Online Program

Healthy makeovers in rural tribal convenience stores as part of the Tribal Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) study

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, DrPH, MPH, Department of Health Promotion Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Public Health, Tulsa, OK
Background:  Poor access to healthy food increases the risk for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. These conditions are highly prevalent among American Indian (AI) adults in Oklahoma, whose burdens of obesity (42%), diabetes (15%), and hypertension (38%) exceed those of the general U.S. population. Although many tribes have implemented individual-level efforts to address obesity, few studies have assessed the environmental correlates of obesity in tribal communities, and none have developed interventions to improve the food environments of Oklahoma tribal nations.

Methods/Results: The THRIVE study – Tribal Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments – is a community based participatory research study with the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma to implement healthy "makeovers" within 20 tribally owned convenience stores to increase fruit and vegetable intake among tribal members. Preliminary findings suggest that AIs experience unique challenges in accessing healthy food and safe places to exercise in rural tribal communities. We will describe these findings as well as efforts to engage stakeholders from diverse tribal community sectors-- health, business, and policy leaders -- and the analysis of critical factors such as community culture, leadership, financial support, and sustainability, in preparing for the healthy makeover interventions, which lie at the intersection of tribal economic and public health sustainability.

Conclusions: This study is generating new and important information regarding aging and the built environment in rural tribal nations. Initial study assessment findings will inform other communities as to how to support healthy aging in diverse tribal settings using rigorous methods and community involvement.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify unique issues regarding aging and the built environment in rural tribal communities Describe food insecurity and associated obesity, diabetes, and hypertension in tribal settings Discuss strategies for engaging tribal leadership in addressing food insecurity and food access issues in tribal settings

Keyword(s): Native Americans, Community-Based Research (CBPR)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on American Indian health and diabetes/obesity prevention. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for improving food and physical activity environments in tribal nations.
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.