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.
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.
The AASTEC Tribal Injury Prevention Program commemorates Fall Prevention Awareness Day (September 22nd) with a new fact sheet and household checklist to bring awareness to steps older American Indians can take to prevent falls – the leading cause of hospitalizations emergency department visits among AI adults age 65+ in our area.
The National Tribal Forum for Excellence in Community Health Practice (National Tribal Forum) aims to build a national community of practice in Tribal public health.
Honoring the diversity of Tribes and their unique pathways to wellness, the National Tribal Forum will gather leaders and professionals working in Native communities to share their journeys, learn from each other, and continue to develop a network focused on one common goal: healthy Native communities.
Red Star International, Inc. and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board invite you to join us in Spokane to celebrate ‘Our Nations, Our Journeys’ at the 2016 National Tribal Forum.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 WHERE: Northern Quest Resort & Casino, 100 N Hayford Rd., Spokane, Washington 99001