January 2003

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Starting in August 1999, the Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center in Worcester distributed culturally sensitive health information to Native American women of the Nipmuc Nation in central Massachusetts.

The Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center and the Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition, a group of Native American women who advocate culturally appropriate health programs for the Nipmuc people, jointly led the project.

Key Results

  • Between August 1999 and July 2000, community health educators conducted study circles in 80 homes, providing more than 400 tribal members with information on heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and alcohol and drug abuse prevention.
  • The community health educators distributed more than 3,000 health brochures, pamphlets, booklets and fact sheets at more than 30 Native American powwows, health fairs, community forums and special events.
  • The coalition published four issues of the quarterly Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition Newsletter and mailed each issue to more than 1,500 Nipmuc tribal members in six states.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $25,000 in grant support for the effort between August 1999 and July 2000.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROJECT

Research has shown that Native Americans in general are at high risk for a host of chronic and preventable diseases; a 1992 study revealed that Nipmuc women are exposed to high levels of violence, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, and are unlikely to receive timely health care. Under this project, six Nipmuc women were trained to become community health educators on specific health topics, including substance abuse prevention, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The task of the community health educators was to make disease prevention presentations — termed study circles — in the homes of Nipmuc women and distribute information on health resources.

To ensure the educational materials were relevant to Nipmuc women, the coalition revised materials obtained from the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and other organizations to include cultural symbols, designs and information. The coalition established a Health Care Advisory Board composed of health care professionals and tribal members to review the curriculum and provide other support. (See the Appendix for the membership list.)

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RESULTS

The project director reported the following results to RWJF:

  • Between August 1999 and July 2000, the community health educators conducted study circles in 80 homes, providing more than 400 tribal members with information on heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Each study circle lasted three hours and included a lecture on disease risk factors, transmission modes, and treatments as well as an opportunity for questions and answers and discussion.
  • The community health educators distributed more than 3,000 health brochures, pamphlets, booklets and fact sheets at more than 30 Native American powwows, health fairs, community forums and special events.
  • The coalition published four issues of the quarterly Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition Newsletter and mailed each issue to more than 1,500 Nipmuc tribal members in six states.

Communications

Coalition members made presentations on the project at the First Annual Native American Health Conference in October 1999 and at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Networks Conference in May 2000. (See the Bibliography for details.) The project received coverage in the Worcester, Mass. newspaper, the Telegram & Gazette.

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AFTER THE GRANT

After the grant ended, the coalition continued to publish the newsletter and distribute information on disease prevention and health promotion at powwows and other Native American events. It also conducted a diabetes awareness campaign, held a health fair and helped provide services to Native Americans at a new community health center in Clinton, Mass.

The project received additional financial support from Fallon Community Benefits ($10,000), University of Massachusetts Medical School ($6,000), Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council ($1,000), Worcester Area Mission Society ($1,000) and Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center ($800). In-kind support for training came from the American Cancer Society, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Family Health Center.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Development of a Community Health Education Program for Native American Women

Grantee

Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (Worcester,  MA)

  • Amount: $ 25,000
    Dates: August 1999 to July 2000
    ID#:  036679

Contact

Elizabeth Cold Wind Santana Kiser
(619) 420-7709
coldwindnipmuc@hotmail.com

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition Health Care Advisory Committee

John Belding
Director, Research and Evaluation
Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging
West Boylston, Mass.

Joanne Calista
Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center
Worcester, Mass.

Joy Carter
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Worcester, Mass.

Matt Collins M.D.
Family Health and Social Services
Worcester, Mass.

Sandra DeOrio
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Douglas, Mass.

Zoila Feldman
Great Brook Valley Health Center
Worcester, Mass.

Joyce Freeman
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Worcester, Mass.

Eleanor Hawley
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Worcester, Mass.

Deborah Harmon Hines
Associate Vice Chancellor
University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Worcester, Mass.

Kim Houde M.D.
Shrewsbury Family Practice
Shrewsbury, Mass.

David Keller M.D.
South County Pediatrics
Webster, Mass.

Candice Luciano
Office of Community Programs
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, Mass.

Conrad Luster
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Riverside, R.I.

Eugene F. Martin
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Chepachet, R.I.

Richard Massey
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Shrewsbury, Mass.

Maureen Moorehouse
Supervisor, Pupil Personnel
Worcester, Mass.

Andrea Smith
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Cranston, R.I.

Bradley Walley
Medicine Man
Nipmuc Nation
Medway, Mass.

Gayle Walley
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Southbridge, Mass.

Shelleigh Wilcox
Nipmuc Nation Tribal Member
Grafton, Mass.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Newsletters

Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition Newsletter. Worcester, Mass.: Nipmuc Women's Health Coalition. Two issues in 1999 and two in 2000. 1,500 copies mailed per newsletter.

Presentations and Testimony

Kim Houde, "Heart Disease in Native American Women," at the First Annual Native American Health Conference, October 21, 1999, Worcester, Mass.

Liz "Cold Wind" Kiser, "Nipmuc Community Health Education Program," at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Networks Conference, May 10, 2000, Dudley, Mass.

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Report prepared by: Lori De Milto
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Michael H. Brown
Program Officer: M. Katherine Kraft