Month October 2016

Month October 2016

New UIHI Broadcast

TEC News
Safe Sleep & Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Indian Country

Safe Sleep

 

October is National SIDS Awareness Month!

 

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities continue to experience exponentially higher rates of SIDS; with some AI/AN communities having a rate 115% higher than non-Hispanic white communities.*

The Urban Indian Health Institute, a Division of the Seattle Indian Health Board, is a partner within the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep (NAPPSS) and we have been working to share existing information on the six common controllable risk factors that put AI/AN infants at greater risk of SIDS, as listed by the Healthy Native Babies Project in 2006. In addition, we are promoting NAPPSS’ Action Plan with health care providers to encourage active conversations and strategies about SIDS risk-reduction and safe sleep behavior with infant caregivers. This is the third and final article of a 3-Part series focusing on the controllable risk factors of SIDS and safe infant sleep behaviors in Indian Country.

View the UIHI’s new broadcast online to learn about the NAPPSS strategies you can use for engaging and communicating with infant caregivers.
Visit the Center for Disease Control’s SIDS Awareness Month webpage to learn more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

*Reference: Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board. (2011). Looking to the Past to Improve the Future: Designing a Campaign to Address Infant Mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Seattle, WA.

Smoke-Free Tribal Housing Policies

TEC News
Using tribal sovereignty is key to ending commercial tobacco use in our communities. We have the opportunity to develop tobacco prevention initiatives that communities around the world can adapt. Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians raised the bar high and set the example by using their authority to enact smoke-free housing policies that will eliminate secondhand smoke exposure for vulnerable tenants and visitors in tribal housing, like children and pregnant women.
 
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Jim Belanger at the Red Cliff Community Health Center states, “Our goal with this policy is to create a healthier environment for the seventh generation.”  

The policy was passed by the Red Cliff Housing Board on September 21, 2016.  The resolution reads as follows, “The Oski-Ombendaam New Hope housing complex shall be designated as smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted in any inside area of the designated housing complex.” Red Cliff Housing Authority (RCHA) defines “smoke” to include inhaling, burning, or carrying of any lighted cigarettes. Furthermore, RCHA defines cigarettes to include cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, any illegal substance that produces smoke, and electronic cigarettes.   

On behalf of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center and the Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network at Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, thank you Red Cliff and other contributors, for taking a stance in saying commercial tobacco use is no longer acceptable in your tribal community. 

Thank you to the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country grant staff, RCHA, Red Cliff Tribal Council and Executive Board, and to the staff at the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center who were involved with this initiative.

2016 Alaska Maternal Child Health & Immunization Conference

TEC News
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In September, over 200 people participated in the 2016 Alaska Maternal Child Health and Immunization Conference, held at the Hilton Anchorage on September 27-28, 2016.

The bi-ennial conference is organized by the Alaska Native Epidemiology Center and the Alaska Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health.

The conference provides an opportunity for rural and urban Alaska health professionals to come together to learn about best practices, tools, and surveillance data related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s, children’s, and adolescent health issues in Alaska.

Topics at the 2016 included preconception care, vaccine hesitancy, Medicaid reform, childhood obesity prevention, adolescent wellness tools, breastfeeding, opioids, and many more. Travel scholarships were provided to 15 Alaska Native professionals and staff of tribal health organizations from across Alaska to be able to join the conference.

For more information, please visit www.alaskamchconference.org

UIHI Welcomes New Director Abigail Echo-Hawk

TEC News
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Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA is an enrolled member of the Kitkehahki band of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, she is also a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Village, Alaska. She was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised in the traditional values of giving, respect for all and love. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Minor in Human Rights, and a Master of Arts in Policy Studies.

Her professional work has incorporated these core principles and activities: engagement and participation of community partners in research; research on health, healthcare, and other community priorities; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people, including researchers, students, and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; and sharing research results in a way that recognizes and respects the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Additionally, she has worked with American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and organizations to identify health research priorities and with health researchers to ensure research is done in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty and is culturally appropriate.

As a dedicated community volunteer, Abigail has concentrated on policy and institutional change in order to minimize disparities for women of color locally and nationally. Ms. Echo-Hawk focuses on policy advocacy in areas such as: maternal and child health, domestic violence, sexual assault, youth prostitution and educational disparities. Current volunteer memberships include the Native American Women’s Dialogue on Infant Mortality, Hope Heart Institute, Center for indigenous Law and Justice, Best Starts for Kids King County and the King County Coalition to End Gender Based Violence.

Her greatest accomplishment is her place within her extended family. She is a wife, a mother, an auntie, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend and a community member. Abigail strives to serve them with love and to be a small part of ensuring a great future for the next generations.

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