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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

Education

CHR Stories Series

Nikki GoodNikki Good currently works as the CHR/Health Educator for the Iowa Tribe in Perkins, Oklahoma. She began working as a CHR after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in May of 2008 but began her experience in the medical field as a transcriptionist in 1986. Since that time she has worked in various medical offices and has acquired many skills such as phlebotomy, radiology, medical assisting, billing and medical management, which has served as a foundation for her current position with the Iowa Tribe and the Perkins Family Clinic.

Nikki states, "I love my job because it gives me an opportunity to help people. As a CHR you have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life and for me that is what it is all about. We are constantly trying to find ways to serve our tribe and community."

The Iowa Tribe’s CHR department stays busy within the tribe and the community. They organize an annual health fair every June which provides a plethora of health information from various vendors to tribal and community members. They also organize a drive-thru flu clinic each fall which makes it convenient for everyone to get a seasonal flu shot. Other events that they hold are lunch and learns during the fall and winter months, starting with Breast Cancer Awareness, Women’s Heart Health, Diabetes and Men’s Health. In August of this year they organized a Back To School children’s fair where they were able to distribute information to both kids and parents on proper hand washing, diabetes awareness, immunization awareness, nutrition and the importance of exercise.

Nikki Good and familyThis fall they decided to be proactive in their fight against the H1N1 virus in their surrounding schools. The CHR department put together approximately 3500 packets which included face masks, hand sanitizer and pamphlets on the signs and symptoms of the H1N1 which were handed out to staff and students. They also distributed approximately 200 hand sanitizer dispensers to the schools to help guard against the spread of H1N1. Nikki said, "We feel that being pro-active against the H1N1 is vital to our community. We are still receiving calls from people wanting to know if they can pick up additional packets and have been asked to speak at various events on the fight against H1N1. If we can increase the awareness of how H1N1 is spread then we have done our job as health educators."

Nikki is a single mom of four children; daughters Danielle 23, Lexi 18 and Jennifer 16 and her son Rylan who is 4. Nikki shared "Being a mom is obviously the greatest thing in my life; however I truly enjoy my job as a CHR and am so thankful to be able to serve our tribe and community." Her love for her job has been instrumental in her deciding to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Health Administration/Education. "Being a single mom with four kids, working full time and going to school sometimes proves to be quite a challenge – but in the end I know that it will be worth the effort."

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