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Community Spotlight

Native youth get on-the-job training with IHS Pathways Internships

American Indian and Alaska Native students, from high school to grad school, can apply for a flexible program designed to ease the transition into federal service. IHS offers the Pathways Internship Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov as a career-building opportunity that allows students to explore federal careers while still in school and pays them for work performed.

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center employs two Pathways students. Tamia Weahkee, a member of the Navajo Nation, is a high school senior. Jeanette Johnson, a member of the Gila River Indian Community, is a junior at Arizona State University.

At fourteen years old, Weahkee decided that she wanted to be a pediatrician. She is very appreciative of this unique opportunity. "It has been an eye-opening experience," she said. "Pathways has given me the chance to be more hands-on with patients. The internship has also helped expand my organizational skills, detail orientation and ability to manage and balance my time more efficiently."

The federal hiring process gives weight to work experience. Pathways provides this experience to Native youth applying for entry level positions within the federal service. The program requires interns to complete at least 640 hours of work experience with a flexible schedule to accommodate school and other obligations. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.

"My goal is to finish school and give back to my community through this organization," Johnson said. "Pathways allows us to come aboard and truly experience the hospital. It also gives us a stepping stone to become a full-time employee of the Indian Health Service after we graduate."

Johnson and Weahkee are assigned to the Office of Community Relations and Tribal Affairs. They are gaining experience in administration and communications.

The Pathways Internship is open to students from a wide variety of educational institutions and requires a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0. IHS also offers several other opportunities for students. The Indian Health Service is pleased to support American Indian and Alaska Native youth by providing these opportunities for building careers in health!

Article authored by Capt. Marie Russell, MD, Acting CEO, Phoenix Indian Medical Center and originally posted on the IHS.gov website.

Generation Indigenous Youth Gatherings 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, and the White House Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov are excited to announce that we will be co-hosting a series of Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) events across Indian Country this spring.

President Obama launched the Gen-I Initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. Through new investments and increased engagement, this initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

Expanding on the success of the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering, HHS and USDA collaboratively developed a daylong event focusing on youth leadership, skill building, and employment opportunities. Native youth ages 14-24 from your communities are invited to join these regional events.

Event Information:
More details including location and time of each event is forthcoming and will be emailed to all registered attendees. Each event will feature a 4-5 hour agenda. General questions can be directed to Elizabeth Carr at Elizabeth.carr@hhs.gov.

Events will be held throughout the country in the following locations:

April 28, 2016: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Generation Indigenous Albuquerque Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

May 14, 2016: Seattle, Washington
Generation Indigenous Seattle Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

May 26, 2016: Anchorage, Alaska
Generation Indigenous Anchorage Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

March 25, 2016: Denver, Colorado
Generation Indigenous Denver Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

April 9, 2016: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Generation Indigenous Green Bay Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

April 16, 2016: Phoenix, Arizona
Generation Indigenous Phoenix Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

General Registration Information:

  • Registration is required for these events and will be on a first come, first serve basis
  • Registration will be capped at 200 youth participants for each event
  • Each event is designed for high school and college age youth (ages 14-24)
  • If a chaperone plans to attend, it is asked that they register separately and indicate chaperone status; depending on space availability there may not be an ability to accommodate chaperones in the session. Youth attendees will have priority.
genindigenous

Blackfeet Hospital Wins Montana State Award

Kristen Krane and her child, with Supervisory Clinical Nurse Charlene Ramirez, Obstetrics/Inpatient Ward at Blackfeet Clinical Hospital

The Indian Health Service's Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Montana, has received a 2015 Health Hero award from the Eat Right Montana Coalition and the Montana Action for Healthy Kids Team. This award program is designed to recognize individuals or programs that have gone considerably beyond the requirements of a job or worked hard to promote healthy nutrition and/or physical activity. The Health Hero Award Ceremony and Luncheon was held October 23, 2015, in Helena during the annual Eat Right Montana and Action for Health Kids meeting.

The Blackfeet Hospital's Department of Obstetrics was awarded this distinction for achieving the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and for their tireless efforts in supporting optimal infant nutrition practices. The IHS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is working to create a healthy start for babies and prevent childhood obesity. As part of this initiative, IHS is encouraging clinicians in Indian Country to support policies and practices that foster breastfeeding as the exclusive feeding choice for infants in their first six months of life. By doing so, clinicians will reduce current and future medical problems and decrease health care costs. This initiative will use quality improvement processes to improve breastfeeding rates through new maternity care and infant feeding practices.

As part of the Baby-Friendly process, new mothers are provided education about breastfeeding, beginning with their first prenatal visit, which gives them the skills and confidence to breastfeed. Hospital staff members are trained to support breastfeeding and teach new mothers how to nurse. As a result of this initiative, breastfeeding initiation rates at many of the IHS Obstetric facilities are now in the 90th percentile for breastfeeding, and exclusive breastfeeding rates have continued to climb. The IHS is also encouraging all tribally-managed facilities to work toward their Baby-Friendly designation.

We are very proud of our staff at the Blackfeet Hospital for being presented this important statewide honor and congratulate the entire staff for their dedicated work and unwavering efforts to raise the level of care for the children in Montana.

Visit IHS BFHI for more information, and to read the entire list of designated IHS hospitals.

Arctic ’U’ Pick: Enjoying Micro Greens in Alaska!

girl with planting pot

It may surprise people in "the lower 48" states, but plants grow in Alaska. Wild greens, such as fireweed and Sour Dock vary in size as you travel around the state. The same plant species that is a giant when grown in southeast Alaska becomes quite diminutive when it grows above the Arctic Circle. Traditionally, Alaska Native people gathered these plants, fermented them and stored them to eat throughout the year. Today, Alaska Native people have more food choices which may cause them to move away from a subsistence lifestyle, or now live in an area where subsistence gathering is not feasible. While grocery stores sell vegetables and greens, they come with a very high price tag. Often the quality and taste can be poor. People eat fewer vegetables as a result. Food insecurity, or having enough food to meet nutritional needs, can also be an issue.

An easy way to have year-round access to fresh greens is to grow micro greens. Micro greens are plant seedlings grown quickly in small containers. Even in Barrow, with its limited daylight, it is possible to grow micro greens using natural home lighting. Novice gardeners are amazed at their success. Seedlings emerge quickly and are edible in as few as three to ten days. You can harvest them with scissors and add them to salads, sandwiches and soups. Micro greens add fresh and exciting flavors to foods. Imagine peppery radish sprouts, exotic Thai basil, pungent cilantro or nutty sunflower greens! Moreover, the flavor travels with antioxidants; including vitamins C, E and beta carotene. Alaska Native people who enjoy the process can recycle the soil and containers, purchase more seeds and plant throughout the year.

The Special Diabetes Programs for Indians has introduced micro greens to Alaska Native people living in Arctic Village, Barrow, Bethel, Fort Yukon, and Venetie through Family Fun Day events. Planting a micro green container garden is an effective and fun approach that raises awareness about diabetes prevention and allows people to practice lifestyle change. And the entire family, from the youngest to the oldest member, can plant and enjoy them.

boy with planting pot children with planting pot
 

Photos courtesy of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

We R Native: A Multimedia Health Resource for Native Youth, By Native Youth

We R Native web site image

We R Native is a multimedia health resource for Native youth, by Native youth. It offers content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. It strives to promote holistic health and positive growth in our local communities and nation at large.

The service is funded by the Indian Health Service.

We R Native is a multimedia health resource for Native teens and young adults, run by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. The site provides comprehensive health information and life advice, and encourages young people to get actively involved in their own health and wellbeing. The service was designed using behavior change theory and formative research, with extensive input by Native youth across the U.S.

The service includes a website (www.weRnative.org), a text message service (text NATIVE to 24587), a YouTube channel, social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and print marketing materials. We R Native includes content on social, emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual health, the environment and AI/AN culture.

To celebrate Valentine's Day in February, the site posted a weekly video series called Native VOICES Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov. The video was originally filmed for a newly-released, evidence-based HIV/STD prevention intervention for American Indian and Alaska Native youth 15-24 years old. To celebrate Earth Day in April, the site launched a new informational section on My Environment, covering topics like: water, land, energy sources, and how to take action.

Altogether, the website contains over 350 health and wellness pages, all reviewed by Native youth and experts in public health, mental health, community engagement, and activism. Special features include monthly contests, community service grants, an "Ask Auntie" Q&A service, and a blog.

  • Demographics, reach, growth
    Since its launch in 2011, the website has had almost 211,000 page views (67% female, 24% of sessions are by young adults 18-24 years old), We R Native's Facebook page has had over 25,000 likes (68% women, 60% ages 18-24), and the 270+ health and wellness videos on YouTube have had over 29,000 video views (49,766 est min watched, 44% ages 13-24, overall 56% male, 44% female). The text messaging service has over 2,600 subscribers.

    We R Native typically reaches about 31,000 viewers per week across its different media channels.
  • We R Native web site image Future Plans
    We R Native will launch a new Youth Ambassador section of the website this month. The section will feature a new "challenge" each month that will get AI/AN youth actively engaged in their health, challenging their peers to make a positive impact in their communities.

    We hope to launch a mobile-first version of the website by the end of 2015.

    Several We R Native Youth Ambassadors attended the Native Youth Gathering in Washington D.C.! On their travels they help spread the word about We R Native. This year we'll have nearly 50 Youth Ambassadors from across the U.S., who will be trained and supported as they spread positive vibes and create positive change in their local communities.
  • Accomplishments and Lessons learned

    Ask Auntie Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov is one of the most popular sections of the site! Youth can submit their questions around any topic anonymously, and Auntie responds with a short text or video response.

    In partnership with THRIVE (a suicide prevention project funded by IHS/MPSI and SAMHSA/GLS Cohort 9), We R Native also uses its media platforms to promote Native, youth-friendly social marketing campaigns. Recent examples include a series of messages in March that let teens know how to Stand Up. Stand Strong, Don't Just Stand By Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov. The series included resources and tips for teens to be more than just a bystander if they see something that could be violence or bullying. A drug and alcohol prevention campaign - I Strengthen My Nation - is also regularly featured by We R Native. The campaign includes posters, Facebook posts Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, and videos on our YouTube channel Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.

We believe Native youth will Change our World!
To help them achieve this goal, we provide tools, resources, encouragement and inspiration. The text message service and Facebook page alerts followers to health tips, new contests, internship opportunities, and news stories about Native youth.

Questions? Please contact scraig@npaihb.org or native@npaihb.org

Pine Ridge Youth Represent LMIC at White House Garden Harvest

First Lady with students

In April, the First Lady invited students representing the ten Let's Move! initiatives, to participate in the White House Kitchen Garden Planting Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, and on June 3rd, they were invited back to join the summer Garden Harvest. At the Garden Harvest, LMIC was represented by two students from the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Childcare and Development Program in Pine Ridge, SD: Gabriel Brooks and Avianna Garcia. LMIC Federal Interagency Team member Josiah Griffin from the USDA Office of Tribal Affairs also participated in the event.

Due to rain the students were moved inside to the East Room, where participants prepared their fresh garden lunch using seasonal veggies, like broccoli, peas, and kohlrabi that were gathered from the Kitchen Garden that morning. Both Gabriel and Avianna were excited for their "hands-on" time with the First Lady cutting and mixing the veggies, noodles, and grilled chicken together. "She's really cool and makes eating healthy fun," said Gabriel. "She's pretty too and not only did we help her make our lunch the First Lady actually sat at our table and ate with us!" exclaimed Avianna.

After lunch everyone enjoyed a nice walk through the South Lawn to go explore in the kitchen garden, and also check out the pollinator garden and beehives. Gabriel and Avianna had a great time in the garden taking lots of pictures to share with their family and friends back home at Pine Ridge. "I am so grateful for this experience for our kids. They will be telling the story of this to their own children and grandchildren someday", said Sandy Mabin, OST Childcare Program Coordinator. "I'm so proud of Gabriel and Avianna and all of our youth and truly appreciate this opportunity to represent LMIC at this awesome event."

The Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Childcare and Development Program inspired by Let's Move! and Let's Move! in Indian Country goals, have created a variety of innovative activities for their youth that have included: Let's Move Lockdowns, Let's Move Summer Camps and even a two day hip-hop festival called "Youthstock".

Let's Move! Blog - Bees, Butterflies and Broccoli at the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

Garden Harvest Lunch Recipe Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov: Grilled Honey Chicken Salad with Chopped Garden Veggies & Soba Noodles

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov: A campaign to register a million public and private gardens and landscapes to support pollinators.

Indianz.com - Students from Oglala Sioux Tribe get close with First Lady Obama Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

Click here to read Avianna and Gabriel's LMIC quotes.

White House Tribal Youth Gathering

White House Tribal Youth Gathering

On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the White House will host the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC, to provide American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country the opportunity to interact directly with senior Administration officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

The Tribal Youth Gathering, a collaboration between the White House and UNITY Inc., will continue to build upon the President's Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) initiative and his commitment to improve the lives of Native youth across the country. President Obama launched the Gen-I initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

The Gen-I Native Youth Challenge invites Native youth and organizations across the country to become a part of the Administration's Gen-I initiative by joining the National Native Youth Network - a White House effort in partnership with the Aspen Institute's Center for Native American Youth and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Youth who complete the Gen-I Native Youth Challenge will be eligible to register for a chance to attend the upcoming White House Tribal Youth Gathering.

President Obama Announces First White House Tribal Youth Gathering

President Obama announced the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering in a video message played at the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. UNITY is collaborating with the White House to co-sponsor the event. Below is an excerpt.

In making his announcement, President Obama stated, "Today I'm pleased to announce that we will once again invite young people to Washington to take part in this summer's first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering on July 9th, an event we are proud to host in collaboration with UNITY."

The first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering will take place on July 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Visit the UNITY website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov for news, updates, event program and other important information for those interested in taking part in this historic gathering.

Let's Move! 5th Anniversary Activities

For up to date activities regarding the Let's Move! 5th Anniversary, please visit the Let's Move! blog Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.

Spring into Gardening Season with the White House Kitchen Garden

The First Lady Challenges You

Click here to learn more and watch the video from this year's White House Kitchen Garden Planting Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.

On April 15, the First Lady was joined by students from across the country to plant the seventh annual White House Kitchen Garden. Mrs. Obama first planted the garden in 2009 to initiate a conversation about the health and wellbeing of our country, which then evolved into the Let's Move! initiative. This year, as we mark the fifth anniversary of Let's Move!, we're celebrating the progress that's been achieved over the years and challenging ourselves to do even more on behalf of our nation's kids. LMIC was represented by two youth from new Kituwah Academy (Cherokee, NC) at the Spring Garden Planting event and Gale Marshall, LMIC Coordinator served as a "Garden Helper".

Since launching in 2010, ten programs have begun under Let's Move!. Mrs. Obama invited children from schools and organizations that participate in these programs-representing the millions of Americans that have been impacted by Let's Move!-to join her at this year's planting.

These programs were launched in collaboration with federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits to mobilize every sector to work in alignment with the overall goals of Let's Move! and offer solutions, objectives, and technical assistance to help kids and families lead healthier lives.

As part of the fifth anniversary of Let's Move!, Mrs. Obama announced a new interactive online map Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov that will showcase the reach of these Let's Move! programs across the nation and make it easier to get involved in local efforts. Be sure to check out this exciting new tool to find out what's going on near you and to help bring Let's Move! to your community!

The First Lady also brought the #GimmeFive challenge to the garden! She and the children planted five vegetables including spinach, bok choy, broccoli, lettuce, and radish seeds, and Mrs. Obama encouraged participants as well as families, schools, and communities across the country to plant the five vegetables in their own gardens or their local community gardens.

Take part in the #GimmeFive garden challenge by planting these veggies or five other new veggies and share on social media using #GimmeFive as you plant your garden and watch it grow!

First Lady Michelle Obama And Children From Across The Country To Plant Seventh Annual White House Kitchen Garden

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - The First Lady will join students from across the country to plant the White House Kitchen Garden for the seventh year in a row. In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation-a conversation that evolved into her Let's Move! Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov initiative. Since Mrs. Obama launched Let's Move! in 2010, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation's children.

Since 2010, ten programs have begun under Let's Move! (full list below). Mrs. Obama has invited children from schools and locations that participate in these Let's Move! programs -- representing the millions of Americans that have been impacted by Let's Move!-to join her at this year's garden planting. These programs were launched in collaboration with federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits to mobilize every sector to work in alignment with the overall goals of Let's Move! and offer solutions, objectives, and technical assistance to help kids and families lead healthier lives.

As part of the fifth anniversary of Let's Move!, Mrs. Obama will announce a new interactive map that will be available to the public online. The map will showcase the impact of these Let's Move! programs across the nation and make it easier to get involved in local efforts. In addition, the First Lady will share a special #GimmeFive Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov garden challenge as part of her Let's Move! fifth anniversary challenge encouraging Americans to #GimmeFive things they are doing to lead healthier lives.

The First Lady's remarks will be livestreamed at Whitehouse.gov/live Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.

Children from the following Let's Move! programs will participate in the planting:

Let's Move! in Indian Country (LMIC)
Let's Move! in Indian Country seeks to improve the health of American Indian and Alaska Native children, who are affected by childhood obesity at some of the highest rates in the country.

  • New Kituwah Academy - Cherokee, NC

Let's Move! Active Schools (LMAS)
Let's Move! Active Schools is the national solution to ensure 60 minutes of physical activity is the new norm for schools.

  • Washington Elementary School - Pierre, SD
  • Alice Deal Middle School - Washington, DC

Let's Move! Child Care (LMCC)
Let's Move! Child Care is a nationwide call-to-action that empowers child care and early education providers to make positive health changes in children that could last a lifetime.

  • CentroNia Daycare Center - Washington, DC

Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC)
Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties assists local elected officials as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity.

  • Annapolis Recreation and Parks - Annapolis, MD

Let's Move! Faith and Communities (LMFC)
Let's Move! Faith and Communities encourages faith-based and neighborhood organizations to initiate, expand, and coordinate activities that make their communities places of wellness for kids and families.

  • Langley Park McCormick - Hyattsville, MD

Let's Move! Museums and Gardens (LMMG)
Through Let's Move! Museums & Gardens, museums of all types - from children's museums and public gardens to zoos, science centers, and art and history museums - inspire healthy habits.

  • New York Botanical Garden - Bronx, NY

Let's Move! Outside (LMO)
Let's Move! Outside was created to get kids and families to take advantage of America's great outdoors-which abound in every city, town and community.

  • Petrified Forest National Park - Arizona
  • Channel Islands National Park - California

Let's Move! Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S)
Let's Move! Salad Bars to Schools has a simple, yet lofty goal, for every school in the United States to have a salad bar so that every child -- from elementary school, to middle school, to high school -- has daily access to healthy foods.

  • Foothill Elementary School - Boulder, CO

Let's Read! Let's Move! (LRLM)
Let's Read! Let's Move! is an initiative that aims to increase awareness about the critical importance of learning, nutrition, and physical activity through reading.

  • Carlin Springs Elementary School - Arlington, VA

Chefs Move to Schools (CMTS)
Chefs Move to Schools encourages chefs to volunteer in schools and partner with teachers, parents, school nutritionists, food service directors, and administrators.

  • Holly Springs Primary School - Holly Springs, MS

In addition, Mrs. Obama will be joined in the garden by students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School, who have been active participants in the White House Kitchen Garden since the very first planting.

The First Lady Challenges You: #GimmeFive

The First Lady Challenges You

Have you been making healthier choices over the past five years? #GimmeFive! Have you planted a garden, joined a dance class, eaten more fruits and vegetables? #GimmeFive! And, in the spirit of Let's Move! - whether it's pushups or recipes or hours spent on your health - can you #GimmeFive more?

As part of the fifth anniversary of Let's Move! Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, the First Lady is encouraging Americans across the country to give out high-fives when they see someone making healthy choices. And she's challenging everyone to #GimmeFive things they are doing to eat better, be more active, and lead a healthier life.

Are you ready to #GimmeFive?

Share what you're doing to lead a healthier life on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, or Tumblr using #GimmeFive and then pass on the challenge to your family, friends, and followers!

Stay involved in the #GimmeFive challenge and the fifth anniversary activities by following us:

On Twitter: @LetsMove Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov and @FLOTUS Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, the official Twitter account for the Office of the First Lady

On Instagram: @MichelleObama Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov, the official Instagram account for the Office of the First Lady

On Facebook: facebook.com/letsmove Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

Calling All Kid Chefs!

Calling All Kid Chefs

Drumroll, please: We are excited to announce the launch of the fourth-annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov!

First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fourth-annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation.

The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids' State Dinner Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov here at the White House this summer, where a selection of the winning recipes will be served.

View more information about the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and to submit your recipe by April 30 Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov!

"It is such a pleasure to host the Kids' State Dinner at the White House each year, and I am thrilled to announce the fourth year of our Healthy Lunchtime Challenge," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "Every year I am blown away by the talent and creativity of the young chefs, and I cannot wait to welcome this year's group at the White House this summer. So I hope young people across the country will get into the kitchen and get cooking!"

Don't forget to check out USDA's MyPlate Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov to ensure that your recipe meets the nutrition guidelines and incorporates each of the food groups either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

We can't wait to see what you cook up!

LMIC Honors Let's Move! 5th Anniversary at Indian Canyons

LMIC Honors Let's Move! 5th Anniversary at Indian Canyons

In celebration of the 5th Anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign, Native families participated in "Moving Together" walks through the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons on Saturday, February 28th.

The event was the result of a unique partnership among the, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Riverside - San Bernardino County Indian Health, Nike N7, and Let's Move! in Indian Country. "We are honored to host this event in partnership with these great organizations and programs that are having such a positive impact on the health of our Native youth", remarked Jeff L. Grubbe, Chairman Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

In preparation for the walks through Andreas and Murray Canyons, Agua Caliente Tribal Rangers shared a brief overview of the history and power of the Indian Canyons. "These canyons are an outdoor cathedral where adults come to recalibrate and rejuvenate and children come to run", said Tribal Ranger Raven Longbow.

"We at IHS are honored to be a part of Let's Move! in Indian Country and to join in this exciting celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Let's Move!", stated Dr. Susan Karol, Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service. "I'd also like to extend my appreciation to the Agua Caliente Native Youth Council here today for their inspiration and leadership in working together to prevent childhood obesity and improve the overall health of our Native families."

In addition to the canyon walks, activities also included a performance by Bird Singers, Nike N7 product giveaways, a family photo booth and a special visit from "Rez Dogg", the Inter Tribal Sports mascot that promotes healthy food and snacks.

Sam McCracken, General Manager Nike N7 summarized the event by saying, "Today, you are walking in the footsteps of your ancestors and at the same time taking steps that will also have an incredible impact on the health of our future generations, not only here in Southern California but throughout Indian Country."

Special Acknowledgements:
Eduardo Garcia - California State Assembly (District 56)
Stan Henry, Mayor - Cathedral City
Annette Chihuahua, Chair- Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health Board
Agua Caliente Indian Canyon Rangers
Agua Caliente Youth Group
Inter Tribal Sports, Inc.
Bird Singers
Coachella Valley Hiking Club (Trail Guides)

Learn more about the Indian Canyons Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

Learn more about the First Lady's #GimmeFive Challenge Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov

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Inter Tribal Sports Inc.: Committed to Serving Youth in Southern California

ITS Sports - girls playing sports

Inter Tribal Sports Inc., a non-profit, is eager to initiate enhanced approaches to the four pillars of LMIC across our current tribal youth development and wellness programs.

Creating a healthy start on life: Each program year, ITS coordinates up to six athletic leagues, four youth sports camps and coaches clinics, two cultural events, and numerous nutrition outreach activities that focus on developing positive skills, knowledge, and behaviors among tribal youth starting with early ages of 4 and 5. A 7 and under age division was launched and has been gaining in participation rates. Enhanced targeted outreach to this age group and branding of our beloved mascot, Rez Dogg, will help us spread the message of wellness and positive healthy lifestyle choices through interactive programming and marketing that appeals to our younger participants.

Developing healthy learning communities: A former FedEx truck was purchased in late 2014 with support from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Walmart Foundation and was transformed into the "ITS War Pony" to battle the health epidemics plaguing the communities we serve. ITS' upcoming expansion to fully utilize this vehicle to create a mobile wellness unit will help connect its nutrition education program, Rez Dogg Refreshments, with tribal youth in local schools, at afterschool programs, and at ITS and community events. Additionally, we use social media channels, newsletters, and public appearances to create awareness for critical nutrition and exercise knowledge for tribal communities and more than 1,200 Native youth.

Increasing opportunities for physical activity: Since the inception of ITS in 2002, more than 3,500 at-risk youth from 20 different communities have participated in Inter Tribal Sports athletic league activities. In addition to the three original sports of basketball, flag football, and softball, ITS has piloted and permanently added soccer, volleyball, and soft lacrosse and we are always exploring opportunities and requests to offer additional sports. ITS aims to expand further by placing a priority and concerted effort to incorporate traditional indigenous games and activities. This enhanced programming will enable ITS to holistically engage tribal youth and create the greatest outcomes through physical activity.

ITS Dog - dog mascot

Ensuring families have access to healthy affordable foods: ITS has developed an effective and sustainable approach to deliver nutrition education through Rez Dogg Refreshments, our healthy snack program. The program aims to raise awareness for the pressing need to create healthy lifestyle habits by increasing knowledge and demonstrating that nutritious foods are attainable and fun. ITS has plans to significantly grow the reach and impact of the Rez Dogg Refreshments healthy snack and lunch program to include traditional and culturally-significant offerings and through the new mobile approach will expand outreach opportunities.

Our efforts have been made possible by support from our member tribes and grant funders such as Nike N7, CNCS, and the US Department of Justice OJJDP. We are proud to consider Let's Move! in Indian Country, alongside the Center for Native American Youth, three regional Indian Health Services clinics, and two local universities, as critical advocates and partners in the work we do.

CDC Announced FY 2014 Funding Awards for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

CDC has announced new funding awards, supported in part by the Affordable Care Act, to all 50 states and D.C. to support cross-cutting programs to prevent and control chronic diseases-the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In all, 193 awards totaling nearly $212 million (first-year funding) are going to states, large and small cities and counties, tribes and tribal organizations, and national and community organizations. The grants are organized into six programs that focus on populations hardest hit by chronic diseases.

A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country: This new initiative aims to prevent heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and associated risk factors in American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages through a holistic approach to population health and wellness. Awardees will use effective community-chosen and culturally adapted public health interventions to

  • Reduce commercial tobacco use and exposure.
  • Improve nutrition and physical activity.
  • Increase support for breastfeeding.
  • Increase health literacy.
  • Strengthen team-based care and links between community resources and clinical services.

State Awardee
Alaska Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Arizona InterTribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
Arizona San Carlos Apache Tribal Council
California California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc.
California United Indian Health Services, Inc.
Idaho Nez Perce Tribe
Kansas Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas
Michigan Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Montana Fort Peck Community College
Montana Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council
Nebraska Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
New Mexico Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc.
New Mexico Santa Ana, Pueblo
Oklahoma Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board
Oregon Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
Oregon Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center
South Carolina Catawba Indian Nation
South Dakota Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board
South Dakota Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Tennessee United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc.
Wisconsin Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc.
Wisconsin Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

For more information about the award and grantees, visit the CDC website.

Pine Ridge Youth "Lock Down" Healthy Habits with Let's Move!

On November 28-29, youth at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation participated in a Let's Move! Lock Down, an innovative event created by the OST Child Care and Development Program. Led by OST staff, 30 youth participated in group activities focused on physical activity and nutrition. This event, along with other Let's Move! efforts, have shown youth on the Pine Ridge reservation the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and learning about their culture.

Inspired by the First Lady, Michelle Obama's Let's Move, the staff at OST Child Care and Development began hosting Let's Move! youth summer camps in 2013 and 2014, growing from 4 participants in 2013 to 50 in 2014. The camp is expected to double in size in 2015. In 2015, OST Child Care and Development will continue to promote healthy eating, healthy bodies, and healthy minds at Pine Ridge.

View photos Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov and videos Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov from the Let's Move! Lock Down.

Congratulations to the Let's Move! crew at OST:
Frances "Pigeon" Big Crow - Director * Paul Forney * Wesley Bettelyoun * Shelly Jack * Shanda Poor Bear * Mary Jo, Two Two * Josh Williams * Shaina Forney * Briar Pettigrew * Izaiah Slow Bear * Kylynn Slow Bear * Alcapoane White Calf * Dusty Whirlwind Horse * Sandy Mabin

IHS and Nike Sign Agreement to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Group picture with Dr. Roubideaux

The Indian Health Service (IHS) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nike USA, Inc., to collaborate on the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The goal is to use the strengths and expertise of both organizations to improve and enhance the health and fitness of American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation.

"Regular physical activity and healthy food choices contribute to better health by reducing obesity and the many chronic conditions associated with it, including diabetes and heart disease," said Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, acting IHS director. "This partnership will serve American Indian and Alaska Native communities by expanding the information available on the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices."

"N7 is Nike's long-time commitment and mission to inspire and enable two million Native American and Aboriginal youth in North America to participate in sport and physical activity," said Sam McCracken, general manager of Nike N7. "We are proud of Nike's unique partnership with IHS and our shared commitment to unleash the potential of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities through the power of movement."

With this new MOU, the IHS and Nike are now focusing on new ways to motivate and inspire American Indians and Alaska Natives of all ages to continue on the path to a healthier future.

Click here to read more about the IHS-N7 MOU Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.

All 13 IHS Obstetric Facilities Designated as Baby-Friendly

Mother and Father with children

In November, three Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals - Northern Navajo Medical Center and Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico and Blackfeet Community Hospital in Montana- received national designation as Baby-Friendly® facilities. The addition of these three facilities means that all IHS hospitals that provide obstetric services are now designated as Baby-Friendly and offer new mothers the information, confidence and skills they need to initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

In May 2011, the IHS first launched its BFHI to encourage breastfeeding in IHS hospitals with obstetric services. The IHS BFHI is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! in Indian Country campaign dedicated to reducing childhood obesity.

Click here to read more about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.LMIC.ihs.gov.