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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Community health representative: The first tribally contracted program, since 1968 - American indian paraprofessional healthcare providers

CHR - Health Promotion

Job Details

Health Promotion

The mission of the Indian Health Service (I H S) is to elevate the health status of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to the highest possible level. Despite concerted and sustained efforts by I H S and Tribal programs, substantial disparities in health persist for AI/AN compared to the US overall population. Please visit The Indian Health Service program for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

Health Promotion - is the provision of information and/or education to individuals, families, and communities that-encourage family unity, community commitment, and traditional spirituality, that make positive contributions to their health status, such as:

  • Cessation of Tobacco Smoking
  • Reduction in the Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs
  • Improvement in Nutrition
  • Improvement in Physical Fitness
  • Family Planning
  • Control of Stress
  • Pregnancy and Infant Care (including prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)

Disease Prevention - to teach or promote methods and/or measures that have been proven effective in avoiding illness and/or lessening its effects, such as:

  • Immunizations
  • Control of High Blood Pressure
  • Control of Sexually Transmittable Disease
  • Prevention and Control of Diabetes
  • Control of Toxic Agents
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Accident Prevention
  • Fluoridation of Water
  • Control of Infectious Agents

Advocating

Communities plagued with a high incidence of certain diseases should have resources to help prevent and manage the illness, if a facility does not have adequate resources or anything at all; it is the CHR’s job to inform the Service Unit Director of the issue and help advocate for resources, funding and development of the project.

Ways of advocating include:

  • Letting superiors know of the need
  • Requesting grant money
  • Using an existing program to house the newly proposed plan
  • Starting a group/coalition
  • Modeling health behaviors
  • Speaking up at public events

It is helpful to attend tribal council and health committee meetings as often as you can, and to know your tribal health policies so that you know what is going on and other resources which can be used.

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