Page 1


“Healing Journey”

Jan 2014 Mar 2014

Greetings from Ashley Tuomi, Executive Director... Łax̣ayam, Wow it is so hard to believe that 2013 is almost over. It has been quite a year full of both good and uncertainty for many people. American Indian Health and Family Services has also experienced many of these good things as well as periods of uncertainty. In the end, we continue to thrive and are thankful to our supporters (including our staff and community members) for continuing to support us. The financial environment of our government has been a little bit of a roller coaster this year. Since we are federally funded we experience many of the effects of this environment. In the last year we have experienced cuts from sequestration and were greatly impacted by the government shutdown. Unfortunately these problems are not going away and we face sequestration and another possible shutdown in the upcoming year. While we have lost some of our grant funding this year, we have been very fortunate to bring in new grants that will help us expand our services. We are also expanding our ability to bill for services and are accepting more insurances every day. If you are interested in receiving services from AIHFS and your insurance is not currently accepted please contact us so that we can get a contract with your insurance company.

Aanii from AIHFS! Inside this issue: Poison Control


Healthy Start


“Healing” at AIHFS


Healthy Celebrations


Advisory Council


Heart Disease


Flinn Foundation


Wellbriety Fundraiser


DreamSeekers Youth


Sacred Bundle


Upcoming Events


Affordable Care Act


However, there are many of our clients and others throughout Michigan who do not have health insurance. As many of you know healthcare is transitioning in the U.S. with the Affordable Care Act. One of the biggest changes is the individual mandate for health insurance. While there are many exemptions (including federally recognized tribal members and other IHS eligible natives), there are many benefits to enrolling in health insurance. Fortunately, we are here to help you with both the exemptions and enrollment. We have staff on site that are trained to help you and are available by phone, or you can set up an appointment to get one-on-one assistance. As a final plug, I want to remind everyone that we do accept donations of any amount. I know some of you might not have the resources to donate financially, but maybe you know someone who can. We do have a lot of options for everyone including connecting your Kroger Card to our organization and using as your search engine. Stay tuned for many other options coming in the near future. I hope to see many of you at our Winter Solstice on December 21st from 12-3pm. Happy Holidays to you and your family and again I want to thank you for your continued support.

Ashley Tuomi Executive Director


Page 2

Poison Control By Scott Bowden What is poison? The CDC defines poison as any substance (including medications) that is harmful to your body if too much is eaten, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin.

factors for children. These items may look like toys to young children, so naturally they will want to play with them.

There are steps that can be taken to prevent accidental poisoning for adults and children: Every day in the United States more  Always read product labels and the directions on how to use than 2,000 people visit the them. emergency room from unintentional poisonings, and more  Keep household chemicals and medications in original labeled than 10,000 calls are made to containers. poison control centers for children ages 5 and younger.  Always keep household chemicals and medications out Just about every room in your of the reach of children. house contains poison. The main  Keep household chemicals and areas are laundry rooms, kitchens, medications on a high shelf or in and bathrooms. a cabinet with a child proof lock on it, and make sure to lock the Children ages 1 to 3 years of age cabinet every time it is open – “oral explores,” meaning they like also remember to check daily to to put things in their mouths. So if make sure the lock is secure. you have small children, you have to  Keep the door closed to be aware of potential poisoning potentially hazardous rooms factors in your home. For example, and install child-proof door most people don’t realize that handles. leaving toothpaste, soap, shampoo and make-up out are poisoning

Miigwetch AIHFS would like to thank Michele Archuleta from Indian Health Services for travelling to Detroit to train staff and community members about the Physical Activity Kit. AIHFS will be incorporating fun interactive games into our programs to promote physical activity!

In case of emergency, you should have the National Poison Help Line stored in your cell phone and posted on your refrigerator.

This number will automatically redirect you to your regional poison control center. Poison control centers are available 24 hours a day and can rapidly assess your situation and provide guidance for help.


Page 3

Native Healthy Start Our fall months brought some wonderful events to be remembered. We had a great success with our Childbirth Class fall series with a nice attendance of moms and support people. It is always good to see the support people join the class and participate fully in the experience with the moms-to-be. The wide range of information and shared and shared stories and experiences bring a sense of confidence to the participants and their families. Appreciation goes to the ladies behind the scenes for the dedication and fine work--Sra. Jimenez, our favorite chef; Susan Yeghissian, our child care volunteer; and our instructors: Nina Eusani, Rosebud Schneider, Joyce Reese-Bey and Rosa Bear.

The Healthy Native Babies Training that was held at AIHFS in October was quite informative and of high importance for our community's awareness. The Healthy Native Babies Project centers on strategies to keep our infants healthy and thriving through raising awareness on safe sleep. We hope this project will lead to a decrease in the disparate number of AI/AN babies dying of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)/ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),

Looking ahead, our Healthy Start Program is excited to announce its expansion to include families with children up to five years old. This new component will be introduced under its own separate name to be announced in the near future. We are also introducing a new comprehensive curriculum for all of our families, called Family Spirit, which was developed by and for Native American communities. The aim is to increase parenting knowledge and skills; address maternal Our Halloween Party proved to be fun and successful psychosocial risks that could interfere with positive as we introduced a new way to "trick or treat"--"Trunk child-rearing; promote optimal physical, cognitive and or Treat!� Staff and community teamed up together social/emotional development for children; prepare and with a theme in mind, dressed up their cars and children for early school success; ensure that children passed out treats (with emphasis on healthy choices or get recommended well-child visits and health care; link fun trinkets) to our children from the trunks. There families to community services to address specific were activities such as face painting, pumpkin needs; and promote parents' and children's life skills decorating, bean bag toss, music, and dancing. Family and behavioral outcomes across the lifespan. For fun was enjoyed by all and we are looking for having information about signing up for the new program, another next Halloween. Thank you to everyone who please contact Rosebud Schneider at 313-846-6030, worked very hard to make it a success from the ext 1162. kitchen experts to the clean-up crew and, of course, the booth coordinators. Much appreciated. Lastly, our Playgroup is in the process of restructuring. Our purpose is to put more emphasis on parent skillbuilding and adding a parent talking circle. Playgroup will be renamed and will still include a designated block of time for activities for our little ones to enjoy. We will continue to meet once a month on Fridays. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are encouraged to be a part of this new and exciting change. Please contact Rosa or Nina for any questions or suggestions you may have at 313-846-6030, ext. 1125 or Rosebud at ext. 1162.

Page 4


Healing Our Bodies, Healing Ourselves By Shiloh Maples Healing Our Bodies, Healing Ourselves is our healthy eating and physical activity program here at AIHFS. In the past, this program has been described simply as a cooking class—but we are revamping the program this year to include a variety of activities that promote our community’s health. This year, instead of our usual monthly cooking classes, Healing Our Bodies, Healing Ourselves will be hosting several series tailored to different members of our community. There will be a 10-week series for youth 9-17yrs old, a series of classes for elders, a short series for parents, and another series open to the entire community. Each series will include nutrition lessons and cooking classes that feature traditional native foods and healthy ways to prepare them. There will also be a variety of traditional dance demonstrations, round dances, and native games that are fun for the whole family and community. Make sure to keep an eye out for flyers and more information to come!


Page 5

Community Advisory Council By John Marcus

In September, Ashley Tuomi presented on obesity. She used something called a problem tree. If you look at the accompanying picture, in the center you will see the problem. The Community Advisory Council had considerable input. First, Ashley asked, “what are the root causes?” Then, “what are the consequences?” Why use a problem tree? It can help to find solutions by mapping out the anatomy of cause and effect around an issue. If there is a specific program or topic you would like featured at a community advisory council meeting, let me know and I will see if I can arrange it. I look forward to seeing everyone at our Solstice gathering. John Marcus ph: 313-846-6030 x1121 email:

Page 6


Chi-Miigwetch to the Flinn Foundation By Tina Louise We are pleased to announce that the Department of Emotional and Spiritual Wellness has received a two-year $200,000 grant from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation. This grant will support the G'wiidanokiindimi ezhiminobimaadiziwaad (All of Us are working together so they can live well) project. This project will help young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 involved in the criminal justice system to have access to individual counseling, intensive case management, cultural support, and group skill building services.

The G'wiidanokiindimi ezhiminobimaadiziwaad project also includes new partnerships with the Washtenaw County Peacekeeping Court and Macomb County 16th District Circuit Court. We will collaborate with these partners to create new tools for identifying Native American and First Nations people in their court systems. Increasing identification will increase the number of Native American and First Nations young adults receiving culturally responsive care.

Pictured Above: Flinn Foundation Grantee Meeting

The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation is a Detroit based private foundation established in 1976 by Ethel “Peggy” Flinn and her brother James “Jim” Flinn, Jr. Peggy passed away in 1994. Jim Flinn, Jr., who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20’s led a remarkable life until his passing away in 2007 at the age of 91. The Foundation is committed to improving the scope, quality, and delivery of mental health services in Michigan. Since inception, over $24 million in grants have been awarded. The Foundation’s geographic focus is primarily Southeast Michigan, defined as the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw.

From Right to Left - George A. Nicholson, III, Flinn Foundation Board of Trustee; Abigail Eiler, AIHFS Clinical Supervisor; Leonard W. Smith, Flinn Foundation Board of Trustee; Dr. Jennifer Kowalkowski, Behavioral Health Director, Oakland Integrated Healthcare Network; Tina Louise, AIHFS Director of Behavioral Health; & Jane Shank, Executive Director, Association for Children’s Mental Health.

For questions or more information on the G'wiidanokiindimi ezhiminobimaadiziwaad (All of Us are working together so they can live well) project, please contact Tina Louise, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery, for AIHFS at 313-846-6030 or by email at

Supporting Wellness & Sobriety in our Community By Abigail Eiler AIHFS hosted our first ever Wellbriety Fundraiser on October 11, 2013. This event included several community members and staff coming together to celebrate and support wellness and sobriety for our Native American and First Nations people. All those in attendance enjoyed a night emceed by Rosebud Schneider who kept all attendees entertained with familiar stories and updates on community activities, as she raffled off over 25 items. Also, Kirk Schuyler and Martha Hinojosa captured the title as the 2013 Wellbriety Chili Cook-off Winners! The Department of Emotional and Spiritual Wellness would like to offer a special thank you to our donors, attendees, and staff for making this event a success. The next Wellbriety Fundraiser will be held Spring 2014 – more details to come! We continue to host a Wellbriety group every Wednesday at AIHFS from 5:00 – 6:30PM in the Administrative Building. For more information please contact, Abigail Eiler, LMSW @ 313-846-6030 ext. 1111 or


Page 7

Dream Seekers Youth By Azania Tripp & Jennifer Perrone Being a part of this group, this team, and the lives of our youth has been profound for us. The youth group is unique, consistent, supportive and absolutely indispensable. The leaders of this group do a fabulous job of balancing and integrating strong cultural and traditional nurturing with evidence-based prevention education. It is clear that this group is another form of family for everyone involved, and that is exactly the kind of feeling of connection and loyalty that we feel every time we leave the agency parking lot! The youth themselves are beyond impressive. They are talented, resilient, drug and alcohol free, and respectful in more nuanced ways than any other youth group of which we have been apart. We are humbled and honored to be a part of this program. Truthfully. So far this season we have done a lot of program planning and bonding with the group. One thing that is really special about this program is the fact that we seek input, ideas and decisions from the youth themselves. They have a say in what they do and learn throughout the year. They are patient with our strategic planning and participate fully. So many

things have been happening at youth group-- We have had a youth sweat lodge with Tony! We brought some youth to Detroit’s Eastern Market to cultivate their environmental justice and entrepreneurial skills at the Grown In Detroit table! We have been utilizing the Gathering of Native Americans curriculum and have done lots of fun activities! Halloween was a blast. We were able to have two Halloween celebrations, one just for teens that included an open mic and super spooky decorations! The youth group Halloween was a trunk or treat and we painted pumpkins, decorated bags, ate some treats, and played some games at all of the terrifyingly creative cars that participated. Thanks to everyone who showed up! Before we really dive into our prevention education, we had to do some cleaning up in the garden, harvesting the rest of the beautiful collard greens and tobacco. Of course we did some singing and drumming with our volunteer Karen too! It was a beautiful evening. Don’t forget to spread the word about Dream Seekers! We are always open to new members and new voices. Please contact us at: (313)846-3718 x1113 Miigwetch!

Meet Azania and Jennifer! Hello AIHFS community! I would like to introduce myself officially, although I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of you already. My name is Jennifer Perrone (pictured to the right) and I am a new intern with the Department of Community Health and Family Wellness Services at the agency. I am also a part of the Dream Seekers youth group team with Shiloh, Martha, Joe, Darius, and Azania. I am a second year MSW student at the University of Michigan hailing from New York and New Jersey. I have worked in the past with youth doing workshops and community education on dating violence, sexual assault, healthy relationships, consent, being a good bystander, and sexual health. I have also done work in groups with LGBTQ youth. I am looking forward to my time here. Hello everyone, I am Azania Tripp (pictured to the left). I am also an intern with Jennifer in the Education Department working with the youth. I am a first year MSW student at the University of Michigan. I am originally from Minnesota. My experience in the professional setting has been primarily working with young people in empowerment development. I am overjoyed to be a part of the AIHFS community. It is truly a home away from home.

Page 8


Manidookewigashkibjigan - Sacred Bundle By Christy Bieber [Youth Suicide Prevention Project] Caring for Mental wellness has always been a part of traditional Native American Values. Our medicine wheel teaches us all the aspects of our life that needs to be cared for, our spirit, our body, our heart, and our mind. Mental wellness and suicide prevention can be an important part of fulfilling these teachings and keeping ourselves whole. Also our community works together to care for each and every spirit.

Knowing about the topic of Suicide is important - A lot of times it is kept “hush, hush”, but having an understanding and beginning to talk about the topic is the beginning of healing for our communities. Recognizing warning signs of those in our community who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide and building skills to help makes our community stronger. Everyone is needed to preserve the Sacred Bundle. Getting screened helps others to see that its okay to take care of your mental health regularly.

Upcoming Ways to Get Involved! Get Screened at the Winter Solstice [December 21st 12pm-3pm] – Youth ages 10-24 get a $20 Meijer gift card for getting screened. Note: If you are under 18 make sure you bring a parent to sign a consent form! Help Bring Awareness – If you are interested in being a part of our media efforts and want to be in a video about suicide prevention call Christy Bieber [(313)-846-6030 x 1121 for more information] A lot of programs are a part of the GLS/Sacred Bundle Grant [Dream Seekers programs/activities, traditional activities/cultural events, Behavioral Health Care, Screenings, and Sweat Lodges to mention a few]. Help keep the program going by joining us for our Sustainability Planning Meeting [Monday, January 13th, 5:00pm-7:00pm]. Youth group, parents, Staff and community members welcome!


Page 9

Upcoming Events at AIHFS!

Agency Needs & Wants Support AIHFS by helping with the following: Office Supplies (pens, notebooks, etc.) Projector Chi-Miigwetch (Many Thanks) for your support!

Want to learn more about what’s going on at AIHFS? Follow us on the web!




Page 10

Confused about the Affordable Care Act or “OBAMACARE”??? AIHFS CAN HELP get rid of some confusion… 

  

It’s the law by 2014 all Americans must be insured or pay a fine when you file your taxes in 2015 *certain exemptions do apply including for Federally Recognized Tribal Members and other IHS eligible Natives*  Open enrollment has begun. Enrollment will end March 31st, 2014 (unless you are a Federally Recognized Tribal Member).  If you are signed up and enrolled by December 15th coverage can begin January 1st.  Affordable healthcare options are available. Many uninsured will qualify for low to no cost health insurance. You can apply online at or by phone at 1-800-318If you are a Federally Recognized 2956 American Indian/Alaska Native you AIHFS has (3) highly trained Certified Navigators and Certified Application can qualify for a plan with little to no Counselors on site to help navigate through your options. You can set up out of pocket cost. an appointment to receive one-on-one assistance with enrollment, applying for exemptions, and selecting a plan.

Make an appointment today for assistance! Call 313-846-6030 or email Tired of paying for that gym membership? Bored with exercising alone or a repetitive fitness routine? Looking to make a change just in time for the New Year?

AIHFS can fulfill your Physical Activity needs 5 days a week in a fun, friendly environment! Our classes are FREE, open to everyone, and can be adapted for a range of mobility needs! Now Offering: Walking Group* (meets 3 times per week), Zumba, Body Blast, Chair Exercise / Body Toning, Yoga, and Chair Volleyball Check out AIHFS’ Fitness Calendar for the current monthly schedule! *Contact Rosebud Schneider at (313) 846-3718 x 1162 for more information on joining AIHFS’ Walking Group. Congratulations, Employees of the Month! August - Abigail Eiler September - John Marcus October - Katie Sample November - Sherry Cantrell


Page 11

How to Support AIHFS! Only with your support can AIHFS continue to try to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and mental well being needs of Native American families and other underserved populations in Southeastern Michigan. Additionally, as a 501(c)(3), your generous support is tax-deductable.

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:

To donate online:

American Indian Health & Family Services P.O. Box 810, Dearborn, MI 48121-0810

This Issue’s Native Quote: Looking behind, I am filled with gratitude, Looking forward, I am filled with vision, Looking upwards, I am filled with strength, Looking within, I discover peace. –Q’ero Indians

Missed this newsletter in your mailbox? Fill this out and be added back on our mailing list! To receive the newsletters, please complete the following form and submit to any AIHFS staff member or mail to: 4880 Lawndale, Detroit, MI 48210. If you change your address, please let us know. We want to keep you updated on all the events at American Indian Health and Family Services.


Cut here.

Please Print Clearly ______ New Request

_____ Change of Address

To help us save on postage cost, email is encouraged. I would like my Newsletter

_____ Email

_____ Mail (Postage)

Name: _______________________________________

_____ Both

Date: _______________

Address: _______________________________________________________________________ City: __________________________ State: _____________________ ZIP: _______________ Email: ________________________________________________________________________

Thank you!

American Indian Health & Family Services, Inc P.O. Box 810 Dearborn, MI 48121 Return Service Requested

Clinic Hours: Monday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Wednesday 12:00 - 8:00 p.m. Thursday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Friday 8:30 - 5:30 p.m. Clinic: 313-846-6030

Seeking Board Members! The AIHFS Board of Directors is looking for new members! If you have a passion for the Native Community, Wellness program 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:

Here at American Indian Health we offer great care & services for your health care needs. If there is anything we can be more helpful with, please let us know!

Services Provided at AIHFS Medical Services Women's Care Maternal Health Diabetes Health & Education Substance Abuse Counseling Behavioral Health Counseling Dream Seekers Youth Program Parent Support Program Tobacco Cessation Native Healthy Start

Insurance Enrollments Health Education & Outreach Immunizations & Flu Shots HIV/AIDS Testing & Referrals Sweat Lodge Community Garden Annual Events Fitness Classes Visit us at:

Profile for aihfs_detroit

AIHFS January-March 2014 newsletter  

This is our quarterly newsletter at American Indian Health & Family Services.

AIHFS January-March 2014 newsletter  

This is our quarterly newsletter at American Indian Health & Family Services.