National Indian Health Board and Public Health

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The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is committed to advocating on behalf of all Tribal Governments and American Indian/Alaska Natives while: promoting healthy practices; preventing diseases and injuries; providing basic resources and infrastructure to Tribes; and researching and developing tribal, local, state, and national health policy.

Public Health in Indian Country Fact Sheet (PDF)

What is Public Health?

Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention.

While health care systems (like the Indian Health Service hospitals and clinics) serve the individual patient, PUBLIC HEALTH serves OUR Community.

Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.

Many professionals are part of our tribal Public Health system—everyone from health education teachers and nutritionists to emergency personnel and tribal police officers.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as a country or Tribe.

In Public Health, everyone plays a role when they are helping to keep our Native communities safe, clean and free of disease.

Why Public Health is Important to Indian Country?

A healthy Native community gets sick less frequently and spends less money on health care; this means better economic productivity and an improved quality of life for all of Indian Country. Statistics show that Indian Country continues to lag far behind other communities in basic resources and services. This means our communities are more vulnerable to increased health risks and sickness. We can overcome these barriers by supporting and advancing our Public Health programs in our communities.

 

Public Health Inquiries:

Carolyn Hornbuckle, J.D.
Director of Public Health Programs

National Indian Health Board
926 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-507-4084
chornbuckle@nihb.org

Robert Foley, M.Ed.
Public Health Communications and Program Manager

National Indian Health Board
926 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Phone: 202-355-5494
Washington, DC 20003
rfoley@nihb.org

 

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