In November the UHN received notice that $26,279 in funding has been granted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation's IMPACT 2014 grant cycle. The "Returning to Our Roots...Tribal Health and Wellness" Project builds upon the work of the UHN Diabetes Program and focuses on allowing tribal culture and traditional teaching of health and wellness as an intervention to address the high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease that plagues many of our tribal citizens.
The project is in collaboration with Choctaw researchers Dr. Karina Walters, associate professor at Washington University School of Social Work, Dr. Michelle Johnson Jennings, professor at the University of Minnesota's RICH Center, and the Association of American Indian Physicians. Walters and Johnson Jennings developed and implemented a similar project within our own tribe in Oklahoma, where the cultural interventions produced positive health effects. The Yappili Project was centered around tribal citizens re-walking the Trail of Tears and reclaiming many of their traditions along the journey as it related to health and wellness.
The pilot project will begin with a series of community meetings and the gathering of an Elder's Advisory Committee. We will also be hiring a part-time position to assist in planning and coordinating project activities and maintaining contact with participants taking part in the pilot project. The position announcement will be posted separately along with the duties and hiring preferences.
We look forward to collaborating with our partners to expand the vision of the diabetes program and increase our citizens access to health and wellness efforts.