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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: American Indian or Alaska Native

Effective Examples

Care for Our Elders/Wakanki Ewastepikte
Updated/reviewed June 2022
  • 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

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Cold Water Safety Children and Youth Educator Program
Updated/reviewed December 2022
  • Need: Drowning was a leading cause of death for children in Alaska.
  • Intervention: Cold Water Safety and Survival for Educators workshops were developed in 1998, with help from a 4-year federal grant, to train educators to provide education and hands-on skills for school children and members of the public.
  • Results: The safety program was integrated into about 50% of Alaskan school curriculum and schools in other states, helping to train hundreds of educators and thousands of children on the importance of cold water safety.
Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS)
Updated/reviewed December 2022
  • Need: To bring low-cost water and sanitation improvements to homes in Alaska Native villages without access to piped water or sewer systems.
  • Intervention: The Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) treats hauled water, provides for handwashing with clean 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.
Frontier Area Rural Mental Health Camp and Mentorship Program (FARM CAMP)
Updated/reviewed September 2022
  • 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 2022, 10 high school students participated in the camp, and a former camper returned to present on their work in a psychology lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Fostering Futures in Menominee Nation
Updated/reviewed August 2022
  • Need: Since the late 1800's, trauma caused by historic events have greatly affected the way of life for Menominee Indians living on the Menominee Reservation. Economic, socioeconomic, behavioral health, and physical health issues have risen and are causing direct implications for Menominee youth.
  • Intervention: Through Fostering Futures, clinic, school, and Head Start/Early Head Start staff are trained in administering trauma-informed care and building resilience among children.
  • Results: Behavioral health visits at the Menominee Tribal Clinic have increased, school suspension rates have decreased, and graduation rates have improved from 60% to 94% since 2008.
Seneca Strong's Certified Addiction Recovery Coaches
Updated/reviewed July 2022
  • 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, with the goal of reducing substance misuse across the Nation.
  • Results: Seneca Strong has since grown in personnel and capacity to meet the needs of the Allegany and Cattaraugus territories of the Seneca Nation.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Facing Diabetes: Quality Improvement in Rural South Dakota Project
Updated/reviewed May 2022
  • 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.
Delta Dental Mobile Program
Updated/reviewed March 2022
  • Need: Lack of access to oral healthcare for children from limited-income families in the rural and urban areas of South Dakota.
  • Intervention: Delta Dental of South Dakota launched the Delta Dental Mobile Program in 2004 to expand access to oral healthcare services to children throughout the rural state.
  • Results: The Delta Dental Mobile Program has provided over $34 million in dental care to more than 63,000 South Dakota children.
Nictotine Use Prevention and Control (NUPAC) Program
Updated/reviewed October 2021
  • Need: To foster relationships with indigenous people in New Mexico to determine culturally appropriate practices in reducing nicotine addiction.
  • Intervention: NUPAC provides outreach, community programs, and cessation services.
  • Results: In fiscal year 2020, 1,938 QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA quit line enrollees stopped using tobacco, and over 4,520 tobacco users made progress on their path to quitting.
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.