for living expenses, or other expenses incurred in connection with nursing or advance practice nursing programs.

The funding opportunity announcement solicits applications that provide a preference to AI/AN students and a curriculum with a rural health and public health focus.

Limited Competition Justification

The limitation is based on IHS geographically high need areas: Navajo Area (NM, AZ) Billings Area (MT, WY), Great Plains Area (SD, ND, NE., IA), Albuquerque Area (CO, NM NV), and Phoenix Area (NV, UT, AZ). Historically and currently, these IHS areas have a high need for both registered nurses and advance practice nurses. These IHS areas are designated by the Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA) as Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSA). Additionally, many of these states have American Indian Serving Institutions (Tribal colleges and universities) that feed into universities with nursing programs.

II. Award Information

Type of Award

Cooperative Agreement.

Estimated Funds Available

The total amount of funding identified for the current fiscal year (FY) 2016 is approximately $1,669,697. Individual award amounts are anticipated to be between $300,000 and $400,000. The amount of funding available for competing and continuation awards issued under this announcement are subject to the availability of appropriations and budgetary priorities of the Agency. The IHS is under no obligation to make awards that are selected for funding under this announcement.

Anticipated Number of Awards

Approximately five awards will be issued under this program announcement.

Project Period

The project period is for three years and will run consecutively from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019.

Cooperative Agreement

Cooperative agreements awarded by the HHS are administered under the same policies as a grant. The funding agency, IHS, is required to have substantial programmatic involvement in the project during the entire award segment. Below is a detailed description of the level of involvement required for both IHS and the grantee. IHS will be responsible for activities listed under section A and the grantee will be responsible for activities listed under section B as stated:Start Printed Page 17182

Substantial Involvement Description for Cooperative Agreement

A. IHS Programmatic Involvement

(1) IHS assigned program official will work with project director to ensure timely receipt of progress and audit reports and to ensure program compliance.

(2) IHS program official will provide programmatic technical assistance to grantees as needed.

(3) IHS program official will coordinate and conduct site visits as needed, if funds are available for travel.

(4) IHS program official will conduct semi-annual conference calls with grantees and students.

(5) IHS program official will work with the Division of Grants Management (DGM) to ensure all goals and objectives of the program are met.

(6) IHS program official will provide American Indians into Nursing programs and scholarship recipients with an online handbook for IHS scholarship service obligation requirements.

(7) IHS program official will initiate default proceedings within 90 days after receiving notification from the program director that a student has been dismissed from the nursing program, withdrawn from school, failed to graduate with a nursing degree, or failed to get licensed and begin obligated service time within 90 days of graduation.

B. Grantee Cooperative Agreement Award Activities

(1) Awardee must designate a program director to manage the project being supported by the grant. The program director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the program and accountability for the proper conduct of grant-related activities.

(2) The program director must have a current curriculum vitae on file with DGM and the IHS program official.

(3) Notification in writing must be provided to the IHS program official and the DGM for changes or replacement of the program director.

(4) Awardee must provide scholarships, stipends, room and board and other expenses incurred in connection with the program to individuals enrolled in the nursing program as stated in 25 U.S.C. 1616e(b)(2).

(5) Awardee will become familiar with the IHS service obligation policy and will thoroughly review the IHS service obligation contract with the IHS scholarship recipients.

(6) Awardee is required to maintain program records for IHS scholarship recipients using a secure web based system during the awarded project of performance.

(7) Awardee will assist IHS program official in monitoring fulfillment of all contractual obligations incurred by the nursing program and IHS scholarship recipient.

(8) Awardee is expected to collaborate with other American Indians into Nursing grant programs to share best practices, successes, and challenges of the program.

(9) Awardee will complete an audit report at the end of each academic year.

(10) Awardee will adhere to the terms and conditions of the IHS nursing scholarship program, scholarship awards are for a 1-year period; additional scholarship support may be awarded to each eligible student for up to four years (maximum).

(11) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipients review the American Indians into Nursing and INPSYCH Scholarship Recipients IHS Grants Handbook 2015-2016 and carry out their IHS service obligation after successful completion of their nursing program.

(12) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipient will notify the program director and IHS program official of academic status, change in information, notice of graduation, preferred assignment, and placement update.

(13) Awardee will ensure that IHS scholarship recipient maintains communication with IHS program official by submitting status reports every six months from time of hire at IHS or Tribal health care facility until service obligation is complete.

III. Eligibility Information

I.

1. Eligibility

The following entities are eligible:

(a) Accredited public or private schools of nursing,

(b) accredited Tribally controlled community colleges and Tribally controlled post-secondary vocational institutions, and

(c) nurse midwife programs and nurse practitioners programs, that are provided by any public or private institution.

All schools of nursing must be fully accredited without restrictions by a national nurse educational accrediting body or state approval body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education for the purposes of nursing education. The schools offering a degree in nurse midwifery must provide verification of accreditation by the American College of Nurse Midwives. Tribally-controlled community colleges nursing programs and post-secondary vocational institutions must be fully accredited by an appropriate recognized nursing accrediting body without restrictions.

(a) In accordance with the IHCIA, funding preference will be given to applicants who have: (1) Programs that provide a preference to AI/AN; (2) programs that train nurse midwives or nurse practitioners; and (3) programs that are interdisciplinary, i.e. with medicine, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health students.

(b) Priorities: All complete, eligible applications will be considered. If more than one university and college application is received from an IHS area, only one award will be made to that particular area providing a DNP, MSN, BSN, or ADN program.

1. Priority I: At least two awards to public or private college or university, school of nursing which provides DNP, MSN, BSN, ADN (registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife) degrees, not to exceed $400,000 per year up to a project period of five years.

2. Priority II: At least three awards to a Tribally-controlled community college, school of nursing which provides BSN and ADN (registered nurse) degrees, not to exceed $400,000 per year up to a project period of five years.

(c) Other preferences: Schools of nursing that have transcultural, cultural competency, and rural and public health care focus.

Current American Indians into Nursing grantees are eligible to apply for competing continuation funding under this announcement and must demonstrate that they have complied with previous terms and conditions of the American Indians into Nursing cooperative agreement in order to receive funding under this announcement.

Note:

Please refer to Section IV.2 (Application and Submission Information/Subsection 2, Content and Form of Application Submission) for additional proof of applicant status documents required, such as Tribal resolutions, proof of non-profit status, etc.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

The IHS does not require matching funds or cost sharing for grants or cooperative agreements.

3. Other Requirements

If application budgets exceed the highest dollar amount outlined under the “Estimated Funds Available” section within this funding Start Printed Page 17183announcement, the application will be considered ineligible and will not be reviewed for further consideration. If deemed ineligible, IHS will not return the application. The applicant will be notified by email by the DGM of this decision.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Organizations claiming non-profit status must submit proof. A copy of the 501(c)(3) Certificate must be received with the application submission by the Application Deadline Date listed under the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement.

An applicant submitting any of the above additional documentation after the initial application submission due date is required to ensure the information was received by the IHS by obtaining documentation confirming delivery (i.e., FedEx tracking, postal return receipt, etc.).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Obtaining Application Materials

The application package and detailed instructions for this announcement can be found at http://www.Grants.gov or http://www.ihs.gov/​dgm/​funding/​.

Questions regarding the electronic application process may be directed to Mr. Paul Gettys at (301) 443-2114 or (301) 443-5204.

2. Content and Form Application Submission

The applicant must include the project narrative as an attachment to the application package. Mandatory documents for all applicants include:

  • Table of contents.
  • Abstract (one page) summarizing the project.
  • Application forms:

○ SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance.

○ SF-424A, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs.

○ SF-424B, Assurances—Non-Construction Programs.

  • Budget Justification and Narrative (must be single spaced and not exceed five pages).
  • Project Narrative (must be single spaced and not exceed 30 pages).

○ Background information on the organization.

○ Proposed scope of work, objectives, and activities that provide a description of what will be accomplished, including a one-page Timeframe Chart.

  • Tribal resolution(s).
  • 501(c)(3) Certificate (if applicable).
  • Biographical sketches for all key personnel.
  • Contractor/consultant resumes or qualifications and scope of work.
  • Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL).
  • Certification Regarding Lobbying (GG-Lobbying Form).
  • Copy of current Negotiated Indirect Cost (IDC) rate agreement (required) in order to receive IDC.
  • Organizational Chart (optional).
  • Documentation of current Office of Management and Budget Audit, as required by 45 CFR part 75, subpart F or other required Financial Audit (if applicable).

Acceptable forms of documentation include:

○ Email confirmation from Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) that audits were submitted; or

○ Face sheets from audit reports. These can be found on the FAC Web site: http://harvester.census.gov/​sac/​dissem/​accessoptions.html?​submit=​Go+​To+​Database.

Public Policy Requirements

All Federal-wide public policies apply to IHS grants and cooperative agreements with exception of the discrimination policy.

Requirements for Project and Budget Narratives

A. Project Narrative: This narrative should be a separate Word document that is no longer than 30 pages and must: Be single-spaced, be type written, have consecutively numbered pages, use black type not smaller than 12 characters per one inch, and be printed on one side only of standard size 81/2″ × 11″ paper.

Be sure to succinctly address and answer all questions listed under the narrative and place them under the evaluation criteria (refer to Section V.1, Evaluation criteria in this announcement) and place all responses and required information in the correct section (noted below), or they shall not be considered or scored. These narratives will assist the Objective Review Committee (ORC) in becoming familiar with the applicant's activities and accomplishments prior to this cooperative agreement award. If the narrative exceeds the page limit, only the first 30 pages will be reviewed. The 30 page limit for the narrative does not include the work plan, standard forms, table of contents, budget, budget justifications, narratives, and/or other appendix items.

There are three parts to the narrative: Part A—Program Information; Part B—Program Planning and Evaluation; and Part C—Program Report. See below for additional details about what must be included in the narrative.

Part A: Program Information (10 page limitation)

Section 1: Needs

Present the comprehensive framework of the proposed American Indians into Nursing program. Clearly describe the unmet AI/AN nursing workforce needs in AI/AN communities. Describe the social determinants and health disparities that impact AI/AN communities and how the proposed program will serve the IHS and Tribal health care programs as well as support to IHS scholarship recipients. Discuss how these social determinants have historically effected access to AI/AN health care and have impacted AI/AN student's access to education specifically nursing education. Include the purpose and background of the program and prior experience with nurse recruitment programs.

Part B: Program Planning and Evaluation (10 page limitation)

Section 1: Program Plans

American Indians into Nursing program applicants must develop a comprehensive, succinct, well organized work plan to address the proposed project. The information should include the elements below but is not limited to the following: (1) Describe the administration of the program-strategies, activities, methods, techniques, or steps that will be use to achieve objectives in proposed project; (2) describe the strategy to attract pre-nursing students and recruit, retain, and graduate AI/AN nursing students and identify actions to monitor IHS scholarship recipients post-graduation for IHS service obligation; (3) describe how the activities of the project are defined by objectives and how the project will achieve the desired outcomes; (4) include a plan to achieve sustainability after the cooperative agreement is complete; (5) describe how the program will incorporate support to AI/AN nursing students who have experienced the social determinants in AI/AN communities; and (6) describe how the program will support AI/AN students in meeting their social, physical, spiritual and academic needs.

Section 2: Program Evaluation

Applicant must provide a complete program evaluation plan that describes the projects methodology and strategies for assessing the progress of the objectives and outcomes of their program. The evaluation should address the successes, failures, and continuing improvements.Start Printed Page 17184

Part C: Program Report (10 page limitation)

Section 1: Describe major accomplishments over the last project period for previous awardees.

Previous awardees shall include objectives, strategies, and a brief description of the following for program function and or activity involved: (1) Compare actual accomplishments to the goals established for the period; (2) provide description of internal and external collaboration, new resources secured, interventions, successes, barriers identified and plans for the next quarter (academic year); (3) indicate reasons for slippage where established goals were not met and plan of action to overcome slippages; (4) indicate the number of current AI/AN recipients in the program and their academic status; and (5) indicate the number of AI/AN recipients placed in IHS and Tribal facilities and whom have completed their service obligations.

Section 2: Describe major activities over the last 24 months. Please identify and summarize recent major project activities of the work done during the project period. Program activities shall include: recruitment, retention and support activities to student, graduate and evaluation demonstrating performance measures.

B. Budget Narrative: This narrative must include a line item budget with a narrative justification for all expenditures identifying reasonable and allowable costs necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives as outlined in the project narrative. Budget should match the scope of work described in the project narrative. The page limitation should not exceed five pages.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement. Any application received after the application deadline will not be accepted for processing, nor will it be given further consideration for funding. Grants.gov will notify the applicant via email if the application is rejected.

If technical challenges arise and assistance is required with the electronic application process, contact Grants.gov Customer Support via email to support@grants.gov or at (800) 518-4726. Customer Support is available to address questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except on Federal holidays). If problems persist, contact Mr. Paul Gettys (Paul.Gettys@ihs.gov), DGM Grant Systems Coordinator, by telephone at (301) 443-2114 or (301) 443-5204. Please be sure to contact Mr. Gettys at least ten days prior to the application deadline. Please do not contact the DGM until you have received a Grants.gov tracking number. In the event you are not able to obtain a tracking number, call the DGM as soon as possible.

If the applicant needs to submit a paper application instead of submitting electronically through Grants.gov, a waiver must be requested. Prior approval must be requested and obtained from Mr. Robert Tarwater, Director, DGM, (see Section IV.6 below for additional information). The waiver must: (1) Be documented in writing (emails are acceptable), before submitting a paper application, and (2) include clear justification for the need to deviate from the required electronic grants submission process. A written waiver request must be sent to GrantsPolicy@ihs.gov with a copy to Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov. Once the waiver request has been approved, the applicant will receive a confirmation of approval email containing submission instructions and the mailing address to submit the application. A copy of the written approval must be submitted along with the hardcopy of the application that is mailed to DGM. Paper applications that are submitted without a copy of the signed waiver from the Director of the DGM will not be reviewed or considered for funding. The applicant will be notified via email of this decision by the Grants Management Officer of the DGM. Paper applications must be received by the DGM no later than 5:00 p.m., EDT, on the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement. Late applications will not be accepted for processing or considered for funding.

4. Intergovernmental Review

Executive Order 12372 requiring intergovernmental review is not applicable to this program.

5. Funding Restrictions

  • Pre-award costs are not allowable.
  • The available funds are inclusive of direct and appropriate indirect costs.
  • Only one grant/cooperative agreement will be awarded per applicant.
  • IHS will not acknowledge receipt of applications.

6. Electronic Submission Requirements

All applications must be submitted electronically. Please use the http://www.Grants.gov Web site to submit an application electronically and select the “Find Grant Opportunities” link on the homepage. Download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit the completed application via the http://www.Grants.gov Web site. Electronic copies of the application may not be submitted as attachments to email messages addressed to IHS employees or offices.

If the applicant receives a waiver to submit paper application documents, they must follow the rules and timelines that are noted below. The applicant must seek assistance at least ten days prior to the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement.

Applicants that do not adhere to the timelines for System for Award Management (SAM) and/or http://www.Grants.gov registration or that fail to request timely assistance with technical issues will not be considered for a waiver to submit a paper application.

Please be aware of the following:

  • Please search for the application package in http://www.Grants.gov by entering the CFDA number or the Funding Opportunity Number. Both numbers are located in the header of this announcement.
  • If you experience technical challenges while submitting your application electronically, please contact Grants.gov Support directly at: support@grants.gov or (800) 518-4726. Customer Support is available to address questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except on Federal holidays).
  • Upon contacting Grants.gov, obtain a tracking number as proof of contact. The tracking number is helpful if there are technical issues that cannot be resolved and a waiver from the agency must be obtained.
  • If it is determined that a waiver is needed, the applicant must submit a request in writing (emails are acceptable) to GrantsPolicy@ihs.gov with a copy to Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov. Please include a clear justification for the need to deviate from the standard electronic submission process.
  • If the waiver is approved, the application should be sent directly to the DGM by the Application Deadline Date listed in the Key Dates section on page one of this announcement.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged not to wait until the deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov as the registration process for SAM and Grants.gov could take up to fifteen working days.
  • Please use the optional attachment feature in Grants.gov to attach Start Printed Page 17185additional documentation that may be requested by the DGM.
  • All applicants must comply with any page limitation requirements described in this funding announcement.
  • After electronically submitting the application, the applicant will receive an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The DGM will download the application from Grants.gov and provide necessary copies to the appropriate agency officials. Neither the DGM nor the American Indian into Nursing program will notify the applicant that the application has been received.
  • Email applications will not be accepted under this announcement.

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

All IHS applicants and grantee organizations are required to obtain a DUNS number and maintain an active registration in the SAM database. The DUNS number is a unique 9-digit identification number provided by D&B which uniquely identifies each entity. The DUNS number is site specific; therefore, each distinct performance site may be assigned a DUNS number. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy, and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, please access it through http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform, or to expedite the process, call (866) 705-5711.

All HHS recipients are required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended (“Transparency Act”), to report information on sub-awards. Accordingly, all IHS grantees must notify potential first-tier sub-recipients that no entity may receive a first-tier sub-award unless the entity has provided its DUNS number to the prime grantee organization. This requirement ensures the use of a universal identifier to enhance the quality of information available to the public pursuant to the Transparency Act.

System for Award Management (SAM)

Organizations that were not registered with Central Contractor Registration and have not registered with SAM will need to obtain a DUNS number first and then access the SAM online registration through the SAM home page at https://www.sam.gov (U.S. organizations will also need to provide an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service that may take an additional 2-5 weeks to become active). Completing and submitting the registration takes approximately one hour to complete and SAM registration will take 3-5 business days to process. Registration with the SAM is free of charge. Applicants may register online at https://www.sam.gov.

Additional information on implementing the Transparency Act, including the specific requirements for DUNS and SAM, can be found on the IHS Grants Management, Grants Policy Web site: http://www.ihs.gov/​dgm/​policytopics/​.

V. Application Review Information

The instructions for preparing the application narrative also constitute the evaluation criteria for reviewing and scoring the application. Weights assigned to each section are noted in parentheses. The 30 page narrative should include only the first year of activities; information for multi-year projects should be included as an appendix. See “Multi-year Project Requirements” at the end of this section for more information. The narrative section should be written in a manner that is clear to outside reviewers unfamiliar with prior related activities of the applicant. It should be well organized, succinct, and contain all information necessary for reviewers to understand the project fully. Points will be assigned to each evaluation criteria adding up to a total of 100 points. A minimum score of 70 points is required for funding. Points are assigned as follows:

1. Criteria

A. Introduction and Need for Assistance (10 points)

(1) Applications must justify overall need of the program and clearly demonstrate the administration of the cooperative agreement, and indicate prior experience with similar programs.

(2) Describe the target population receiving IHS scholarships (preference will be given to schools of nursing that recruit, retain and graduate AI/AN veterans and veterans who have medical military experience).

(3) Describe how the program will increase the number of registered nurses, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners in IHS.

(4) Describe relevance of the program relating the objectives to the purposes of the cooperative agreement.

(5) Describe the differences between the current and proposed activities (previous awardees).

B. Project Objective(s), Work Plan and Approach (40 points)

Applications must clearly state specific, time-framed, measurable objectives for the goals related to the purpose of the IHS nursing cooperative agreement.

(1) Objectives:

(a) Describe how the program will increase the number of AI/AN nursing students that are recruited, retained and graduated from school of nursing.

(b) Describe how the program will recruit AI/AN students who are veterans and veterans who have experience as an emergency medical technician (EMT), hospital corpsman, paramedic/military medic, license vocational/practical nurse and nurses (associate or diploma nurse).

(c) Describe how the program will offer or establish formal bridge program agreements between Tribal colleges, universities.

(d) Describe how the program will provide a program that increases the skills of, and provide continuing education to registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.

(e) Describe how the program will assist IHS program official with job placement and track the IHS scholarship recipient's service obligation.

(2) Methodology:

(a) Describe strategies, activities, steps, timelines, and staff for implementation of proposal of projects.

(b) Describe the methodology of how IHS scholarships will be awarded to nursing students.

(c) Provide evidence supporting the proposed methodologies using historical data and prior experiences.

(3) Approach:

(a) Describes how the program will establish or collaborate with existing IHS and Tribal programs and colleges.

(i) To establish an agreement for clinical rotations.

(ii) To establish a faculty exchange program to enhance cultural competency and faculty strength.

(iii) Offer formal bridge programs agreements between Tribal colleges and universities so as to provide a program that increases the skills of, and provide continuing education to nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives.

(b) Include challenges that are likely to be encountered or have been a challenge in designing and implementing the activities in the work plan and approaches that will be used to resolve challenges.

(c) Describe how the program will sustain the project after the period of performance ends. Include in the sustainability plan the barriers to achieving self-sufficiency.

C. Program Evaluation (30 points)

Applicant must include an evaluation plan that describes strategies for Start Printed Page 17186assessing the progress and outcomes of their projects. The evaluation plan should be linked to the objectives and purpose of the cooperative agreement. The proposed project shall have evaluation measures that demonstrate how the program is meeting identified goals and objectives where programs can collect, track, and report performance measures on a semi-annual basis and for periodic audit reports. Applicants must include how the program will collect and manage student scholarship data. Applicants must describe any potential obstacles for implementing the program performance evaluation and how those obstacles will be addressed.

D. Organizational Capabilities, Key Personnel and Qualifications (15 points)

Provide information on applicant's organization, philosophy, and practice methods. Describe how all will contribute to the ability to conduct program requirements and meet American Indians into Nursing program/cooperative agreement purpose, objectives, and expectations. Include nursing accreditation documentation. All schools of nursing that are associated with the project and have conferring degrees must be accredited.

E. Categorical Budget and Budget Justification (5 points)

(1) Personnel costs: Applicants shall identify one program director. Program director must be a licensed registered nurse.

(2) Key support personnel: Provide names, title, position description, salary, and fringe benefits. Administrative cost is limited to 25% of the award.

(3) Consultants: Provide names, affiliations and qualifications of each consultant, including expected rate of compensation, travel, per diem and other related costs.

(4) Travel: Name conferences or other recruitment events, airline tickets, lodging, per diem, booth, public transportation, or other related costs.

(5) Equipment: Must be related to the objectives of the project, retained by awardee, use in accordance with the terms of the cooperative agreement award, and must comply with procurement requirements for Federal grant and cooperative agreements.

(6) Scholarships: Must cover tuition, fees, books, stipend, and other related educational expenses. The proposed project must use IHS scholarship funds in a manner that will meet the needs of eligible AI/AN students. The budget narrative must indicate the number of students to receive scholarship for each year of the cooperative agreement and the amount of each scholarship per student.

Multi-Year Project Requirements

Projects requiring a second and/or third year must include a brief project narrative and budget (one additional page per year) addressing the developmental plans for each additional year of the project.

Additional Documents can be Uploaded as Appendix Items in Grants.gov

  • Work plan, logic model and/or time line for proposed objectives.
  • Position descriptions for key staff.
  • Resumes of key staff that reflect current duties.
  • Consultant or contractor proposed scope of work and letter of commitment (if applicable).
  • Current Indirect Cost Agreement.
  • Organizational chart.
  • Map of area identifying project location(s).
  • Additional documents to support narrative (i.e. data tables, key news articles, etc.).

2. Review and Selection

Each application will be prescreened by the DGM staff for eligibility and completeness as outlined in the funding announcement. Applications that meet the eligibility criteria shall be reviewed for merit by the ORC based on evaluation criteria in this funding announcement. The ORC could be composed of both Tribal and Federal reviewers appointed by the IHS program to review and make recommendations on these applications. The technical review process ensures selection of quality projects in a national competition for limited funding. Incomplete applications and applications that are non-responsive to the eligibility criteria will not be referred to the ORC. The applicant will be notified via email of this decision by the Grants Management Officer of the DGM. Applicants will be notified by DGM, via email, to outline minor missing components (i.e., budget narratives, audit documentation, key contact form) needed for an otherwise complete application. All missing documents must be sent to DGM on or before the due date listed in the email of notification of missing documents required.

To obtain a minimum score for funding by the ORC, applicants must address all program requirements and provide all required documentation.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

The Notice of Award (NoA) is a legally binding document signed by the Grants Management Officer and serves as the official notification of the grant award. The NoA will be initiated by the DGM in our grant system, GrantSolutions (https://www.grantsolutions.gov). Each entity that is approved for funding under this announcement will need to request or have a user account in GrantSolutions in order to retrieve their NoA. The NoA is the authorizing document for which funds are dispersed to the approved entities and reflects the amount of Federal funds awarded, the purpose of the grant, the terms and conditions of the award, the effective date of the award, and the budget/project period.

Disapproved Applicants

Applicants who received a score less than the recommended funding level for approval, 70 points, and were deemed to be disapproved by the ORC, will receive an Executive Summary Statement from the IHS program office within 30 days of the conclusion of the ORC outlining the strengths and weaknesses of their application submitted. The IHS program office will also provide additional contact information as needed to address questions and concerns as well as provide technical assistance if desired.

Approved but Unfunded Applicants

Approved but unfunded applicants that met the minimum scoring range and were deemed by the ORC to be “Approved,” but were not funded due to lack of funding, will have their applications held by DGM for a period of one year. If additional funding becomes available during the course of FY 2016, the approved but unfunded application may be re-considered by the awarding program office for possible funding. The applicant will also receive an Executive Summary Statement from the IHS program office within 30 days of the conclusion of the ORC.

Note:

Any correspondence other than the official NoA signed by an IHS grants management official announcing to the project director that an award has been made to their organization is not an authorization to implement their program on behalf of IHS.

2. Administrative Requirements

Cooperative agreements are administered in accordance with the following regulations, policies, and OMB cost principles:

A. The criteria as outlined in this Program Announcement.Start Printed Page 17187

B. Administrative Regulations for Grants:

  • Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, located at 45 CFR part 75.

C. Grants Policy:

  • HHS Grants Policy Statement, Revised 01/07.

D. Cost Principles:

  • Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, “Cost Principles,” located at 45 CFR part 75, subpart E.

E. Audit Requirements:

  • Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS Awards, “Audit Requirements,” located at 45 CFR part 75, subpart F.

3. Indirect Costs

This section applies to all grant recipients that request reimbursement of IDC in their grant application. In accordance with HHS Grants Policy Statement, Part II-27, IHS requires applicants to obtain a current IDC rate agreement prior to award. The rate agreement must be prepared in accordance with the applicable cost principles and guidance as provided by the cognizant agency or office. A current rate covers the applicable grant activities under the current award's budget period. If the current rate is not on file with the DGM at the time of award, the IDC portion of the budget will be restricted. The restrictions remain in place until the current rate is provided to the DGM.

Generally, IDC rates for IHS grantees are negotiated with the Division of Cost Allocation (DCA) https://rates.psc.gov/​ and the Department of Interior (Interior Business Center) https://www.doi.gov/​ibc/​services/​finance/​indirect-Cost-Services/​indian-tribes. For questions regarding the IDC policy, please call the Grants Management Specialist listed under “Agency Contacts” or the main DGM office at (301) 443-5204.

4. Reporting Requirements

The grantee must submit required reports consistent with the applicable deadlines. Failure to submit required reports within the time allowed may result in suspension or termination of an active grant, withholding of additional awards for the project, or other enforcement actions such as withholding of payments or converting to the reimbursement method of payment. Continued failure to submit required reports may result in one or both of the following: (1) The imposition of special award provisions; and (2) the non-funding or non-award of other eligible projects or activities. This requirement applies whether the delinquency is attributable to the failure of the grantee organization or the individual responsible for preparation of the reports. Per DGM policy, all reports are required to be submitted electronically by attaching them as a “Grant Note” in GrantSolutions. Personnel responsible for submitting reports will be required to obtain a login and password for GrantSolutions. Please see the Agency Contacts list in section VII for the systems contact information.

The reporting requirements for this program are noted below.

A. Progress Reports

Program progress reports are required semi-annually, within 30 days after the budget period ends. These reports must include a brief comparison of actual accomplishments to the goals established for the period, a summary of progress to date or, if applicable, provide sound justification for the lack of progress, and other pertinent information as required. A final report must be submitted within 90 days of expiration of the budget/project period.

B. Financial Reports

Federal Financial Report FFR (SF-425), Cash Transaction Reports are due 30 days after the close of every calendar quarter to the Payment Management Services, HHS at: http://www.dpm.psc.gov. It is recommended that the applicant also send a copy of the FFR (SF-425) report to the grants management specialist. Failure to submit timely reports may cause a disruption in timely payments to the organization.

Grantees are responsible and accountable for accurate information being reported on all required reports: The Progress Reports and Federal Financial Report.

C. Federal Sub-Award Reporting System (FSRS)

This award may be subject to the Transparency Act sub-award and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170.

The Transparency Act requires the OMB to establish a single searchable database, accessible to the public, with information on financial assistance awards made by Federal agencies. The Transparency Act also includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards.

IHS has implemented a Term of Award into all IHS Standard Terms and Conditions, NoAs and funding announcements regarding the FSRS reporting requirement. This IHS Term of Award is applicable to all IHS grant and cooperative agreements issued on or after October 1, 2010, with a $25,000 sub-award obligation dollar threshold met for any specific reporting period. Additionally, all new (discretionary) IHS awards (where the project period is made up of more than one budget period) and where: (1) The project period start date was October 1, 2010 or after and (2) the primary awardee will have a $25,000 sub-award obligation dollar threshold during any specific reporting period will be required to address the FSRS reporting. For the full IHS award term implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information, visit the DGM Grants Policy Web site at: http://www.ihs.gov/​dgm/​policytopics/​.

D. Compliance With Executive Order 13166 Implementation of Services Accessibility Provisions for All Grant Application Packages and Funding Opportunity Announcements

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person's race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. HHS provides guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/​civil-rights/​for-individuals/​special-topics/​limited-english-proficiency/​guidance-federal-financial-assistance-recipients-title-VI/​.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/​civil-rights/​for-individuals/​section-1557/​index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/​civil-rights/​index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/​civil-rights/​for-individuals/​disability/​index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/​civil-rights/​for-individuals/​disability/​index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to Start Printed Page 17188quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/​omh/​browse.aspx?​lvl=​2&​lvlid=​53.

Pursuant to 45 CFR 80.3(d), an individual shall not be deemed subjected to discrimination by reason of his/her exclusion from benefits limited by federal law to individuals eligible for benefits and services from the IHS.

Recipients will be required to sign the HHS-690 Assurance of Compliance form which can be obtained from the following Web site: http://www.hhs.gov/​sites/​default/​files/​forms/​hhs-690.pdf, and send it directly to the: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, 200 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20201.

E. Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

The IHS is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. IHS will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR 75.205.

As required by 45 CFR part 75 Appendix XII of the Uniform Guidance, non-federal entities (NFEs) are required to disclose in FAPIIS any information about criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings, and/or affirm that there is no new information to provide. This applies to NFEs that receive Federal awards (currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts) greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of an award/project.

Mandatory Disclosure Requirements

As required by 2 CFR part 200 of the Uniform Guidance, and the HHS implementing regulations at 45 CFR part 75, effective January 1, 2016, the IHS must require a non-federal entity or an applicant for a Federal award to disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the IHS or pass-through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award.

Submission is required for all applicants and recipients, in writing, to the IHS and to the HHS Office of Inspector General all information related to violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the federal award. 45 CFR 75.113

Disclosures must be sent in writing to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service, Division of Grants Management, ATTN: Robert Tarwater, Director, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 09E70, Rockville, Maryland 20857, (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line), Ofc: (301) 443-5204, Fax: (301) 594-0899, Email: Robert.Tarwater@ihs.gov.

AND

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 Independence Avenue SW, Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 20201, URL: http://oig.hhs.gov/​fraud/​report-fraud/​index.asp, (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line), Fax: (202) 205-0604 (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line) or, Email: MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov.

Failure to make required disclosures can result in any of the remedies described in 45 CFR 75.371. Remedies for noncompliance, including suspension or debarment (See 2 CFR parts 180 & 376 and 31 U.S.C. 3321).

VII. Agency Contacts

1. Questions on the programmatic issues may be directed to: Naomi Aspaas, BSN, RN, Program Official, Office of Human Resource, Division of Health Professions Support, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR 11E53A, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 443-5710, Fax: (301) 443-1071, Email: naomi.aspaas@ihs.gov.

2. Questions on grants management and fiscal matters may be directed to: Vanietta Armstrong, Senior Grants Management Specialist, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: 09E70, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 443-4792, Fax: (301) 594-0899, Email: Vanietta.Armstrong@ihs.gov.

3. Questions on systems matters may be directed to: Paul Gettys, Grant Systems Coordinator, Mail Stop: 09E70, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: (301) 443-2114; or the DGM main line (301) 443-5204, Fax: (301) 443-9602, E-Mail: Paul.Gettys@ihs.gov.

VIII. Other Information

The Public Health Service strongly encourages all cooperative agreement and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of the facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the HHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.

Start Signature

Dated: March 21, 2016.

Elizabeth Fowler,

Deputy Director for Management Operations, Indian Health Service.

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[FR Doc. 2016-06969 Filed 3-25-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4165-16-P