Local Impact - Montana

Faye Filesteel, Assiniboine

Fort Belknap Healthy Heart Project

"We need the Diabetes Center here so hopefully one day we can prevent people from ever getting diabetes in the first place."
- Faye Filesteel

I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2005. My mother had diabetes and so does my son, but it wasn’t until I joined the Healthy Heart Program that I began to really understand the disease. I learned all kinds of things I never knew before, but most importantly I learned that there were things I could do to control and even reverse my diabetes. So, with the education and support of the program staff and the support from other people with diabetes in the classes, I was determined to do all I could do to take better care of myself.

I’m so thankful for the Diabetes Center. The staff is very helpful and always stays on top of things and help keep me focused. I’ve made changes to my diet and I’m eating healthier. I begin walking outside when the weather is good and use the treadmill at the Diabetes Center when the weather is bad. I enjoy the walking and I’m signed up to walk with our Healthy Heart group in the 2010 Icebreaker Marathon in Great Falls.

I’ve seen the damage that diabetes can do and I’m grateful that soon after I was diagnosed that the Diabetes Center and the Healthy Heart Program was here. I have seen such good results that my doctor told me that soon I would likely not need to take metformin anymore. I wish more people would get involved in the program before their diabetes gets out of hand.

Diabetes in Montana

According to 2008 CDC data, approximately 48,000 people in Montana – 6% of the state’s population – had diagnosed diabetes, and many of them suffer from serious diabetes related complications and conditions. In addition to the human toll diabetes places on people in Montana, the financial burden diabetes places on the health system in the state is staggering – in 2007, the direct and indirect cost of diabetes in Montana was approximately $508 million.

Stories & Progams

Diabetes Program Participants
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Diabetes Care Providers
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The Poarch Creek Indian Community
Community Diabetes Support Group


Charlotte McConnell
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Lifestyle Balance and Diabetes Prevention Program

Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
Annual Diabetes Walk

Southcentral Foundation Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Celia Milner
CHR Department, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians

Marlene Valentine -
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

Rudy Clark
Hualapai Healthy Heart Project


Case Manager
United American Indian Involvement

Jackie Patton
Chapa-De Indian Clinic

Amy Lemmer
Sonoma County Indian Health Project

Alberta Manuel
Sonoma County Indian Health


Mohegan Tribe
Uncasville, CT


Anela Lautalo


Christie Lussoro
Nimiipuu Health Diabetes Program


Becky Youngbear-Alvarado
Meskwaki Diabetes Prevention Program


Stephanie Crawford
Haskell Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program


Jena Band of Choctaw Indians


Aroostook Band of MicMac


Tracy L. Sagataw
Hannahville Indian Community Clinic Diabetes Program

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Rebecca Price
Pokagon Health Services Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Arne Vainio, MD
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Pastor Thomas Ben
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program

Samuel Amos
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Faye Filesteel
Fort Belknap Healthy Heart Project


Clarissa Hoffman
Ho-Chunk Hope Diabetes Prevention

New Mexico

Judy Reuter
Santa Ana Pueblo
Elsie R. Pino
Ramah Navajo Heart Saver Project
Erlene Sandoval
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

New York

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Let’s Get Healthy Program

North Carolina

Ulela Harris
Cherokee Diabetes Program

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee, NC

North Dakota

Cheryl Donoven
On Eagles Wings Diabetes Prevention Program


Terry Williams
Black Hawk Health Center

Allen Dale
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) Get SET & Fight Diabetes program

Read more about OKCIC (PDF)

Glendine Blanchard
Absentee Shawnee Tribe Healthy Heart Program


Dylan Jones
NARA Northwest

Taylor David
Klamath Diabetes Prevention Program Cow Creek Consortium

Shirley Heath
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Jennifer Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Larry Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Rhode Island

Mary Lou Stanton
Narangansett Indian Health Clinic-Diabetes Program

South Carolina

Catawba Indian Nation
Special Diabetes Program for Indians

South Dakota

Pete Fills the Pipe
Pine Ridge IHS Diabetes Prevention Program


Reggie Martinez
Uintah & Ouray IHS Clinic - Healthy Heart Project


Christina Hicks
SDPI-Community Direct Diabetes Grant
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Buddy and Les Hoptowit (Brothers)
Yakama Indian Health Center Healthy Heart Project


Marion Reynolds
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wanda McFaggen
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wendell Waukau
Menominee Diabetes Program


Regina Whiteplume
Eastern Shoshone Diabetes Program