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Archived/No Longer Available: Health Care Beliefs and Practices among Native American Patients

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Date Developed: 10/19/2010. Source: National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) User Call Series. Presenter(s): Rick Haverkate, MPH. Type: Webinar Archive. Level: Intermediate. Length: 60 minutes.


This presentation aims to describe the American Indian/Alaska Native population and their relationship and historical context with the United States government. Views on medicine, spirituality and healing are discussed, as well as the differences between different nations. The prevalence of varying diseases and mortality rates from the Indian Health Service dataset is used to describe existing disparities. Mr. Haverkate continues by addressing strategies for the development of culturally appropriate communication skills as well as how to discuss health and wellness with the American Indian/Alaska Native and his or her family. The presentation concludes with results from the Tribal Public Health Assessment conducted by the National Indian Health Board. Tribal health organization characteristics, community health assessments and planning, public health services, and what is working in tribal health organizations are addressed.

Learning Objectives

• Describe the unique relationship between American Indian/Alaska Native and the United States government.

• Develop awareness of the importance of the historical context in the lives of today’s American Indians and Alaska Natives.

• Describe strategies for the development of culturally appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills with American Indian/Alaska Native and their families.

• Discuss the importance of eliciting explanatory information regarding illness and wellness from the American Indian/Alaska Native and his family for collaborative treatment planning.

Special Instructions

To access presentation audio and slides, click on “click here” under “Links to Presentation.” [Note: the audio requires Windows Media Player]. Webinar opens on PC only. Mac can view a pdf of slides and Q&A document.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.