indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian health care leaders win prestigious award
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Filed Under: Health | National


Monte Fox, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, was one of two Indian health care leaders honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation honored not one but two Indian health care leaders at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Wehnona St. Cyr, a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and Monte Fox, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, received the foundation's prestigious Community Health Leaders award. The pair were among just 10 winners of the $125,000 prize.

"We are honored to recognize such committed, courageous, and creative people," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the president and CEO of the foundation.

St. Cyr said she was "humbled" by the award. She was selected for her efforts to improve health and wellness on the Omaha Reservation, where she runs the Carl T. Curtis Health Education Center.

"I think they were a little surprised by the amount of services we offer on the reservation," St. Cyr said of foundation officials who visited the tribe to learn more about the health care system.

"We call it a health center but it's so much more than that," she said of the Carl T. Curtis.

The center provides a broad array of services, from traditional medical care to a nursing home to an animal control program. The tribe and the Indian Health Service provide funding for the center.

"Wehnona's work is an example of the many efforts underway in communities throughout the nation to take action to address their own problems by creating new approaches and solutions, and demanding changes in outdated systems and institutions," said Janice Ford Griffin, the director of the foundation's Community Health Leaders program

Fox, who works for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indians in Minnesota, also said he was humbled by the award. He was chosen for his innovative efforts to combat diabetes and to promote health and wellness.

"It's an honor to be in the room with some of these people," he said before the start of the ceremony.

Through his work for the White Earth Band, Fox has created health initiatives that respect tribal traditions. Games like Diabetes Bingo and Honor the Beat combine cultural messages with health education to combat a disease that affects Native Americans at a high rate.

Fox is currently developing an even bigger project called Native Dancer, a game based loosely on the popular Dance Dance Revolution video game. The game, which is being developed in conjunction with North Dakota State University (http://nativedancer.ndsu.edu), will teach Indian youth about healthy lifestyles through pow-wow and traditional dance moves.

"It teaches history and culture," Fox said of the project, which he hopes to eventually turn into a competitive Internet gamer.

St. Cyr and Fox haven't decided what to do with the $125,000 award, of which $105,000 must be used to further their health care programs. The remaining $20,000 can be used for personal development.

But both have a lot of ideas. St. Cyr cites a need for more dialysis machines and an electric generator for the nursing home while Fox wants to buy exercise and playground equipment for schools that serve tribal children.

St. Cyr and Fox also emphasize their ongoing efforts to incorporate culture, language and history into their health programs. They say that's the only way to ensure their tribal communities will survive.

"I don't think we're truly sovereign until we can take care of our own without outside help," said St. Cyr, who likened her current role as a health care provider to the historical role that women in the Omaha Tribe's Buffalo Clan played. "That was our job -- to make sure everyone was served and taken care of," she said.

Fox, who grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, holds a similar view. "I've always thought the glue to who we are is our culture," he said. "If we lose that, you lose a lot of wellness thought. We can't just let that go."

Since 1992, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has distributed 150 Community Health Leaders awards. This year's winners came from eight states and Puerto Rico.

Relevant Links:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - http://www.rwjf.org
Community Health Leaders - http://www.communityhealthleaders.org



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
President Obama invites Native youth to White House on July 9 (4/27)
Native Sun News: Author brings Lakota heritage to stewardship (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: Even Hollywood is taking on tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Steve Russell: Same-sex marriage back before Supreme Court (4/27)
Terese Mailhot: The epidemic of early death on the reservation (4/27)
Jean-Luc Pierite: School makes bad choice with fake headdress (4/27)
Peter d'Errico: Pope fails to address genocide of Native peoples (4/27)
Choctaw Nation citizens slam Vanilla Ice's shaky ancestry claim (4/27)
Youth of Hoopa Valley Tribe speak out against marijuana grows (4/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe might be interested in growing hemp (4/27)
Sparring continues in Wind River Reservation jurisdictional feud (4/27)
Oneida Nation faces questions over land-into-trust acquisitions (4/27)
Opinion: Deadline approaches in Alaska land-into-trust dispute (4/27)
Editorial: States need help dealing with newly recognized tribes (4/27)
Last defendant to be sentenced for Choctaw Nation casino fraud (4/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on labor measure (4/27)
Senate panel takes up bill to halt Tohono O'odham Nation casino (4/27)
Tiny Alturas Rancheria runs casino but can't agree on much else (4/27)
Dennis Whittlesey: Texas tribes are pawns in much larger game (4/27)
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
Marijuana seen as new frontier in tribal economic development (4/23)
Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions (4/23)
Interview with Gyasi Ross about spoken word release Isskootsik (4/23)
Blackfeet Nation launches campaign to ban drilling at sacred site (4/23)
Cherokee Nation celebrates births of first calves from bison herd (4/23)
Burns Paiute Tribe investigates fire that destroyed two bulidings (4/23)
Kaibab Paiute Tribe welcomes designation as 1st dark sky nation (4/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.