Native American Health Equity conference gets local health leaders together

This afternoon marks the end of a three day conference at the Wind River Hotel & Casino focused on health on the reservation. The Native American Health Equity conference began on Wednesday, and featured speakers and discussions focusing on Native American health. The purpose of this conference – the second of its kind to be held in Wyoming – is to raise awareness of health needs on the reservation and to increase awareness and collaboration among local, state, tribal, and federal health organizations. Speakers included: Dr. Donald Warne (Physician, traditional medicine advocate); Dr. Evan Adams (Physician, Actor, Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority); Mirtha R. Beadle (Director, Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy (OTAP); Wyoming Department of Health staff; members of the Northern Arapaho Business Council and the Eastern Shoshone Business Council; health professionals from Tribal Health Programs and the members of Tribal youth programs. In addition to the speakers there has also been a sweat lodge and a run/walk. [image: IMG_1412.JPG] This afternoon, during lunch, Northern Arapaho Business Councilman Norman Willow Sr. spoke encouraging words to the crowd. "This life, it isn't easy, but it's worth it," he said. He went on to encourage everyone to be patient with their friends and neighbors and to take the time to help each other. Data on health inequities among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people in Wyoming: (Source: WY Department of Health Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Wyoming: 2012 Report) o 2007-2011, 8.9% of AI/AN infants were born at a low birth weight (WY average = 8.6%) o 2007-2011, AI/AN infant morality rates were 14.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, nearly twice the WY average o 2007-2011, AI/AN children ages 0-17 had the highest death rates of all races at 61.2 per 100,000, more than twice the rate for white children o 2005-2009, AI/AN adults had the highest rates of being overweight or obese of all races at 72.7% o 2005, 2007, and 2009 data show that AI/ANs had the highest rates of high blood pressure (41.7%) of all races o 2000-2010, 24.7 per 100,000 AI/AN deaths were due to suicide, more than twice the national AI/AN suicide rate of 12.3 per 100,000 o AI/ANs also face inequality in the social determinants of health: they have higher rates of poverty, more single parent households, higher high school dropout rates, lower rates of college-level educational attainment, and more reports of inability to access healthcare due to cost. #county10 #news