An indigenous community's journey to access culturally appropriate healthcare
A critical challenge confronting urban Indians in North Dakota is the lack of culturally responsive health services. Healthcare services do not exist for urban Indians without health insurance and there are no local Indian Health Service facilities. Public health programs are limited and not culturally appropriate. Additionally, lack of data on urban Indians impedes the development and funding of culturally congruent, comprehensive services. Such data is needed to make the case to policy-makers regarding the urgent need for urban Indian health programs. Finally, low health literacy is burdensome to American Indian people and their elders in particular. American Indian health professionals affiliated with the state land-grant university employed community-based empowerment methods to assist the native community to own their problems and find solutions. A ten member community coalition participated in discussions, resulting in an American Indian Health & Wellness Center (AIHWC); training and IRB certification for Indian community members, development and implementation of an on-going health assessment survey and development of the Medicine Lodge Clinic. The non-profit Native American Center will coordinate existing programs and support the mission of the AIHWC. The purpose of the AIHWC is to provide direct access to culturally appropriate public health services to American Indians residing in Fargo and to serve as a healthcare access portal linking community members to the Medicine Lodge. Native community members are integral players in finding their own path to community health and wellness, through culturally congruent collaborations. The wellness center and clinic will fully integrate allopathic and traditional medicine.
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy
Describe a Native community’s process of obtaining culturally congruent access to primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare.
Demonstrate how a coalition of grassroots organizations can work together to create a healthy community.
Keyword(s): American Indians, Access to Health Care
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Native American nurse educator, gerontologist, and faculty member, as well as a CBPR researcher, I feel I am qualified to be an abstract author. I am a SAMHSA fellow and have completed post-doctural study at North Dakota State University. I have been involved in research studies that involved all four tribes in North Dakota. I have no conflicts of interest or any binding obligations that impact my work in any manner.
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.