Press Room

March is National Nutrition Month – celebrate Native foods with #HeresMyPlate

March is National Nutrition Month!Here's-My-Plate-Tip-1

During the week of March 23, we invite you to join us in promoting healthy eating. Throughout the week, snap a picture of your favorite healthy meal or a family favorite, then tweet and post using‪#‎HeresMyPlate‬ starting March 23. For Native Health News Alliance users, we’re offering a $20 gift card for participation. Just make sure you mention @newsNHNA when you post on Twitter and we will enter you in a drawing to win!

 

NIHB announces Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative awardees

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) announced the selection of five tribal health departments for the Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (Tribal ASI), which will run through June 2015.

Totaling over $50,000, awards will support these Tribes’ efforts to address their various needs in preparing and applying for accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). In its pilot year, the Tribal ASI is made possible by funding and support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, and administered by NIHB.

“The National Indian Health Board is grateful for the opportunity to provide support to our Tribes as they work toward achieving public health accreditation. The Tribes awarded are taking steps today that will improve the delivery of public health services, now and for the future – embracing and embodying public health as a traditional value. Their actions will positively impact the health and wellness of their citizens, while blazing a trail that others in Indian Country may follow,” said NIHB Executive Director Stacy Bohlen.

The selected tribes represent different sizes, geographic diversity, and reflect a wide array of experience with accreditation. Each of the tribes have constructed their own individual work plan that will accomplish specific and concrete steps towards achieving one or more of the standards for public health accreditation. The following is a list of the Tribal ASI awardees:

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee, North Carolina
  • Forest Country Potawatomi, Wisconsin
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan
  • Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Washington

As part of the Tribal ASI, NIHB and CDC will provide sites with technical assistance, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking, and access to national networks and resources. More information on the Tribal ASI can be found at http://www.nihb.org/public_health/tribal_accreditation_support_initiative.php.

Robert J. Wood Foundation Commits $500 million toward healthy weight in children

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health, announced a $500 million commitment to help children achieve a healthy weight, focusing on people and places hardest hit by obesity.

About one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, according to the American Heart Association. Many of those children struggle with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. In addition, excess weight at a young age has been linked to earlier death rates in adulthood.

The foundation said it will commit $500 million over the next 10 years to expand efforts to help more children grow up at a healthy weight. This builds on a $500 million commitment made in 2007.

“By 2025, we want to ensure that children in America grow up at a healthy weight, no matter who they are or where they live,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D. “We have made substantial progress, but there is far more to do and we can’t stop now. We all have a role to play in our homes, schools, and neighborhoods to ensure that all kids have healthy food and safe places to play.”

With the new commitment, the foundation will support strategies to ensure that children enter kindergarten at a healthy weight. Other focus areas include making healthy school environments the norm, advocating for youth to get more physical activity, making healthy foods and beverages affordable and accessible, and eliminating the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in children 5 and under.

AHA CEO Nancy Brown said the foundation’s plans will help more children live, learn and play in healthier environments.

“Our organizations are fortunate to have a decades-long partnership in devoting resources that align to advance research, shift individual behaviors and social norms, and advocate for change so that all people can live healthier lives,” she said.

Nationally, childhood obesity rates have begun to level off, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also released data last year showing rates may be decreasing among the nation’s youngest children.

But these initial reports of declines follow decades of increases, according to the RWJF. And more than one-third of young people are overweight or obese.

The foundation plans to intensify its focus on areas hardest hit by obesity. It said it will work to help eliminate disparities that contribute to higher obesity rates among children of color and those living in poverty.

African-American and Latino youth continue to have higher obesity rates than their white peers, even in most areas reporting overall progress. Among the cities and states reporting obesity declines, only Philadelphia has measured progress toward narrowing disparity gaps. Obesity rates there have dropped sharply in African-American boys and Latino girls, the foundation said.

NIHB addresses Senate Committee on Indian Affairs during Jan. 28 hearing

NIHB highlights Native American priorities for the 114th Congress

NIHB Executive Director Testifies before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
NIHB Executive Director Stacy Bohlen testifies before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Jan. 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Jan. 28, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held its first hearing during the 114th Congress to gain an overview of American Indian and Alaska Native priority issues.

National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Executive Director Stacy A. Bohlen (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa) testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in an oversight hearing to explore “Indian Country Priorities for the 114th Congress.”

In his first hearing as Committee Chair, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) noted in his introductory remarks that: “As chairman, my top priorities are jobs, energy and natural resource development, healthcare, education, juvenile justice, and tribal self-governance.”

New Committee Vice Chairman John Tester (D-MT) said: “I look forward to working with…everybody…on this committee to move Indian Country forward.”

The hearing clearly demonstrated the continuing bi-partisan, collaborative commitment to continue being the legislative nexus for the advancement of issues important to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“Our Peoples continue to live sicker and die younger than other Americans,” said Bohlen.  “Our lifespan is 4.2 years less than other Americans and on some reservations, like Wind River – home of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming – where life expectancy is only 49 years. …It’s more than time that we must stand together to change these realities.”  Affirming the federal government’s trust responsibility for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, the NIHB set forth an agenda for change.  NIHB will diligently work with the Committee to advance these Tribal objectives.

Ms. Bohlen set forth the Tribal Health agenda, including such issues as:

  • Mandatory and increased Appropriations for the Indian Health Service
  • Advance appropriations for Indian Health Service (like the Veteran’s Administration)
  • Exemption for Tribes from all sequestration and rescission cuts
  • Medicare-Like Rates for Purchased Referred Care for non-hospital providers
  • Exemption for Tribes from the Employer Mandate in the affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Correcting the Definition of Indian in the ACA
  • 5-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians at $200 million per year
  • Oversight on implementation of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA)
  • Long-term, sustainable methods to fully fund Contract Support Costs
  • Investment into Indian Country’s public health infrastructure

Located in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, the NIHB, a non-profit organization, provides a variety of services to tribes, Area Health Boards, Tribal organizations, federal agencies, and private foundations.  The NIHB continually presents the Tribal perspective while monitoring federal legislation, and opening opportunities to network with other national health care organizations to engage their support on Indian health care issues.  Please visit www.nihb.org for more information.

To read NIHB’s full written statement, please click here.

To view a video of the hearing, please click here.

NHNA teams with Treatment Diaries for #TreatDiariesChat Feb. 3

Native Health News Alliance and American Indian Cancer Foundation will join Treatment Diaries for evening Twitter chat Feb. 3 

Who: Native Health News Alliance and Treatment Diaries

What: #TreatDiariesChat

When: Tuesday, Feb. 3 from 7-8 p.m., CDT (chat will last one hour)

Where: Twitter

The Native Health News Alliance is partnering with Treatment Diaries for a Twitter chat in recognition of American Heart Month month during February. The American Indian Cancer Foundation will also be participating as a partner.

This chat will explore how heart disease affects Native communities – we’ll share stories, challenges and highlights of covering this topic, whether that has been on a tribal, local or national level.

Please join the chat by tweeting and using the #treatdiarieschat hashtag to share your insight on Native health in Indian County, whether it’s through a blog, coverage or your work in the health care field as a provider or a communications pro.

Participants are welcome to promote their media outlets and organizations through resources or connections. If there are others you’d think would benefit from the conversation, please share this invitation with them.

About Treatment Diaries

TreatmentDiaries.com is a unique healthcare platform and online patient community built at the intersection of personal health, privacy, and social communication. td-logoIndividual patients, caregivers and health advocates from around the world connect on Treatment Diaries to share their journey and bring personal insight to resources, treatment options and outcomes. The platform now serves as a way to bring personalized adherence, compliance and disease awareness materials to patients in a way that brings each individual closer to the center of their care.  Treatment Diaries believes sharing health experiences can help lead to improved adherence and better health.

This virtual support group is free and always available; offering a safe place to anonymously keep multiplediaries of your daily journey, across more than one condition – either privately or shared out with others, allowing for shared coping strategies, support for others and the exchange of information.  TreatmentDiaries.com is dedicated to the needs of ALL types of users including; individual patients, caregivers, family members and advocates. We promote the importance of keeping a diary of life changing experiences and the significance of engaging in behaviors and activities, which promote health, mental wellness and the self-management of chronic conditions.

There’s a new landing page specifically for Native Americans with chronic illnesses or those caring for loved ones living with these conditions.

https://www.treatmentdiaries.com/native-american-health/

Where can you go to learn from individuals who really understand what you’re facing as a Native American while remaining private about life’s circumstances? Treatment Diaries meets Native Americans at the crossroads of social and health; providing a safe and completely private experience, with the support you need most from the people who understand you best!

 About American Indian Cancer Foundation 

The mission of AICAF is to eliminate the cancer burdens on American Indian families through education, prevention, early detection, treatment and survivor support.americanIndianCancer_logo

AICAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established to address the tremendous cancer inequities faced by American Indian and Alaska Native communities. AICAF’s board members and employees are American Indian, with an array of experience serving the health needs of our people.

About Native Health News Alliance 

The Native Health News Alliance (NHNA) is non-profit news organization in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association. nhna_logo_2clrWe serve media outlets with multimedia news and feature stories specific to the health and wellness needs, issues and concerns of the American Indian Alaskan Native governments and communities.

NHNA editors and journalists focus on health news from the ground up, featuring the voices of those most affected and those at the forefront of health and wellness.

Native Health News Alliance launches website for shared health news in Indian Country

Media Release

For immediate release: April 9, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. — The Native Health News Alliance (NHNA) provides shared news, features and multimedia stories by award-winning Native journalists addressing the health and wellness of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities.

Registered users on the site can download free stories in print, web and audio formats through www.nativehealthnews.com for use in media or health publications at no cost.

In response to the need of health information in Indian Country, NHNA was developed in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) as a non-profit news organization covering Indigenous health issues.

“Health policy and advocacy are big topics in Native communities, but they also can be complex and require extensive resources for media organizations,” NAJA President Mary Hudetz (Crow) said. “Through the Native Health News Alliance, NAJA will be able to offer an important news service with strong stories for our member media outlets.”

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.9 percent of the American Indian and Alaskan Native population self-assessed their health as fair or poor in a 2012 national health survey.

Teresa Trumbly Lamsam (Osage), associate professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha, serves as NHNA executive editor.

“Research indicates that news coverage of health and wellness significantly affects the public by framing their perceptions of topics and those perceptions lead to changes in behavior and public policy,” Lamsam said.

NHNA breastfeeding and oral health kiosks feature pre-packaged news and features, critical to disease prevention and overall good health in Native populations. As the news service develops, new topics will be added. Alerts will be sent as additional content becomes available for download.

“Editors and producers can now expand their Native health news content by utilizing NHNA resources for the coverage of shared American Indian health issues,” Lamsam said.

Publishers and producers have the option to use all content to supplement their own reporting or expand the stories with localized coverage. Users may register as a journalist, health organization, or other to download web, print and multimedia stories. There is no cost to register or download content.

Letter to Tribal Media Editors

March 11, 2014

Dear tribal media editor:

The Native Health News Alliance (NHNA), a partnership of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), recently launched the www.nativehealthnews.com, a website for shared health news in Indian Country, and we want you to be the first to take advantage of this free online service. We recognize that tribal media staff members often wear multiple hats: reporter, photographer, editor and designer among others and that producing compelling news and features can be challenging for smaller newsrooms. With a staff of former tribal media editors at NHNA, we understand there’s not always enough minutes in the day and or resources to execute in-depth reporting, even when it comes to critical issues involving the health of our Native communities.

“Health policy and advocacy are big topics in Native communities, but they also can be complex and require extensive resources for media organizations,” NAJA President Mary Hudetz said. “Through the Native Health News Alliance, NAJA will be able to offer an important news service with strong stories for our member media outlets.”

NHNA kiosks serve as virtual reporting assistants for tribal media editors and are a primary feature of the website, offering free, pre-packaged news and features on Native health to publishers at no cost. NHNA editors and journalists focus on health news from the ground up, featuring the voices of those most affected and those at the forefront of health and wellness. As a NAJA partner, we know the communities. We get the interviews. We report the news that makes a difference.

Let us be your virtual reporting assistant for the most important and comprehensive news reports about health and wellness for Native Americans. Sign up on the NHNA Registration page as a journalist, health organization, or other to access web, print and multimedia stories about breastfeeding and oral health.

Our services are free to all those who think good journalism has a positive impact in the lives of all of our readers, listeners, and viewers.

Sincerely,

Teresa Trumbly Lamsam, Ph.D., Osage,
NHNA Executive Editor

Rebecca Landsberry, Muscogee (Creek),
NAJA Communications Manager

Download this News Release: NHNA Letter to Tribal Media Editors