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Rural Project Examples: American Indian or Alaska Native

Effective Examples

Care for Our Elders/Wakanki Ewastepikte
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To provide Lakota elders with tools and opportunities for advance care planning.
  • Intervention: An outreach program in South Dakota helps Lakota elders with advance care planning and wills by providing bilingual brochures and advance directive coaches.
  • Results: Care for Our Elders saw an increase in the number of Lakota elders understanding the differences between a will and a living will and the need to have end-of-life discussions with family and healthcare providers.

Other Project Examples

Family Wellness Warriors Initiative
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: Decrease rates of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and child neglect for Alaska Native people in remote villages.
  • Intervention: An evidence-based model inclusive of traditional culture trains local communities on methods of prevention and treatment for domestic and interpersonal violence.
  • Results: Self-sustaining local system with improved family and spiritual well-being and decreased healthcare access needs.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Delta Dental/Head Start Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To provide dental care to Head Start children on South Dakota reservations.
  • Intervention: The Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Prevention Project brings dental hygienists to tribal Head Start programs to provide dental care to children and oral health education to parents.
  • Results: In three years, 1,133 children and their parents completed an ECC visit. An additional 2,780 children received preventive care.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Facing Diabetes: Quality Improvement in Rural South Dakota Project
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To help adults and children in rural South Dakota prevent or manage their diabetes.
  • Intervention: The Facing Diabetes Project offered medical visits for adults and provided prevention and education sessions for the local 4th and 5th graders.
  • Results: Many adults and children in the region felt better equipped to choose healthy foods, exercise regularly, and manage their stress: all factors that can help prevent diabetes or decrease its effects.
Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: Treatment and rehabilitation for those with alcohol and substance use disorder in a rural area of New Mexico that has high rates of alcohol-related deaths.
  • Intervention: A health center reestablished a 90-day inpatient Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program that offers career readiness and work placement for clients.
  • Results: The program has grown from 3 to 69 clients enrolled in inpatient treatment and 32 in the work rehabilitation program. Many of the clients are now employed by local businesses. Additionally, organizational and program success has contributed to development of new graduate medical education programs.
Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS)
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • Need: To bring a low-cost water and sanitation system to an Alaska Native village with no running water or sewer system.
  • Intervention: The Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) collects and treats water and disposes waste without traditional piping.
  • Results: Residents in the pilot project reported that PASS was cleaner and healthier than the self-haul method.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program
Added October 2019
  • Need: To reduce non-ceremonial use of tobacco among American Indians in New Mexico.
  • Intervention: TUPAC provides outreach, community programs, and cessation services.
  • Results: 139 people have received cessation services so far, and 7 rural communities received an award to work on cigarette/e-cigarette policy changes.
Frontier Area Rural Mental Health Camp and Mentorship Program (FARM CAMP)
Updated/reviewed August 2019
  • Need: To reduce the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural Nebraska.
  • Intervention: A week-long camp teaches high school students in rural and tribal communities about different career options in behavioral health and provides mentorship after the camp ends.
  • Results: In 2019, 13 high school students participated in the camp, with six alumni returning. Eight students attended the camps in 2018, with four alumni returning. Many camp participants talk about their positive experiences with younger students.
Seneca Strong's Certified Recovery Peer Advocates
Added June 2019
  • Need: Like many Native American populations, the Seneca Nation of Indians has experienced disproportionate rates of opioid, alcohol, and substance misuse.
  • Intervention: The Seneca Nation Government and Executives founded Seneca Strong, a cultural recovery peer advocate program, to try to reduce substance misuse across the Nation.
  • Results: Since the start of the program, 300 people have received help from recovery peer advocates. Seneca Strong has since extended to meet the needs of Allegany and Cattaraugus territories.
Pathways to Healthcare Professions
Added December 2018
  • Need: Healthcare professionals and support staff are in high demand on tribal reservations in the Great Plains region.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board of South Dakota offer healthcare occupation courses for industry-recognized healthcare certifications and post-secondary degrees through the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program.
  • Results: Since the program's start, 241 participants have completed a healthcare training program, and 109 have found employment in healthcare occupations. Both participants and healthcare providers have expressed the value in local and cultural training for these healthcare professions.