244427 Healthy, Active Native Communities Initiative: Policy, systems, and environmental strategies for obesity prevention in American Indian communities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:24 PM

Noelle Kleszynski, MPH , ARRA, Association of American Indian Physicians, Oklahoma City, OK
Purpose The purpose of this initiative is to augment, implement, and disseminate community-wide obesity prevention policies, systems, and environmental changes in American Indian (AI) communities. The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) provides resources, technical assistance, and guidance to tribes, government, technical experts, and affiliates nationwide.

Methods AAIP will convene the AAIP Expert Panel Committee (AEPC) for project oversight, conduct site visits, host trainings, deliver webinars, develop social marketing campaigns, hold strategic planning sessions, link to federal programs/resources, collaborate on policy briefs, evaluate, and other needs as determined by communities. AAIP will utilize listservs, newsletters, AAIP website, mini-grants, member physicians, conference presentations, cultural event information booths, and the media to disseminate this effort nationwide.

Results In the first 6 months, the two matched AI communities, the Pueblo of Jemez (NM) and Cherokee Nation (OK): developed sustainable, environment and policy approaches; launched community gardens; sold harvested produce at the tribal farmers' markets; and had preliminary discussions with tribal leaders and school boards to increase access to nutritious foods and physical activity. AAIP disseminated newsletters, posted information on the AAIP website, convened the AEPC committee, conducted site visits, and offered 10 $2,500 mini-grants to Native communities.

Conclusions Our preliminary work suggests that technical assistance on AI issues is essential. Many AI communities do not think they have the ability to implement policy change, but AAIP's technical assistance has had a demonstrable impact on their perceived efficacy for policy change. AAIP has been successful in improving the cultural sensitivity of national messaging.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe a national collaboration between federal, tribal, and national organizations to develop and implement policy, environment, and systems-based approaches to obesity prevention 2) Explain evidence-based MAPPS (Media, Access, Point of Decision, Price, and Social Support) intervention strategies designed to improve health outcomes with sustainable community outcomes 3) Describe and discuss the community participatory process, best practices, challenges, and solutions that American Indian communities learned from while developing and implementing these strategies

Keywords: American Indians, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the director for systems-based obesity prevention programs at a national American Indian organization
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.