The Nebraska Legislature appropriates $1.58 million annually for the purpose of implementing a minority health initiative in counties with minority populations of five percent or greater in the first and third Congressional Districts as determined by the most recent federal decennial census (Nebraska State Statute 71-1628.07). Chadron Native American Center serves the minority population in the Panhandle of Nebraska, with particular emphasis on Native Americans.
In the 2017-2019 contract years, CNAC will utilize Minority Health dollars to establish a Native-American specific Community Health Worker program in the Panhandle of Nebraska. Incorporation of traditional Lakota/Dakota/Nakota values through advocacy on behalf of providers and patients alike forms the basis for this culturally diverse Community Health Worker (CHW) program to be implemented by Chadron Native American Center in Scotts Bluff, Sheridan and Dawes Counties. Community members serving as Iyeska (translators) and Eyapaha (advocates) historically are respected and recognized as having a valued role in Lakota/Dakota/Nakota culture. Incorporation of these important cultural characteristics into the CHW program will be an integral aspect in developing trust and continuity with patients and families within the Native community as well as all individuals within minority populations. This cultural integration will be coupled with the evidence supporting the CHW model in order to provide effective services that meet patients where they are in their communities.
Nebraska legislative bill 1005 was developed to provide funds to focus on Native American substance abuse treatment, which later evolved into the emphasis on social determinants and health disparities. Chadron Native American Center has provided services under NAPHA for 13 years, emphasizing support of Native American youth, recovery programs, cultural activities, traditional practices, diabetic support, prevention programs, and collaboration. Due to the severity of need in the Panhandle, CNAC was designated the service area Native American liaison, impacting nearly 2,500 Native residents annually.
CNAC will focus on three main priority areas, which include:
Priority Area #1: NAPHA Efforts to educate children and adults about the health risks associated with smoking and tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and other substances that threaten health and well-being and other activities designed to reduce the rate of substance abuse.
Priority Area #2: NAPHA Education focusing on proper diet and the importance of physical activity to good health.
Priority Area #3:Support of efforts to identify children and adults at risk for depression and other mental health conditions and provide mental health counseling to prevent suicide.
CNAC was awarded a USDA Economic Development Grant in 2016, which was among $9-million dollars in new funds to support community development and education, which Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said underscored the Administration's support for tribal communities. The project will include renovation of the Native American Center and add an addition for the purpose of holding quilting classes for Native American entrepreneurs. The program will teach individuals how to start up and manage their own business, as well as teaching the traditional art of quilting. The intent is to teach a marketable skill set that encompasses arts and crafts to local and national tourists that frequent this historic area.
Food Bank:CNAC hosts a FEMA funded food bank for approximately 125 families per month in Dawes County, Nebraska. The food bank is operated through volunteer time and provides supplemental food source that many individuals would not otherwise have access to within the community.