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In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion implemented A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC). A five year initiative, GHWIC funds tribes and tribal organizations to support chronic disease prevention and community wellness. The approach includes a combination of policy and environmental approaches, links between community programs and clinical services, and health systems interventions to:

  • Reduce commercial tobacco use and exposure,
  • Improve availability of traditional and other healthy foods and beverages,
  • Improve opportunities for physical activity,
  • Increase culturally relevant health education, and
  • Promote prevention and self-management of diabetes and hypertension.

The Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) is funded through a cooperative agreement between
the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the CDC to serve as the National Coordinating Center for the evaluation of GHWIC. The core values in the Indigenous Evaluation Framework (LaFrance & Nichols, 2009) serve as a guide to the GHWIC initiative evaluation, along with the CDC outlined initiative priorities.

Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Tobacco
Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Tobacco
Updated: September 13, 2018

While tobacco plays an important cultural role in many American Indian communities, commercial tobacco use is associated with an increased risk of developing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.1 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) smoking rates vary widely by region with low smoking rates in the Southwest and high rates in Alaska and the Midwest.2 On average, however, AI/ANs disproportionately smoke commercial tobacco: 21.5% of AI/ANs compared to 15.8% of Whites.3

Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Physical Activity
Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Physical Activity
Updated: September 12, 2018

Three out of four American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults are overweight or obese, compared to about half of Non-Hispanic Whites.¹ Moreover, AI/AN adults are more than twice as likely to experience diabetes.2 Physical activity is an important tool for the prevention and management of chronic diseases.3 AI/AN communities are promoting physical activity as part of a broader campaign to support health and
wellness in Indian Country.

Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Health System Strengthening
Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Health System Strengthening
Updated: September 12, 2018

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) definitions of health and wellness address the physical, mental, social, and emotional wellbeing of individuals. A key aspect of this approach is extending patient engagement to resources available outside of the clinic. In order to address chronic diseases, AI/AN communities are strengthening their healthcare systems and extending patient engagement to the home and the office.

Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Food and Nutrition
Impact of Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Initiative: Food and Nutrition
Updated: September 12, 2018

American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are twice as likely to be food insecure compared to whites.1 Persistent food insecurity leads to higher rates of chronic disease including diabetes.2 Since 2014, Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) has supported AI/AN communities as they develop community-driven and culturally-adapted strategies, increasing opportunities for AI/AN communities to live healthier lives.

Assessing Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention: Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Regional Updates
Assessing Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention: Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Regional Updates
Updated: November 2, 2017

This combined package of Regional Updates showcases the breadth and depth of the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) initiative through a regional lens. Within this package are two-page summary documents crafted by Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs). Each Regional Update corresponds with an Indian Health Service (IHS) Area and profiles the work of Tribes, Tribal-serving health organizations, and TECs as they promote chronic disease prevention among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people through policy, systems, and environmental changes. These documents showcase a diversity of work conducted by GHWIC grantees to improve the health of AI/ANs through sustainable interventions and community change. TECs engage and guide GHWIC grantees within their regions on evaluation activities that reflect local community assets and complement cultural strengths.

By leveraging the role of TECs, GHWIC is able to capture meaningful program information on chronic disease prevention outcomes and progress in addressing AI/AN community interests and needs.

Individual Regional Updates organized by IHS Area: Alaska, Albuquerque, Bemidji, Billings, California, Great Plains, Nashville, Navajo, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and Portland.

Snapshot: Setting a Foundation for Innovation
Snapshot: Setting a Foundation for Innovation
Updated: August 24, 2017

This two-page brief highlights the values, strategies, and scope of the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) program to give potential collaborators a better understanding of the initiative’s goals and strategies. (August 2017)

Setting a Foundation for Innovation: A Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Progress Report
Setting a Foundation for Innovation: A Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Progress Report
Updated: August 22, 2017

This in-depth report summarizes the first two years (2014-2016) of community assessment and strategic planning performed by grantees under the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) program. This report includes summary findings from GHWIC grantee community health assessments, highlights of grantee activities and successes, and early efforts with cross-sector workgroups. (August 2017)


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