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Getting Started

Whether planting a garden or planting seeds for a healthy eating or active living policy or program, time, patience, trust, and teamwork will help foster sustainable growth and development.

Try What Other Tribes are Doing!

Tribes across the country are making innovative community changes to advance American Indian Health!  Many have created culturally appropriate policies and programs and utilized unique tribal authority to improve access to healthy eating and active living in their communities.  Other Native initiatives are sparking further energy for Native specific initiatives to advance American Indian health!

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US Health and Human Services funded three federally recognized tribes out west through the Step Program.  Cherokee Nation used this CDC support to initiate a Steps Wings Program as part of their Healthier Cherokee Nation.
  • Let’s Move! in Indian Country toolkit and resource guide illustrates healthy eating and active living examples, particularly leveraging federal government program and policy supports.  Look out for the process and products developed by 10 American Indian tribes funded through a recent grant funding opportunity linked to the Let’s Move! in Indian Country special initiative.
  • Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma is “Going Lean” using exercise programs, weight-loss clubs, community gardens, and cooking demonstrations of healthy, traditional foods.
  • The American Association of Indian Physicians launched an American Indian tailored media campaign around community changes for healthy eating and active living.
  • Round Valley Sustainability Guild has been working since 2009 through support from the Round Valley Indian Health Center, Inc. to help use local foods to strengthen the health and economy of the local community.  Check out its other site too!
  • Feeding the Spirit aims to revitalize Northwest Native Food Culture and has worked on creating a map detailing where indigenous foods are grown in the area and building a culinary program at the local Tribal College.
  • Anoka-Hennepn School District, which serves Native students, has improved its purchasing of local, healthy foods.
  • Bay Mills Community College offers free cooking classes on healthy, Native cuisine.
  • Chef Freddie is the host of “Rezervations Not Required”, a show searching out and sharing lessons on Native foods in US and Canada.  Follow Chef Freddie on Facebook at Chef FJBits.

Explore City, Town, and State Health and Wellness Initiatives

The more focused the community-level health initiative, the more successful the community members tend to be at eating healthy, being physically active, and ultimately sustaining healthy weight loss!  See what other cities and states have considered and enacted for short and long-term plans regarding government led or partnered initiatives around healthy eating and active living.  Below is a list of selected city and state efforts.
While there has been less attention given to tribal level strategies, tribes have a unique and powerful role to help advance American Indian health!  Consider how community forums and action plans can help devise feasible short and long term goals!  Community changes with the potential for the most impact are not a one-time walk-a-thon or focused on the individual; rather, community changes with the potential for the most impact on community health are ongoing with strategic short and long term features to ensure community awareness and repeated opportunities to make healthy eating and active living choices.
Early-adopter cities and state policy and program campaigns:

Selected Cities
Boston, MA The city has ban sugar-sweetened drinks (such as sport drinks, juices, and sweetened iced teas) on city properties and at city functions, including meetings and events.  San Mateo County in California also enacted a policy restricting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in vending machines and cafeterias in county buildings and to be offered at county meetings.  Boston is also planting 100 pairs of heirloom apple trees throughout the city.  In 2009, Governor Patrick launched Mass in Motion to promote citizens to eat healthy and be active.  He also recently launched ChopChop a free monthly newsletter with healthy and easy to make recipes to bring parents and children together in the kitchen to create healthy, nutritious meals.  He also issued a call for proposals to develop a year-round public market in downtown Boston.  The Governor allocated funds to childcare providers and expanded the Bounty Bucks programs to enable SNAP participants to use their benefits at farmers’ markets.
Chicago, IL Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to make Chicago a leading partner in the Let’s Move Cities Campaign by improving access to healthy foods and increasing bike plans throughout the city.  In Spring 2012, Mayor Emanuel announced a $7 billion infrastructure improvement to build parks in underserved areas.  He also announced a social media campaign to support these various public-private partnerships striving to improve health throughout the city.
Cleveland, OH The City is teaming with the Cleveland Clinic, University-Hospitals-Case Medical Center, MetroHealth, and the Sisters of Charity Hospital System for a Healthy Cleveland Initiative focusing on improving the city’s built environment and decreasing smoking.
District of Columbia Plans for sustainability planning to ensure maximum access to food retailing and active living.
El Paso, TX Passed a resolution to implement a five-year Obesity Prevention Action Plan.
Jackonsville, FL Through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, Jacksonville, along with other cities, aims to focus on city-level policy changes that promote healthy eating and active living.
New York City Has crafted a vision for their food system, including short and long term plans of action.
San Antonio, TX Received a $15 million grant from the federal government to encourage physical activity and good nutrition.  Grant funds will help support programs such as “Por Vida!”, which is an anti-obesity program aiming to make menus at restaurants healthier.
Selected States
Iowa Mandated the creation of a local food and farm plan for the state of Iowa.
North Carolina Has established a state task force on childhood obesity and a local food policy council.
New York Established a state food policy council to make recommendations on state level initiatives.

More recent government policy and program announcements:

  • The Governor of Michigan introduced Pure Michigan FIT to reduce childhood obesity.  The program partners with agriculture and health departments, Gerber baby food, grocery stores, and hospitals to improve overall health and well-being of infants and toddlers.
  • Allentown was one of six cities to receive a childhood obesity prevention award for its Fruits and Veggies on the Move program, which uses trucks to bring free produce to local playgrounds and recreational sites.
  • Nashville has a host of community groups and policymakers working on healthy eating and active living endeavors.
  • Mississippi uses a website as part of its “Eat Healthy Mississippi” campaign.
  • Santa Clara is implementing comprehensive food and beverage policies for all foods sold, served, or offered at county buildings.
  • The Governor of Tennessee appointed a Health and Wellness Task Force that recommended more effective coordination of school health funding and encourage state lawmakers to invest in public-private partnerships to create healthy food retailers in underserved areas.  The Task Force also encouraged creating more walkable communities throughout the state.
  • Seattle is working to plant fruit and nut trees in areas populated by people.
  • Aspen, CO is trying out meatless Mondays and Fun ‘n FITchburg is using its parks to making producing produce easier.
  • Towns in Wisconsin and Oregon are using surveys of citizens to identify and tailor key government initiatives and partnerships.

Check out these resources:

Be a Part of North Carolina’s Childhood Obesity and Local Food Initiatives & Resources

North Carolina General Assembly appointed a Task Force on Childhood Obesity (SL 2009-574, Part XLIX), which made recommendations in a final report back to the state legislative branch.  Check out the Task’s Force meeting notes and final report. Or, link directly here for the Task Force’s report.
Work to ensure American Indian communities are represented and culturally appropriate recommendations are made to address the challenges American Indian children specifically face.  Similarly, the state of North Carolina has a local foods policy council.  Ensure representation and recommendations integrate and address Native-specific issues.  Moreover, utilize the North Carolina Office of Minority Health resources available at, such as North Carolina Minority Health Facts 2010 and Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in North Carolina-Report Card 2010.  Also useful is the Healthy North Carolina 2020: A Better State of Health and Prevention for Health of North Carolina Action Plan, 2000.  Leverage existing resources and data to help advance and maximize your chosen path.

Community Food Projects & Partnerships

Tribes have the potential to seek out and find meaningful partners in community food projects.  As one example, using community-based participatory research, participating tribes in the American Indian Healthy Eating Project partnered with Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD, a post-doctoral fellow, at the beginning of the project, at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe met for a Charrette on Community Food Projects and Partnerships on March 3, 2011 with the American Indian Center and Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, both of UNC-Chapel Hill.  During the Charrette, tribal leaders and members were able to discuss practical ways to promote health in their community, utilizing their unique cultural, agricultural, and infrastructural assets.  The American Indian Center, subsequently, applied for a grant to help support the increase of arts at Haliwa-Saponi’s Farmers’ Market.  Explore further how these UNC Centers and other research and community organizations can help advance and enhance your current or potential health initiatives!
Seek out and build partnerships that help move forward your community food projects.  These partners can be academic institutions, community organizations, churches, small businesses, or large corporations.  Local farmers can be partners.  So can youth organizations.  Focus on quality in sustainable partnerships versus quantity.  Formalize a process by which tribal leaders and/or staff have the authority to explore and commit to projects and partnerships.  Communicate preferred processes for keeping partners accountable and transparent about project process and deliverables.
Resources on building collaborations and partnerships are available at:

Learn more about community-based participatory research:

Community-Based Participatory Research: A Partnership Approach for Public Health 1415 Washington Heights Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Phone: 734-615-9439Fax: 734-763-7976Email:
This is an excellent free resource using web-based training to develop skills and capacity in Community-Based Participatory Research.

Two other CBPR resources are:

Partnerships with Local Churches, Faith-Based Communities, & Spiritual Leaders

Throughout the American Indian Healthy Eating Project, churches and spiritual leaders were identified as key partners for healthy eating and active living initiatives.  Explore ways your local church(es) can help facilitate and partner on health initiatives.  Share your vision and resources with local church partners.  Encourage churches to join the Let’s Move! Faith and Communities campaign with the First Lady Michelle Obama.
Check out these healthy faith-based initiatives:

  • A weight-loss challenge in a church in San Antonio, TX.
  • A fried chicken ban in a Mississippi church.
  • The National Baptist Convention is developing a network of health ambassadors to work on health initiatives for its congregations.
  • In Louisiana, Caddo and Bossier parishes have launched a “Year of the Healthy Child” initiative with over 20 organizations supporting exercise and nutrition programs to reduce childhood obesity.
  • A Rhode Island priest led a Pound Away the Pounds with the Padre exercise program at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Bristol.
  • Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, is designed to promote health as a practice of our faith and to improve the health of clergy and congregants through increased physical activity, healthy eating, and tobacco use prevention and cessation.  For more information, explore the initiative’s online resources at:
  • The National Baptist Convention USA Inc. is working on establishing a network of trained health ambassadors to help support individual congregation’s activities and to make health a year-round focus in all churches.
  • Rev. Mike Cummings of the Burnt Swamp Association in Robeson County is a huge advocate for integrating health into churches.

Leverage Staff and Support from Existing Programs

Use staff meetings and Tribal Council open meetings to assess who is working on health already and who is interested.  Create a resource list of staff, programs, equipment, volunteers, etc. for your tribe.  Know what you have and what you’re good at and identify what have been limitations in the past.  To get a grant or program started, you’ll have to leverage existing staff and resources.  Recruit volunteers and advisors to help!

Energize Youth and Elder Volunteers

It takes a village to raise healthy children so think strategically about how to integrate and include all tribal members into health initiatives.  Work with senior groups, youth clubs, and other organizations and churches within your tribal community to identify interested stakeholders.  Devise meaningful ways for them to contribute to and participate in health initiatives.  Have each of them identify ways their specific group can embrace healthy living initiatives!
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity has a catalog of resources relating to childhood obesity.  Specifically, the following resources identified by RWJF help illustrate the potential of youth in prevention work and provide practical guidance on ways to engage youth in health projects:

Connect with the Native Health Initiative to learn more about their work with American Indian tribes and urban Indian organizations in North Carolina and how they utilize health profession students to address health inequities through Loving Service (i.e., a human to human element of wanting to serve others through volunteerism).

Build Consensus

Consider Talking Circles and other community surveys and forums to build consensus within the tribal community around healthy eating and active living community changes.  Increase awareness of the tribe’s interest in different projects and partnerships and communicate possible next steps and the role that community members can have in shaping the initiative.  Use action-oriented meetings like cleaning out a potential community garden site or judging healthy collard recipes as a way to get community members interested and directly involved in moving something forward!  Create safe spaces for tribal leaders and community members to communicate ideas and concerns.

Prioritize Community Needs with Abilities

Use community assessment resources such as What’s Cooking in your Food System? to help guide your community decisions.  Check out other communities’ research and recommendations regarding their food system.  As one example, review Cultivating Resilience: A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities written by Angela M. Tagtow, MS, RD, LD & Susan L. Roberts, JD, MS, RD in February 2011.  The blueprint describes the food challenges specific to Iowa and used a multi-disciplinary approach to engage diverse stakeholders in sustainable food system approaches for the future.  This report was presented to the Iowa Food Systems Council.
Local Food Policy Councils are increasingly helping build consensus across key stakeholders on food, sustainability, and obesity issues.  Check out who’s using them and resources to help target Council activities!
Be sensitive that anti-obesity efforts focus on health and do not cause any undue harm to children or parents.  Explore suggestions to limiting bullying and weight discrimination.

Devise Feasible Goals and Time Lines

Listen to partners, stakeholders, and community members and use community forums and Google shared documents to devise feasible goals and timelines.  Consider outside consultants to help all stakeholders be honest about strengths and weaknesses and accountable to a feasible goal and timeline.  Remind stakeholders that nothing is bad or wrong with a small success that takes a little time.  Do things right and it will lay the foundation for future successes.  Devise concrete and clear goals, tasks, and timelines.  Integrate community input and communicate plans with community members.  Ensure all Tribal Council members and staff understand the relevant tribal political processes and authority and help stakeholders and community members understand your tribal roles, responsibilities, and resources.  Be patient and persistent.  Make sure goals and activities build on community consensus and integrate community development and employment.

Start Small and Build on Successes and Lessons Learned

Meet with local groups to help build your capacity for small, medium, or large changes!  For example, explore websites for the following organizations and use calls, emails, and in-person meetings to glean relevant information and suggestions for getting started:  TCC Group, Active Living by Design at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Western NC Pathways, Quality Enhancement of Nonprofit Organizations at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

  • Identify key tribal leaders, community organizations, and member champs.
  • Work with these identified leaders to help them build their capacity to lead start and sustain changes around healthy eating and active living.
  • Include youth and elders in these capacity building endeavors.
  • Work with community stark plugs to devise catalytic ways to stimulate further interest and movement from community organizations and members.
  • Make sure that efforts are coordinated and complement each other.
  • Integrate local resources as much as possible!

Evaluate your Efforts

Learn to maximize your resources and share your process and progress with your community and other interested communities!  Work with research partners to help develop a feasible and meaningful evaluation of your food retailer efforts.  Explore the free assessments tools at the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.  The evidence base is in its infancy around the range of effects food retailer initiatives can have on health, agriculture, economic, and environmental outcomes.

Use Social Media to Generate Community Interest

Utilize social media, as well as traditional media outlets to advocate for policy and funding support of your community changes but also to generate interest among your community members and relevant stakeholders.  Encourage small changes in schools and community settings in media stories and social media.  Suggest small ways community members can get started on their own and join the intiative!  Incentivize small and large corporations to supply healthy food and exercise options to your tribal community and partner with you on positive, healthy changes.
Also disseminate your process and progress at various levels, including state (e.g., Unity Conference and Sustainable Agriculture Conference by Carolina Farm Stewards), regional (e.g., Southern Obesity Summit), and national (e.g. American Public Health Association Annual Conference).  Share American Indian initiatives with other American Indian health and agricultural research groups, along with two leading ethnic minority research organizations, African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network and Salud America!
Native Resources:

Track Relevant Legislation

A number of resources are available to track local, state, tribal, and federal policies being considered, enacted, implemented, evaluated, amended, or appealed.  The National Conference of State Legislature website and reports, such as Reversing the Trend in Childhood Obesity:  Policies to  Promote Healthy Kids and Communities (Jan 2011), provides state-by-state comparisons on a range of healthy policies.  Explore the resources at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity and consider signing up to receive weekly updates on relevant programs, webinars, and legislation.  Track North Carolina-specific policies and budget allocations too.

Communicate Early and Often with Relevant Policymakers

At the local, state, tribal, and federal levels, keep track of your current policymakers and their staff.

  • Get to know these important stakeholders in American Indian health.
  • Schedule regular in-person meetings with local policymakers and their staff.
  • Keep policymakers up to date on your tribe’s programs and possibilities, possibly through weekly or monthly letters or meetings.
  • Invite policymakers to your farmers’ market and Pow Wow.
  • Provide concise fact sheets describing your strengths and weaknesses and how policy changes can be meaningful catalysts for positive community changes.
  • Educate your community members to also use letters, emails, calls, and media stories to generate interest and support from policymakers around your tribe’s health initiatives.
  • Make sure to thank members for their role if you liked how they voted or what they enacted.
  • Describe how a particular policy impacted your community—good or bad.
  • Identify specifically any issues or areas of improvement that can be made in existing or pending legislation.
  • Engage your members to vote and help educate them on candidate’s specific stances on relevant Native and health issues.
  • Follow-up with your policymakers and hold them accountable for their important role in advancing American Indian health.

Explore & Understand Funding Options

The economy has limited grant support and has made obtaining a grant award very competitive, as a result.  There are a number of federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, foundations, and corporations that support relevant public health, economic development, youth engagement, and sustainable agriculture endeavors.  Use the Internet and grant funding search tools to identify the potential grants that best fit the needs and capacity of your project.  Note the deadlines but if a call for proposal deadline has pasted still review the funder and opportunity to see if a similar future call for proposal will occur and when.  Partner with an academic institution on research and evaluation grants and utilize their expertise to identify and frame the most competitive application.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition created a guide to federal funding for local and regional food systems.  The resource guide included below provides a list of national, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill funding opportunities, specifically for American Indian research and community-based participatory research for public health.  Also explore these specific funding resources relating to specific topic areas:
Childhood Obesity

Hunger & Food Security

Healthy, Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Agriculture

Resource Guide for American Indian and Community-Based Participatory Public Health Research

Prepared by:  Alex Lightfoot, EdD, The American Indian Healthy Eating Project

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (formerly National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities) NCMHD
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465 Phone: 301-402-4049Fax: 301-480-4049
The NIH has just announced the transition of the National Center on Minority and Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).  NIMHD promotes minority health, conducts and supports research, training, research infrastructure, fosters emerging programs, disseminates information, and reaches out to minority and other health disparity communities.  The move authorizes the NIMHD to plan, coordinate, review and evaluate all minority health and health disparities research activities conducted and supported by the NIH institutes and centers.  The transition to an institute is the culmination of years of work to bring attention to and find solutions for the unequal burden of illness affecting minority, rural and poor populations in this country. Over the last two decades, NIMHD has made significant strides towards ending health disparities.  Collaboration with other NIH institutes and centers as well as other federal agencies has been the hallmark of its success as it evolved from the Office of Research on Minority Health to NCMHD and now an institute.  The NIMHD, through its predecessor NCMHD, has supported the training of more than 2,000 health professionals with an interest in health disparities research through loan repayment awards. It has funded more than 88 centers of excellence around the nation to conduct research on health disparities in many disciplines and on a variety of topics. NIMHD assisted academic institutions in developing their capacity to conduct biomedical research with an emphasis on health disparities; community-based participatory research was introduced to the scientific community as a viable approach to studying health disparities with the involvement of the community in all aspects of research; and the center organized and sponsored the first NIH Science of Eliminating Health Disparities summit to review the state of health disparities research.  Among the research priorities for the new institute are the social determinants of health, patient-centered outcomes research; faith-based approaches to health disparities; and improving the participation of health disparity populations in clinical trials.
Funding Opportunities
NCMHD and NIH have multiple funding opportunities for research projects.  Funding opportunities specific to minority health disparities research is posted on the main page of their website.
National Congress of American Indian Policy Research Center NCAI Policy Research Center 1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 200Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202-466-7767
Fax: 202-466-7797
The NCAI Policy Research Center, launched in 2004, is a think tank focused solely on issues facing tribal communities. Developed under an advisory group of tribal leaders, this tribally-driven consortium of existing research bodies and primary researchers will be equipped to gather and assess data on conditions and trends in Indian Country, and will serve to support and inform the policy development efforts of tribal leaders, tribal organizations, Congress, and the Administration with objective data and analysis. In so doing, the Policy Center can help to provide the tools necessary to inform public policy debates with meaningful information and assist in shifting the discourse in Native policy from a problem-focused approach to truly proactive, future-thinking strategy development.
Research Support
One of the four core functions of the Policy Research Center is to provide support to academic centers, mainstream think tanks, individual scholars, and students who are doing research or would like to do research with Native communities.  The goal of the Center is to make this work as useful as it can be to both the individual tribal communities participating in research as well as to tribes nationally. The Center provides support to proposed and ongoing research conducted by institutions outside of Indian Country in the following ways:

  • Helping scholars to understand the range of research review processes tribes may have in place
  • Explaining the rights and potential roles of tribal government in research
  • Highlighting potential cultural considerations
  • Sharing strategies for engaging and increasing the benefits of research for the community
The Administration for Native Americans , the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center and other partners, the First American Land-grant College and Organization Network (FALCON) and the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), have developed a curriculum and in-person training to equip tribal leaders, Native students, and other Native community members to understand and manage research and program evaluation. The curriculum was developed in response to requests from tribal leaders who wanted resources to make better decisions about the proposed research in their communities. It emphasizes the validity of Indigenous knowledge while highlighting the benefits of western research standards.  See
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Minority and Health Disparities CDC 1600 Clifton Rd.Atlanta, GA 30333 Phone: 800-CDC-INFO
The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD) aims to accelerate CDC’s health impact in the U.S population and to eliminate health disparities for vulnerable populations as defined by race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, geography, gender, age, disability status, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at-risk for health disparities.  The OMHD website provides extensive resources pertaining to American Indian/Alaska Native public health issues.  These resources include: statistical reports, fact sheets, brochures, handouts, slides, government resources, non-governmental resources, and funding opportunities.
Funding Opportunities
Funding opportunities through the CDC are administered through the CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office.  The website provides extensive grant and contract information at:
US Department of Health and Human Services The Office of Minority HealthAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council (HRAC) Tower Building 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 600Rockville, MD 20852 Phone: 240-453-2882
Fax: 240-453-2883
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports research on improving the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives through the Office of Minority Health.  The First Meeting of the American Indian and Alaska Native Health Research Advisory Council was held on May 16-18, 2006. The HRAC Council provides the Department of Health and Human Services a venue for consulting with Tribes about health research priorities and needs in AI/AN communities and collaborative approaches in addressing these issues and needs.
Funding Opportunities
Funding opportunities are posted regularly on the website under “Council Alerts.”  There is also a special page with funding information:
US Environmental Protection Agency American Indian Tribal Portal Tribal Portal Web Support American Indian Environmental OfficeMail Code: 4101 M1200 Pennsylvania Ave NWWashington, DC 20460 Phone: 202-564-0303
Fax: 202-564-0298
The EPA Tribal Portal was created as a gateway to EPA environmental information specifically related to tribal governments, such as environmental policies, practices and laws. Within the EPA, the American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) coordinates the Agency-wide effort to strengthen public health and environmental protection in Indian country, with a special emphasis on helping tribes administer their own environmental programs.
Funding Opportunities
The Grants and Funding portion of the Tribal Portal provides information about tribal grants resources and is intended to help tribes and individuals to find all topics in one location.  There are links to EPA grants, supported by topics at:
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health Community-Campus Partnerships for Health UW Box 354809Seattle, WA 98195-4809 Phone: 206-666-3406
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) is a nonprofit organization that promotes health (broadly defined) through partnerships between communities and higher educational institutions. Founded in 1996, CCPH is a growing network of over  2,000 communities and campuses across North America and increasingly all over the world that are collaborating to promote health through service-learning, community-based participatory research, broad-based coalitions and other partnership strategies. CCPH members are a diverse group of individuals and organizations affiliated with colleges and universities, community-based organizations, health care delivery systems, student service organizations, foundations and government, all of whom are committed to social justice and the power of partnerships to transform communities and academe. At the organizational level, CCPH advances its mission through knowledge exchange, training and technical assistance, research and evaluation, policy development and advocacy, and coalition-building.
Resources and Funding Opportunities
The CCPH CBPR listserv informs subscribers of opportunities for funding, conferences, job openings, new publications and other resources.  To subscribe, go to the website listed above.  CCPH also compiles and lists funding opportunities relevant to community-campus partnerships.  For their list of funding opportunities, go to:
Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) 1200 18th St NW #200 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202-906-8023
Fax: 202-842-2885
The Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) is a civil rights policy organization convened by major civil rights, civil liberties, and anti-poverty groups in 1989-90. PRRAC’s primary mission is to help connect advocates with social scientists working on race and poverty issues, and to promote a research-based advocacy strategy on structural inequality issues. PRRAC sponsors social science research, provides technical assistance, and convenes advocates and researchers around particular race and poverty issues. PRRAC has many resources and research guides on a variety of topics, such as community organizing, race/racism, environment, and housing.  These resources are available online at:
Funding Opportunities
PRRAC’s Small Grants Program for Research/Advocacy funds social science research tied directly to ongoing advocacy projects. Its purpose is to support, encourage, and disseminate action-oriented research; to make connections between and among those who engage in action, advocacy, organizing and research; and to build public awareness about the various dimensions of and challenges faced by those at the intersections of race and poverty.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Robert Wood Johnson Foundation P.O. Box 2316Route 1 and College Road EastPrinceton, NJ 08543 Phone: 877-843-RWJF (7953)
The mission of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to improve the health and health care of all Americans and to help society transform itself for the better.
Funding Opportunities
RWJF is an independent philanthropy devoted to improving health policy and practice.  The Foundation works with a diverse group of dedicated people and organizations to address problems at their roots and to help make a difference on the widest scale—particularly for the most vulnerable among us.  The Foundation supports research and evaluation projects in the following program areas:  Childhood Obesity, Health Coverage, Human Capital, Pioneering Innovations, Public Health, Quality/Equality, and Vulnerable Populations.
Center for Participatory Research Institute for Public Health in Office of Community Health Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of New Mexico MSC09 5040 1 Univ. of New MexicoAlbuquerque, NM 87131 Phone: 505-272-1634
The Center for Participatory Research (CPR) was developed to promote supportive networks of research with community partners with a focus on the communities of New Mexico.  The mission of the Center for Participatory Research (CPR) is to support a collaborative environment within the University of New Mexico that is aligned with core values of community partnership, equity, and participatory engagement in order to co-create new knowledge and translate existing knowledge to improve quality of life among New Mexico’s diverse populations.
Funding and Project Resources
The Center is a key partner on a national study of how CBPR partnerships can reduce health disparities, “Research for Change: Cross-Site Multicultural CBPR.”  This project is funded through the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH), National Institutes for Health and Indian Health Service (2009-2013) and involves an in-depth investigation of promoters and barriers to Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) communities and other underserved and minority communities in order to improve health status and health equity.


Montana INBRE Program (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) Montana INBRE P.O. Box 173500AJM Johnson 212Montana State UniversityBozeman, MT 59717-3500 Phone: (406) 994-3360
The Montana INBRE Program (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) has a CBPR/Health Disparities Core which aims to develop and support CBPR initiatives led by Montana Tribal Colleges working in collaboration with tribal communities on Montana’s Indian reservations to develop the infrastructure needed to reduce health disparities in Native American communities.
MT INBRE’s CBPR/Health Disparities Core builds on the relationships, partnerships, and networks successfully developed with tribal colleges.  Because health disparity problems on the reservations exist in communities, MT INBRE believes the resolution of these problems must come from these communities.  INBRE’s goal is to develop these projects’ CBPR approaches to maximize their effectiveness.  MT INBRE has learned that health research and intervention on the reservations must occur in a culturally sensitive manner and at a culturally dictated pace. MT INBRE’s prior experience, combined with culturally knowledgeable, talented, and enthusiastic TC investigators and the vast experience, knowledge, and leadership of the directors, all contribute to making this a unique and productive core. CBPR and health disparities projects not only will generate significant new knowledge but also initiate effective interventions to improve the health of Montana’s native people.


Center for American Indian Community Health University of Kansas The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas 66045 Phone: 785-864-2700
The National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities grant awarded a five-year, $7.5 million grant to the University of Kansas Medical Center. The university will create a new Center for American Indian Community Health to study and address health disparities facing American Indians.  The Center was created in late July, 2010, so there is little information available as of yet but this is likely to be an important resource.

North Carolina Resources

NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD) Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities
1906 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1906 Phone:  919-707-5040Fax: 919-676-6145Email:
The NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD) promotes and advocates for the elimination of health disparities among all racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations in North Carolina.  Their five major areas of focus are: 1)      Research and Data: Improving the quality and availability of health information, data collection, and analysis2)      Culture and Language: Providing cultural diversity and interpreter training to health and human services professionals and advocating for language services3)      Policy and Legislation: Supporting policies and legislation that improve the health and well-being of all North Carolinians4)      Partnership Development: Collaborating with others to improve minority health programs and services5)      Advocacy: Disseminating information to increase awareness of minority health and health disparitiesOMHHD offers multiple resources on its website, from NC data and statistics to information about other minority health disparity organizations in North Carolina and throughout the US.Some specific resources of interest include:

  • Health fact sheets about different minority groups, including “North Carolina Minority Health Facts: American Indians,” which can be found at:
  • Lists of other publications that focus on health issues related to minority populations. “Activities to Address HIV/AIDS in Native American Communities” is posted and can be found at:
  • Documents from the Minority Health Advisory Council (MHAC) which was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1992 to make recommendations to the Governor and Secretary of HHS and promote policies and legislation to improve accessibility and delivery of health services.  You can see its legislative priorities for the 2009/2010 session at:
Funding Opportunities
OMHHD routinely posts funding opportunities on its website.  OMHHD funding is through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health.  The Community Focused Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (CFEHDI) funds community-based/faith-based organizations, local health departments, and American Indian tribal organizations to address health disparities among minority groups in NC.
Training Opportunities
  • OMHHD has four cultural diversity trainings: the “Cultural Diversity Foundation Training Initiative,” “The Nosotros: Latino Culture Training,” the “African-American Culture Training” and the “Interpreter Training.”
  • OMHHD also has a “Community Health Ambassador Program” that trains leaders from diverse communities how to work to eliminate health disparities in North Carolina.  This training program involves the identification and training of community leaders who are known and trusted by their peers to function as health promoters.
  • OMHHD assists in “Capacity and Infrastructure Development for Nonprofits” through offering technical, consultative, and referral services.  They have training manuals available online through their website.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Resources

The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) 1700 Martin Luther King Blvd.
CB# 7426
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-7426
Website: 919.966.6080
Fax: 919.966.6264
The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) addresses pressing health problems by collaborating with communities to conduct research, provide training, and translate research findings into policy and practice. The Center seeks to reduce health disparities through an emphasis on community-based participatory research to ensure that the community is involved in every stage of research. The Center’s mission is accomplished by working with partners to: 1) enhance the ability of public health practitioners, as well as individuals, groups and communities to promote health and prevent disease, 2) conduct, evaluate, and disseminate innovative, community-based research, and, 3) develop education and training programs to translate research into public health practice.  The CDC selected HPDP to be one of its first three Prevention Research Centers in 1985. Now comprised of 37 academic institutions, the PRC program is an interdependent network of community, academic, and public health partners who conduct prevention research and promote practices proven to promote good health.
Funding/Partnership Opportunities
HPDP engages in applied research, developing and testing new ways to confront the most pressing health problems facing society. HPDP specializes in community-based participatory research (CBPR), which creates interventions in partnership with communities, grounded in community values, and implemented, evaluated, and disseminated with community guidance and participation.  HPDP has a CBPR Core which provides guidance and technical assistance to promote and advance the use of community-based participatory research.   HPDP’s methods, tools, and materials are designed, tested, and culturally adapted for use by groups that are disproportionately affected by poor health.  HPDP has a long history of partnership with American Indian communities and is looking to expand partnership opportunities over the coming years.
Training Opportunities
HPDP is home to a new opportunity to build capacity in CBPR.  The Community Leadership to Build Capacity for Community-Based Participatory Research project offers CBPR workshops as well as “charrettes,” facilitated guidance sessions led by community and academic experts with expertise in CBPR who provide training and technical assistance to advance the adoption and implementation of participatory research approaches to address health issues in communities.
The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS) UNC-CH
160 N. Medical Drive
Brinkhous-Bullitt Building, 2nd Floor
CB 7064
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7064 Phone:  919-966-6022 Phone: 1-866-705-4931Fax: 919-843-9443Email:
In May 2008, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill received a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The CTSA program is a select group of 55 academic medical research institutions funded through and led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) In­stitute is the academic home for the CTSA at UNC-CH. NC TraCS aims to transform clinical and translational research by creating programs and pathways that make it easier for re­search to be performed at UNC-CH and across North Carolina.  NC TraCS’ goals include reducing the time it takes for laboratory dis­coveries to become treatments for patients, engaging communities in clinical research efforts and training the next generation of clinical and translational researchers.  The TraCS Community Engagement Core (CEC) engages communities, faculty, and health care providers as partners in clinical and translational research and ultimately transforms the way that academic investigators and community members work together while boosting public trust in research.
Funding/Training Opportunities
NC TraCS sponsors community workshops on a variety of topics, including Research 101 and 201, Community Participation in Research, Grant-writing, Evidence-based Interventions, Proposal Development, Manuscript Writing, and Program Evaluation, among others. NC TraCS provides funding to support translational research efforts at different levels:

  • $2,000 grants to assist researchers in implementing a proposed study or move a research project forward by providing rapid access to funds that will support almost any aspect of promising and innovative research.
  • $10,000 grants to support researchers with the early development of a research idea or to expand an existing study beyond the original scope into promising new directions.
  • $50,000 Pilot Grant serves as a stimulus for new research initiatives aimed at obtaining sufficient preliminary data to allow new applications for extramural funding.
University of North Carolina’s Program on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Outcomes (ECHO) UNC-CH Room 265 Rosenau Hall, CB#7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435 Phone: 919-843-3539
University of North Carolina’s Program on Ethnicity, Culture and Health Outcomes (ECHO) was established in 2001 as a university-wide program that would serves as a central location for health disparities activities.  The mission of ECHO is to improve the health of North Carolina communities by eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities through multidisciplinary and culturally sensitive research, education and training. ECHO accomplished this mission through: 1) educating and training scholars to address disparities in research or practice; 2) fostering mutually beneficial community-academic partnerships and research collaborations; and, 3) developing resources and innovative initiatives.
Funding Opportunities
ECHO’s pilot award program was developed to support the career development of young researchers interested in health disparities.  ECHO has an annual call for proposals that supports multiple projects led by junior faculty across North Carolina.  These awards range from $10,000 to $12,000.  ECHO is also committed to the importance of research partnerships and collaboration and facilitates seminars, workshops and conferences to develop new and sustain existing partnerships.
American Indian Center, University of North Carolina 113A Abernethy Hall 131 S. Columbia Street Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516 Phone: 919-843-4189Fax: 919-843-4024Email:
The University of North Carolina’s American Indian Center is a campus-wide center that advances the University’s overall mission of research, teaching and public service by creating an environment in which quality research, scholarship, and engagement related to American Indians is strengthened, nurtured and coordinated.  North Carolina is home to one of the largest Native populations in the eastern United States, and the Center serves as the University’s front door to American Indian communities across the state and the nation.  The Center enables Carolina, as the University of the People and the leading public institution in the United States, truly to serve the First People of North Carolina and become the premier public university in the East for American Indian research, scholarship, public service and knowledge dissemination.
Resources and Opportunities
The mission of the Carolina American Indian Center is to bridge the richness of North Carolina’s American Indian cultures with the strengths of Carolina’s research, education and teaching. The Center helps faculty and student researchers to partner with Native communities and sponsors and facilitates activities that give visibility to and provide learning opportunities  surrounding American Indian cultures, histories, and perspectives.
Minority Health Conference and Minority Student Caucus UNC-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
The Minority Student Caucus consists of all students of color in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health who wish to join. The Caucus was founded in the early 1970’s as a vehicle for bringing the concerns of minority students to the attention of the School’s Administration and for working to attract more students of color to the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. The Caucus founded the Minority Health Conference in 1977 and has conducted it annually since then. The Caucus also works with the School Administration to link the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, especially in North Carolina, and to institutions serving other minority groups.
Opportunities for Community Involvement
Major objectives of the Annual Minority Health Conference are to highlight health issues of concern to people of color and to attract students interested in minority health to the school.  The conference is open to the public (there is a registration fee) and many community-based organizations present innovative projects and research each year.
The Minority Health Project UNC-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
The Minority Health Project in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health works to expand awareness and knowledge of health equity concerns, deepen understanding of methodological, theoretical, and practical issues in health disparities research and interventions, and strengthen linkages across diversity activities to increase their effectiveness and success.  The website provides archived and live webcasts from the Minority Student Caucus-led Annual Minority Health Conference and the Annual Summer Public Health Research Videoconference on Minority Health.  Check the website for presentations and resources on American Indian issues.

North Carolina Community and Foundation Resources

Center for Community Action Center for Community Action P.O. Box 723Lumberton, NC 28359 Phone: 910-739-7851
Fax: 910-618-9839
For 24 years, the Center For Community Action (CCA) has served as a base for both effective and successful grassroots, multiracial community action and empowerment programs in rural Robeson County, N.C. Its mission is to organize and empower individuals, families, communities, and institutions in order to improve the quality of life and the equality of life in Robeson County, N.C., the most ethnically diverse, rural county in the US.
North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) WoodOak Building 1100 Navaho Dr., Ste. 203Raleigh, NC 27609 Website: Phone: 919-981-5000
Fax: 919-855-6894
The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) was created by the General Assembly as one of three entities to invest North Carolina’s portion of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.   By statute, the Trust Fund must comprise of persons involved in public health, the operation of healthcare delivery systems, healthcare practice, health research, tobacco-related health care issues, health promotion and disease prevention, health policy trends, health care for underserved populations, and child health care.  The HWTF has a specific arm dedicated to eliminating health disparities.  Information about this programmatic area of HWTF can be found at:  The NC General Assembly might cut or eliminate funds.
Funding Opportunities
Since its inception, HWTF has awarded grants to communities facing the serious challenges of childhood obesity, health disparities, youth tobacco use, rural health care and access to medications for low-income and uninsured populations.

  • There is a list of statewide grants to eliminate health disparities under “Eliminating Health Disparities Community Grants.”
  • There is a “funding” tab on their main page that lists current funding opportunities and previous RFP.
The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Inc. 4021 Carya Dr. Raleigh, NC 27610 Phone: 919-250-4314
Fax: 919-250-4325
The mission of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center is to develop, promote and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. The Center serves the state’s 85 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.  The Center has four overarching goals that shape its programs:

  • Serve as the state’s rural policy leader and advocate
  • Develop strategies to bring about economic and social transformation
  • Deliver resources for rural people, businesses and communities
  • Equip rural leaders to succeed in the 21st century
Funding Opportunities
The NC Rural Economic Development Center has funding opportunities to help rural communities build the capacity for long-term economic health and improved quality of life.  These grants are listed at:
Training Opportunities
The NC Rural Center provides leadership development to build a base of strong, capable leaders to help improve the economy and quality of life of rural North Carolina through their Rural Economic Development Institute.
The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program Resourceful Communities Program
The Conservation Fund
Post Office Box 271
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0271 Phone: 919-967-2223
Fax: 919-967-9702
Established in 1991, The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program blends innovative techniques to help North Carolina’s underserved communities create new economies that protect and restore, rather than extract, natural resources.  Resourceful Communities provides a range of direct assistance to develop the leadership and organizational capacity necessary for sustainable community development. Because Resourceful Communities works closely with local partners, including nonprofit, private and public concerns, we help ensure local ownership of long-term economic, social and environmental change.  Resourceful Communities works through four major programs: 1)      Capacity Building: From direct technical assistance to a small grants program, they work to build partners’ capacity at the grassroots level2)      Innovation and Demonstration: They help grassroots partners become leaders in developing projects that demonstrate innovative approaches that blend conservation, sustainable community economic development, and social justice3)      Movement Building: They help to build networks of rural leaders who understand and implement the triple bottom line.4)      Policy and Advocacy: Engagement of grassroots leaders in state-level policy and funding initiatives has helped to grow a local and state-level support for alternative approaches to economic development and environmental protection.
Funding Opportunities
Resourceful Communities’ Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF) Grant Program was created to help partners implement innovative triple bottom line projects.  This program provides seed grants of up to $15,000 for projects that might otherwise go unfunded.  For more specific information about this grant program, go to:
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation 2920 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106 Phone: 336-748-9222
Fax: 336-777-0095
The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation assists people in the Southeastern US to build just and caring communities that nurture people, spur enterprise, bridge differences and foster fairness. Its mission is to help people and places to move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice. The Foundation supports organizations and networks that work across race, ethnic, economic and political differences to make possible a brighter future for all.
Funding Opportunities
The Foundation makes grants to local, statewide and regional nonprofits in the Southeastern US that have track records of helping low-wealth people build assets and transform economic conditions in their communities. It supports grassroots groups and networks in low-wealth communities that are poised to expand their scale of impact. It also supports statewide or regional organizations and networks that are achieving large-scale impact. The Foundation is interested in both new approaches and proven strategies that link together grassroots and larger organizations.
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust 128 Reynolda Village Winston-Salem, NC 27106 Phone: 336.397.5500
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is focused on improving the quality of life and quality of health for future generations of North Carolinians.   The Trust’s priorities are: • Increasing impact through more focused grant making by placing greater emphasis on the root causes and effects of poverty and disease and by expanding the capacity of the non-profits in which we invest.• Promoting innovation through best practices and successful models in proactive and responsive grant making.• Increasing influence and institutional leverage on behalf of those served by playing multiple roles beyond grant making: roles in areas such as education, advocacy, and convening.
Funding Opportunities
Kate B. Reynolds provides funding to Support Prevention and Provide Treatment. The goal of Supporting Prevention is to promote wellness by providing services before conditions occur or are diagnosed, while Providing Treatment focuses on improving health outcomes by providing health and medical services for diagnosed and existing conditions.  Within Supporting Prevention, disease and illness prevention and health promotion and wellness are the areas of special emphasis and priority.  Within Providing Treatment, access to primary medical care, advancing mental health services, and diabetes care and management are the areas of special emphasis and priority.
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation 147 South Cherry St., Suite 200 Winston Salem, NC 27101-5287 Phone:  336-725-7541 or 800-443-8319
Fax: 336-725-6069
The vision of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is to: •Promote social, economic and environmental justice.•Strengthen democracy, through an educated and informed populace.•Encourage innovation and excellence in a dynamic non-profit sector.•Support progressive public policy and social change.•Foster cooperation and respect among all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.•Build strong, vibrant, economically sound, and peaceful communities.
Funding Opportunities
The Foundation gives grants in the following areas:  Community Economic Development, Strengthening Democracy, Environment, Social Justice and Equity, and Pre-Collegiate Education.
Golden Leaf Foundation 301 N. Winstead Avenue Rocky Mount, NC 27804 Phone: 252-442-7474 or  888-684-8404 Fax: 252-442-7404
The Golden LEAF Foundation’s mission is to promote the social welfare of North Carolina’s citizens and to receive and distribute funds for economic impact assistance to economically affected or tobacco-dependent regions of North Carolina. The Foundation awards grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and governmental entities across North Carolina. Golden LEAF focuses on three priorities: agriculture, job creation and retention, and workforce preparedness. Projects that focus on other opportunities to support and develop economic strength in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities continue to be welcomed.
Funding Opportunities
The purpose of Golden LEAF is to fund projects that promise to bring significant economic improvement to the tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities of North Carolina. We welcome eligible entities to submit a grant application for a project that is consistent with Golden LEAF’s priorities. Golden LEAF currently has two programs, Open Grants and Economic Catalyst Cycle, open to eligible entities seeking grants.  The Open Grants Program places high priority on the areas of agriculture, job creation and retention and workforce preparedness. Other projects that focus on other opportunities to support and develop economic strength in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities are also welcomed. In light of the economic downturn, Golden LEAF will be looking for opportunities to complement and leverage federal and state stimulus programs to increase the impact of its grants making on targeted communities. The Economic Catalyst Cycle is a program that focuses on job creation and/or retention projects associated with business locations or expansions in North Carolina that are at risk without participation from Golden LEAF. Projects submitted by eligible entities must meet specific criteria to be considered for funding.

Grant Writing 101

Grant support can help advance your initiatives to improve access to healthy, affordable foods within your tribal community.  Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provided support to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to develop planning and policies strategies to improve access to healthy eating within North Carolina tribal communities.  Grant writing is an essential ingredient to being a competitive applicant for limited grant support.  Here are some suggestions to consider as you work on identifying a potential grant opportunity and proposal approach:

  • Understand your resources to prepare and administer grants
  • Explore potential funders and meet with them to determine funder fit
  • Determine feasible goals and methods for grant deliverables
  • Join list_servs and organizations to help connect you with grant opportunities
  • Leverage existing grant support resources
  • Partner appropriately
  • Develop and follow research ethics procedures for internal and external grants
  • Network with organizations who have received funding from possible funders
  • Develop templates for key grant components such as your organization’s mission, organizational structure, and capacity to administer grants
  • Track your grant and collaboration history to demonstrate your success
  • Communicate with tribal members grant proposals and grant findings
  • Share your grant award and results with the media
  • Explore available guides for grant writing tools and grant search tips

Start with your Staff!

The federal government is a great example of remembering to start with programs and policies that promote health within their own workplaces!  A number of community members thought it would be great if the tribal office promoted healthy breakfast mornings for staff or encouraged staff to all bring salads for lunch a certain day of the week.  Healthy staff are generally more productive and can serve as key role models of your healthy initiatives!  Recent media stories have emphasized that worksites should suggested workouts for cubicle warriers and encourage walking breaks to improve health and worker productivity.  And, employees are seeking out worksite wellness and the best worksite programs cultivate employee buy in as they develop and grow.
Work with your staff to implement some or all of these healthy worksite strategies:

  • Some tribes have instituted breastfeeding policies to ensure that their staff members are able to provide healthy starts for their children.
  • Encourage staff to bring homemade foods to work and to share tips on homemade options and low-cost, healthy snacks.
  • Encourage worksite 15 to 30 minute fitness breaks and offer a collective workout session one day a week before lunch time.
  • Allow flexible work plans to enable staff to workout.
  • Provide opportunities to your staff and community to learn about healthy eating and active living and offer healthy foods in your cafeteria, vending machines, and at meetings and events.
  • Incentive programs to encourage healthy eating and active living or coming up with ideas for worksite and community healthy initiatives may motivate change in your staff.  Some companies integrate quick breaks to get their staff moving, snacking on healthy, high energy foods, staying hydrated, and getting energized together!
  • Reconsider “candy jars” in your office as ways to serve as an opportunity to explore creative ways to incorporate healthy options throughout the workplace!
  • Post signs to urge staff to use the stairs at work, work!

Worksite resources:

  • The CDC offers LEAN Works!, which provides interactive tools and evidence-based resources to help work sites design effective obesity prevention and control programs.
  • The CDC created a Worksite Health ScoreCard, which helps employers assess their efforts and potential to prevent chronic diseases.

Remember…the First Step is Always the Hardest

Think big and positive.  Encourage your tribal leaders and members to make some individual changes and watch how these changes add up!