The Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley’s (IHC) Traditional Path to Wellness Project aims to decrease the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the impact of co occurring mental health disorders by using cultural and traditional practices to provide holistic health and wellness education. In Year 1, participants will receive support in developing positive behavior changes to address their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health thereby promoting positive health outcomes for American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) families in Santa Clara County.
Utilizing a traditional community-based best practice approach, a 6-week intergenerational Wellness Series model was developed to address chronic disease which includes the whole family. Participants will receive intensive education around meal planning, shopping, mindful eating, Historical Trauma, traditional medicines, traditional and contemporary forms of exercise and activities to improve family cohesion and develop support networks. In-between each 6- week Wellness Series, the Project Coordinator will work with participants to develop a Wellness Plan and will refer participants to existing, on-going activities offered at the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley. Activities include Powwow Dance and Drum class, diabetes education classes, daily fitness classes, nutrition counseling, access to a fitness center, San Jose Native Youth Empowerment Group, and services at the medical, dental, and counseling departments as needed.
Intermediate Outcomes: The project will meet this outcome by offering activities that include cultural community programs, physical activity, and intergenerational interactions that promote wellbeing. IHC will also meet the following intermediate outcomes:
1) Increased sense of cultural connectedness
2) Increased sense of social connectedness
3) Increased consumption of healthy traditional foods and/or increased physical activity
Long-term Outcomes: This project will implement evidence-based strategies and activities that meet the needs of our Urban Indian community. The long-term outcomes that IHC would like to meet through intergenerational interactions are:
1) Reduced morbidity/mortality due to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer
2) Increased resilience and use of cultural practices to reduce diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Using cultural and traditional teachings ensures that our project will help increase the health and wellbeing of AI/ANs in Santa Clara County.