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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3169.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 1:10 PM

Abstract #108226

Healthy Start Native Peoples Council: An indigenous-based MCH collaborative

Geradine Simkins, RN, CNM, MSN, Maternal & Child Health Consultant, Birthways Midwifery, Inc., Michigan Inter-Tribal Council, 275 Cemetery Rd, Maple City, MI 49664, 231-228-5857, gera@speedconnect.com, Elizabeth Kushman, MPH, Health Service Division, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc., 2956 Ashmun St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, A. Momi Kamau, BSN, MPH, Department of Health/ Maternal and Child Health Branch, State of Hawaii, 3652 Kilauea, Honolulu, HI 96816, and Rick Haverkate, MPH, Health Services Division, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc, 2956 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783.

Racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and child health (MCH) have been consistently documented in the United States but the causes of disparities are poorly understood. The rates of infant mortality and SIDS for Native American and Native Hawaiian babies are alarming. In order to better understand and untangle the complex web of inequities, the Healthy Start Native Peoples Council (HSNPC)—a consortium of six projects serving indigenous families nationwide—convened a groundbreaking summit in 2003. Goals of the summit were to: engage in cultural exchange by exploring similarities within indigenous cultures; explore disparities and key issues related to perinatal health status of Native people; share success stories regarding workable strategies in Native communities; identify opportunities for educating policy makers; and communicate summit findings to the larger world.

Using culture-based qualitative methods at the summit and in follow-up meetings and teleconferences, the HSNPC gathered and analyzed data and collaborated to produce four position papers in March 2005 on these topics: 1) addressing inequities, reducing barriers, and increasing access to MCH service delivery for Native people; 2) designing culturally competent MCH models that succeed in Native communities; 3) examining relationships between the federal government and indigenous groups, and proposing enhanced partnerships to improve MCH status for Native women, infants and families; and 4) endorsing data collection and research agendas that include Native people. These position papers highlight recommendations for organizations working with or designing programs for Native people, and propose strategies for systems change in local, state and national policy-making arenas.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Native and Indigenous Populations, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Maternal and Child Health issues for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA