Elders and Natural Helpers Receive Public Health Heroes Award

Elders and Natural Helpers Receive Public Health Heroes Award

health-heroes-smNAYA Elders and Natural Helpers, as a part of the Future Generations Collaborative (FGC), are receiving a Public Health Heroes Award. The Future Generations Collaborative is an innovative partnership among American Indian and Alaska Native community members, community-based organizations, and public health agencies to increase healthy pregnancies and healthy births, and strengthen families in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

NAYA has been a partnering organization in this collaborative project utilizing a collective impact strategy to influence change in the way that we view and engage individual and community capacity towards increasing healthy pregnancy planning and reducing substance-exposed pregnancies among urban American Indian and Alaska Native women ages 15-24 living in Multnomah County. The collaborative process utilizes a relational world view to guide development of processes and outcomes. The relational world view is a cultural model of wellness and healing. The four directions in the model represent interdependent domains, all of which need to be in balance to find health and healing. There are many ways to describe the domains. Future Generations Collaborative understand the domains to represent social, mind, body and spirit.

Through their efforts for the past 2-1/2 years FGC have discovered the need to recognize culture as a preventative measure and a restorative practice that can help our community engage in a strength-based approach to healthy life styles.

Through a community-based, participatory research process the FGC has developed a trauma informed model and course to address the effects of historical, intergenerational trauma that impact Native American families. This work is intended in part to reduce the barriers that may exist in young mothers accessing early prenatal care or practicing healthy behaviors before, during, and following birth.

The award ceremony will be April 8 from 11-12 at the Multnomah Building boardroom at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Light refreshments will be served but no childcare is available. To learn more about the project or how to become involved, contact Donita S. Fry, 503-288-8177 ext. 284, or email donitasf@nayapdx.org.