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Health Equity Forum: Ethnic Partner Spotlight – October 2015

New Grants Help CRIHB Deliver Services to California's Rural Indians

By The California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB)

The California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB) continues to work to improve the health of our communities across the state. Recently, we received funding for projects that focus on improving health in Native communities.

First, we received funding from The California Endowment to support our advocacy work on Affordable Care Act implementation, improvement of behavioral health resources for tribal clinics, and provider recruitment for member programs.

CRIHB is one of five awardees of the competitive Dental Support Center Grant, a 5-year initiative to provide statewide technical assistance, training, and support to dental professionals working at Indian health programs. A recent report highlighted the oral health needs of Native populations, underscoring the importance of this project.

CRIHB is also continuing to grow our Advancing California Opportunities to Renew Native health Systems (ACORNS) project. This initiative will empower American Indian and Alaska Native communities in California to promote policies, systems, and environmental change strategies to reduce tobacco use and exposure, promote physical activity and healthy eating, and prevent chronic disease and related risk factors.

CRIHB also received funding to continue our mental health work. We will develop programs to reduce risk factors for some of the conditions affecting wellness in our rural, tribal communities. Specifically, the American Indian Substance Abuse and HIV Capacity Building Initiative (HIV-CBI) aims to prevent new HIV and viral hepatitis (VH) infections, reducing the risk of developing substance abuse issues and sexual risk factors, and reducing transmission among tribal youth aged 13-24. The program will combine education and awareness, social marketing campaigns, and HIV and VH testing services in non-traditional settings.

A second program, the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative, will increase tribal health programs’ capacity to address suicidal risk factors, thoughts, and behaviors within their service areas, as well as increase education on methamphetamine use. This program will help develop culturally-appropriate, community-relevant prevention, treatment, and post-intervention strategies.

You can visit our website (www.crihb.org) for more information on all of our projects.