Local Impact - Louisiana


Jena Band of Choctaw Indians

SDPI funds have allowed us to provide many programs and services to our Tribal members and their families. We have implemented a fitness/wellness program with local gyms where Tribal members have access to the gym and fitness trainers. We offer this service year-round and conduct medical screenings pre- and post-program to monitor progress. We also run a 12-week program/contest twice each year and give incentives to those completing the program, as well as prizes in several categories such as most weight lost.

Another part of our fitness/wellness program is our newly constructed walking/fitness trail located behind our Tribal administration building, which was made possible by a grant from the Blue Cross Foundation of Louisiana. It is a quarter-mile walking trail with seven exercise stations, benches, picnic areas, and playground equipment. Many Tribal members are utilizing the new facilities, and several have lost a significant amount of weight and seen other health benefits. One Tribal member has lost over 100 pounds in the past year by taking advantage of the services we offer (health and nutrition education and information, medical screenings, etc.) and using the gym membership and walking trail.

We have conducted several Tribal functions at the walking trail including a Color Run, our Annual Children’s Wellness Day, and our Annual Tribal Health Fair. At these events we do medical screenings on the Tribal members such as BMI calculations and blood pressure, glucose, A1C, and cholesterol screenings. The Color Run was a fun physical activity for the youth, parents, and staff, and was well attended. The day-long event featured educational presentations on a variety of topics including fitness, wellness, nutrition, and diabetes prevention.

The Annual Tribal Health Fair is a large event where we conduct medical screenings, give health information and have a large number of vendors from the surrounding community giving health, nutrition, wellness, and fitness information. A healthy meal is served and door prizes related to health/wellness are given.

Our Tribal members and Tribal youth enjoy the programs we have been able to offer with the help of SDPI funds and have especially enjoyed the new walking trail as place to hold these functions/programs. The addition of the walking trail has allowed us a larger space to conduct existing programs and incorporate many new programs into our diabetes prevention efforts.



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