Minobinmaadziwin “A Good Life”
American Indian Health & Family Services April thru June 2019 Newsletter
Greetings from Ashley Tuomi, CEO... Łax̣ayam, As a part of the Indian Health Services system, AIHFS plays a crucial role in providing healthcare to the Urban Indian Community in the greater Detroit area. There are many policy issues that will increase opportunities to improve the services that we offer. This past week I (and my son Colter) attended the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) Impact Week. Throughout this meeting, tribal leaders throughout the Great Lakes Region were able to hear from some of the politicians and administrative staff that play a crucial role in Indian Country. I attended as the urban representative for the Great Lakes Tribal Health Board. As a health board member, we were there to discuss the important policy issues that impact the health of our Native people. I want to take this opportunity to share some of these policy issues with you. 1. Advanced Appropriations for Indian Health Services (IHS)- This has been a policy priority for many years, but the (L to R) Ashley, Colter and Representative Sharice Davids recent partial government shutdown really brought this issue to the forefront and even gained a lot of media attention. The Veteran’s health system currently received advanced appropriations which means that their budget includes funding that is enacted in the year after it is appropriated. The uncertainty due to government shutdowns and continuing resolutions has made it difficult for our organization because we are operating for most of the year without a known budget. 2. Reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI)- The current authorization ends in September 2019. The Senate has a current bill (S.192) that would reauthorize SDPI for 5 years (last approval was only for one year), however it is still at the same amount as it was in 2004. AIHFS has a special diabetes program, so this this a very important issue for us. 3. 100% FMAP for Urbans- In simple terms the federal government is responsible for 100% of the Medicaid payment for eligible patients through IHS or tribal programs. Currently if these same patients were to come to AIHFS, Michigan would still be responsible for part of the Medicaid payment. Although administrative fixes through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have been requested, we are told that it needs a legislative fix. There are many other issues that we discussed last week on the Hill and will continue to work with our Senators, Representatives, and their staff. I would love to talk about this important work with you if you are interested in more information so please don’t hesitate to reach out. Lastly, I would like to share that we had the great opportunity to meet Representative Sharice Davids (3rd District Kansas). It was truly an honor to meet this strong Native woman.
Ashley Tuomi CEO
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Alcohol Awareness Month
Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol can put you at risk for personal and health problems. What are the risks of drinking too much? Drinking too much increases your risk for many problems: ♦ High blood pressure ♦ Injury or violent crime ♦ Health problems like heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, and liver problems ♦ Unintended pregnancy ♦ Gaining too much weight What is alcohol use disorder? If drinking causes serious problems in your life, you may have alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is a type of alcohol use disorder. Drinking may be a problem for you if any of these things are true: ♦ Drinking causes trouble with your relationships, school, or work ♦ You can’t control how much you drink ♦ You feel anxious, irritable, or stressed when you aren’t drinking To check your alcohol intake level, go to Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol & Your Health (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/
Physical Fitness and Sports Month
What are the benefits of physical activity? Physical activity increases your chances of living longer. It can also help: ♦ Control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight ♦ Lower your “bad” cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol ♦ Prevent heart disease, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes And that’s not all. Being more active can: ♦ Be fun ♦ Help you sleep better ♦ Make your bones, muscles, and joints stronger ♦ Lower your chances of becoming depressed ♦ Reduce falls and arthritis pain ♦ Help you feel better about yourself Is physical activity for everyone? Yes! Physical activity is good for people of all ages and body types. Even if you feel out of shape or you haven’t been active in a long time, you can find activities that will work for you. To start, try standing or walking for 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting (watching TV, using a computer). This will help you ease into exercise and enjoy it.
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National HIV Testing Day
What is National HIV Testing Day? National HIV Testing Day is an annual observance to encourage people of all ages to get tested for HIV and to know their status. Too many people don't know they have HIV. At the end of 2014, an estimated 1.1 million persons aged 13 and older were living with HIV infection in the United States, including an estimated 166,000 (15%, or 1 in 7) persons whose infections had not been diagnosed. Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.
Testing is the only way for the Americans living with undiagnosed HIV to know their HIV status and get into care. CDC estimates that more than 90% of all new infections could be prevented by proper testing and linking HIV positive persons to care. HIV testing saves lives! It is one of the most powerful tools in the fight against HIV.
A year in review
It has now been a little over a year since the first home visits started taking place through the Early Head Start (EHS) program here at AIHFS. The program is funded through the Thrive by Five Detroit collaborative partnership, primarily by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a new agency in the collaborative since last year, we are proud to share some of the highlights we have experienced in the first year of operation. The EHS program at AIHFS is a comprehensive early childhood education program that offers families individualized learning opportunities and parent support through weekly home visits and playgroups. We enroll prenatal clients and families with children from birth to age three. Our home visitors come out to the homes of prenatal clients every two weeks and every week for the infants and toddlers. Twice per month, we host playgroups here at the agency where families can bring their young ones to play with others their age, learn to socialize, and enhance their knowledge of their childâ€™s development. We have collaborated and worked very closely with the Healthy Start/Family Spirit team. We have supported each other through the co-hosting of the playgroups, childbirth classes, and a parenting group. Many of our families enroll in both programs. Curriculum All of our staff have been through training in the Growing Great Kids/Growing Great Families curriculum that we use in the weekly home visits and during our playgroups. With input from the parents based on what they want to focus on, we modify the order of the lessons to speak to the individual needs of each family. We honor and uplift the home language and culture of every family. This helps our home visitors structure the visits to cultivate secure attachments between parent and child and support the childâ€™s early learning and development. The different parts of the curriculum are reinforced during our playgroups, where parents get to talk about the different areas of development with other parents, and continue to help their children put strategies into practice in a social setting with other children. Leadership Development and Support for Parents Nationally, federal Head Start programs have a built-in leadership development component for parents
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through the requirement that parents participate in the governance of the program. Parents make up the majority of the Policy Committee that governs the EHS program. We have been helping the committee to develop their leadership skills through participatory decision-making, learning about Robert’s Rules of Order, as well as learning how to run a meeting. They review and approve our program budgets and grant applications. Parents have even helped participate in our hiring process for new staff. Apart from reaching educational outcomes for children, a large part of the work the home visitors do is supporting families with making sure their basic needs are met. Day in and day out, they provide community resources and referrals to families. When needed, home visitors also help transport our clients so that lack of transportation is not a barrier to them being able to access those much-needed resources. Health Screenings Support A large part of our program is ensuring the overall health and well-being of pregnant moms and children, so we track health outcomes for all clients closely to make sure they are getting all the screenings they need. We recently purchased hearing and vision equipment so we can screen children whenever needed. Highly Trained Early Childhood Education Staff In our startup year, the Early Head Start team has been working exceptionally hard to meet the needs of the families in the community. Besides coming to the job prepared with educational backgrounds in early childhood education, home visitors participated in multiple training opportunities to help them enhance their services to families. Here’s a few of the highlights: •
Science, Technology, Enginerring, Art, and Math for Infants and Toddler (STEAM)
Progress Monitoring: Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (E-LAP)
Developmental Screenings: Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQs)
CPR and First Aid
Certified Lactation Counselor Training
Mental Health First Aid
Parents Interacting with Infants (PIWI)
Recruiting and Enrolling all Year While we are now fully enrolled, we recruit and take applications for the program all year as children age out and leave the program at different times. We keep families on our waitlist so we can begin services as soon as possible. So if you or someone you know in the community would benefit from the program, please give us a call today! Call agency phone #: 313-846-3718 Call or text us, cell #: 313-348-1414 Thrive by Five Detroit While here at AIHFS we are only funded for home-based programming, the other four Thrive by Five partner agencies all have center-based programming throughout the city of Detroit for children 0-5. Check out the website for more information: Thrivebyfivedetroit.org Stats at a glance for 2018: •
85 total participants were served by the program
Participants received a total of over 1200 home visits from the EHS team in 2018.
Families received over 200 community resource referrals
Early Head Start
Exciting visit from the ďŹ re department! Agnes and the Healthy Start team
EHS staďŹ€ (minus Nina who was on maternity leave)
Culturally competent literacy through talk story with Healthy Start
Developing ﬁne motor skills
Literacy starts early!
Youth Leadership Opportunities at AIHFS
By Casey L. Brant Every day, millions of students walk through the doors of their school with high hopes for their future. Some will end up in leadership roles but why leave that to chance? American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) I -LEAD program has leadership opportunities available. The Indigenous Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (I-LEAD) has peer mentor and summer apprenticeship positions available. Allow us to help you develop effective life skills. In these opportunities, you will work in partnership with AIHFS staff and community to learn facilitation, goal setting, problem-solving, and time management skills, while discovering your interests and passions. In this program, every student has the potential to be a leader. I-LEAD offers a variety of youth and young adult career and educational opportunities. This is your chance to rise up amongst your peers and be a leader. By being agency involved you will be active in meeting community and program needs as well as professional. It’s never too early to start learning what leadership means and how to lead! For more information, please contact Program Coordinator Casey L Brant at 313-846-3718 ext. 1403. Switch: Change Positions I-LEAD’s peer mentor Tara Maudrie (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) has taken the new role of program assistant for I-LEAD. Over the last several months, Tara has demonstrated immense leadership and provided strong program support while building community connections and partnerships. We are proud to have Tara as a permanent member of I-LEAD. Please congratulate Tara and commend her continued efforts to help and support tribal communities.
Aanii, Osiyo community! The Dream Seekers and Little Dreamers have been busy this winter with good conversations, field trips, teachings, and experiences! The Dream Seekers, for youth ages 8-17, continues to meet on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm. New faces are welcome to join group & we are also always excited to see faces that may have been away to return to the circle with us! Our Little Dreamers, youth ages 5-7, meet on the third Thursday of each month from 5pm to 7pm. Please contact Darius or Teia if you’d like to know any more information about Dream Seekers or Little Dreamers programming. This winter, we started up our age split days where youth would split up based on age to have different lessons and conversations. On these days, our older youth have been going through a health, wellness and prevention curriculum called We R Native. The lessons are grounded in culture and are focused on mental health, healthy relationships, bullying, community involvement, alcohol and drug use, and suicide prevention. While our older youth are talking about these things, our younger youth have been doing a lot of activities on self-esteem and self-love. Our adult leaders provide a safe space for our youth to talk about these things and to feel seen & loved as they learn & share. Our Dream Seekers have been attending youth cooking classes that are led by our Sacred Roots team here at the agency. The classes follow the 13 Moons Anishinaabe curriculum which helps youth learn about eating and living seasonally (and much more)! Young men from Dream Seekers programming have continued to learn from Joe Reilly and John Marcus about the teachings behind the ‘YOUNG DETROIT’ drum. Young women in Dream Seekers have continued to learn from our community's Ogichidaa Kwe Singers about singing. The Dream Seekers were also led in a conversation around two spirit identity by our powerful community member Native Child Brown earlier in the year. Our youth were able to ask a lot of questions and really start to understand how important and sacred our two spirit relatives are. Our Little Dreamers have also had some fun crafts and field trips these past few months! In January, they learned about teepees and which native communities used these for shelter. They also had the chance to decorate and craft masks together. In February, we went on a field trip to participate in a community event that was hosted by the Aadizookaan. The event was centered around the project, Mawadisidiwag, which is a mobile storytelling unit that is sharing Detroit stories in the tradition of indigenous communities.
We want to send a big chi miigwetch (thank you) to all of the volunteers, community members, elders, and youth who have made this program possible. Everyone who comes to the circle has brought their own special gifts and we are so grateful for them. Again, if you have any questions or want to get involved, please let Darius or Teia know (313)-8463718. Miigwetch.
Little Dreamers and Aadizookan
Young Detroit Drum Group
Community Advisory Council
by John Marcus On January 17 we had the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) present at our meeting. This was a very popular meeting with around 33 people attending! The FBI began by discussing Hate Crimes. One important reminder is that it is legal to say you hate a certain individual or group. This is freedom of speech found in the U.S. Constitution. Although, when you act against an individual or group because of the hate you have against them, you’ve crossed the line into criminal behavior and this is when the FBI can begin investigating the incident. Another interesting topic was housing discrimination. The FBI said if you feel like you or someone you know may have been denied housing because of age, race, gender or religion, contact the FBI and they will investigate it. This meeting was also good because there was a lot of interaction. I was glad to see so many people show up and share their experiences. In the fall, watch for a meeting that will focus on Native American activism. I will share more about the special event as it continues to unfold. Remember we welcome everyone and look forward to new participants! John Marcus ph 313-846-3718
Spring Pregnancy Childbirth Class Series Wednesdays 12pm - 2pm April 24 - May 29 Free for expecting parents and their partners and support people! Please call the Healthy Start team to RSVP or to get more info! 313-846-3718
High School and College Peer Mentoring Thursdays 5pm-8pm • • • • •
Tutoring Study Skills College Plans Employment Plans Support
Please reach out to: Tara Maudrie firstname.lastname@example.org
Josephine Mandamin Anishinaabekwe, The “Water Walker” 1943-2019
With a copper pail of water in one hand and a staff in the other, Josephine Mandamin, an Anishinaabe grandmother took on a sacred walk, traversing over 10,900 miles around each of the Great Lakes. “As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people. So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water. We’ll probably even give our lives for the water if we have to. We may at some point have to die for the water, and we don’t want that.” - Josephine Mandamin.
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How to Support AIHFS! Only with your support can AIHFS continue to try to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing needs of Native American families and other underserved populations in Southeastern Michigan. Additionally, as a 501(c)(3), your generous support is tax-deductible.
Won't you make a donation today to help us get closer to meeting these needs?
To donate by check or money order please send payable to: American Indian Health & Family Services P.O. Box 810, Dearborn, MI 48121-0810
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Seeking Board Members! The AIHFS Board of Directors is looking for new members! If you have a passion for the Native Community, Wellness programs and services, Accounting, Finance, Development or Fundraising, please consider applying! In order to be considered please submit letter of intent and resume to: American Indian Health and Family Services, ATTN: Nickole Fox PO Box 810, Dearborn, MI 48121 and/or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This is our quarterly newsletter for American Indian Health & Family Services covering the months of April through June 2019.
Published on Mar 27, 2019
This is our quarterly newsletter for American Indian Health & Family Services covering the months of April through June 2019.