Friday, March 24, 2017

Mountain States RHEC’s Native American Cultural Competency Webinar Series: Cultural Sensitivity When Collecting Sensitive Data

RHEC VIII CultComp 420 Webinar BannerAre you interested in learning more about tribal communities and how to work with their tribal governments?

The Mountain States Regional Health Equity Council (RHEC) aims to end health disparities in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. One of its main priority areas is to provide education and awareness of cultural and linguistic competency within the region. This year, the RHEC is hosting a webinar training series on the history of tribes and treaties, utilization of the National Standards of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) and cultural sensitivity when working with tribal communities, and the impact of cultural needs assessments. Upon completion of this webinar, the participants will be able to accomplish the following from the specific tribal perspective:

1. List three benefits of providing culturally and linguistic appropriate services
2. Identify and understand the holistic healing approach, cultural norms, customs, and protocols of the Great Plains tribes
3. Discuss effective strategies when working with the Native American population that can be shared with co-workers
4. Enhance the relationship between healthcare provider and patient by building a culturally competent workforce

DATEApril 20, 2017
TIME11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time

 Jason Baldes, Director of Wind River Native Advocacy Center


Jennifer Kenyon, Senior Research Associate, CSRA’s Health Determinants and Disparities Practice; and Dee Le Beau-Hein, MS, Behavioral Health & Recovery Administrator, Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Health Board CSRA’s Health Determinants & Disparities Practice

CSRA’s Health Determinants & Disparities Practice (HDDP) has more than 50 years of combined experience in studying, writing about, advocating for, and promoting culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS), cultural and linguistic competence, and developing strategies to reduce health disparities and promote health equity. HDDP is committed to bringing CLAS and equity solutions to systems impacting health. HDDP provides training, technical assistance, and learning tools on CLAS for an array of health professionals.

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board was established to provide the tribal nations in the Great Plains region with a formal representative board as a means of communicating and participating with the Great Plains Area Indian Health Service and other Health and Human Services entities and organizations on health matters. Its mission is to provide quality public health support and health care advocacy to the tribal nations of the Great Plains by utilizing effective and culturally credible approaches.

UDOH Job Opportunity

The Utah Department of Health has a recruitment open for the following position:

$22.85 - $36.25

This is a full-time, career service exempt position with benefits.
Requisition #   11515
Closes:   04/05/2017 at 11:59 pm MST 

In order to be considered for an interview for these positions, you will need to apply on-line at  If you have not done so already, you will need to create a job seeker account.    

Monday, March 20, 2017

Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (Short Title: ReCAST Program) grants. The purpose of this program is to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resilience and equity in communities that have recently faced civil unrest through implementation of evidence-based, violence prevention, and community youth engagement programs, as well as linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services. The goal of the ReCAST Program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.
For the purposes of this FOA, civil unrest is defined as demonstrations of mass protest and mobilization, community harm, and disruption through violence often connected with law enforcement issues. Communities that have experienced civil unrest share similar characteristics [1]:
·        Barriers to access and lack of social services, health care, legal and political representation, housing, employment, and education;
·        Current and historic strains in community and public sector relationships, e.g., law enforcement, school, health, and/or housing and community relationships; and
·        Racial/ethnic minority and marginalized populations with experiences of poverty and inequality.
The ReCAST Program closely aligns with SAMHSA’s Recovery Support and Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiatives. For more information on the funding opportunity please visit:

More information on these Initiatives is available at: In addition, this program seeks to address behavioral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities by encouraging the implementation of strategies to decrease the differences in access, service use, and outcomes among the racial and ethnic minority populations served. (See PART II: Appendix F – Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities.)

OMH Announces Release of Health Data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Population

Office of Minority HealthOMH Announces Release of Health Data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Population

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the results of the first large-scale federal survey designed to provide detailed health information about the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island population in the United States.  The project, the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), was conducted in 2014 through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the CDC.
Data from the survey provide detailed information on factors such as access to and use of health services, health insurance coverage, immunizations, risk factors, and health-related behaviors about Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The survey results can be used by policymakers, researchers, health professionals, community leaders, and others to help inform their programs and policies and to plan future interventions to help achieve health equity for this population.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has developed a data brief that highlights differences in the prevalence of selected health conditions between the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population and the Asian population with whom they have been historically combined. The CDC has also made the data file publicly available.
“For years, we have been limited in our knowledge of the health status of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders because of their grouping with the larger Asian population,” said Carol Jimenez, OMH Acting Director.  “This is a historic survey that for the first time provides a detailed look at the health status of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, which is the first step in addressing the disparities that uniquely affect this community.”
The CDC partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau in order to increase representation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander households for this project. As part of this joint effort, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau collected data from approximately 3,000 households containing one or more NHPI residents, using the American Community Survey sample.  Responses were collected by the Census Bureau and securely transmitted to the National Center for Health Statistics, where any personal identifiers were removed.

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8

National Governors Association Early Childhood Workforce Grant Team would like to invite you to special event!
Dr. Kimber Bogard, one of the authors Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8, is coming to Utah on April 27th to:
  • talk about this report
  • explain the recommendations for creating a quality early care and education systems for professionals working with young children
  • discuss the possibility of having Utah become one of the states that is implementing this work
This event is no cost and is open to anyone who is interested in supporting the early childhood profession and young children so PLEASE share the invitation with your networks!

RSVP by April 21st to

BRFSS Data: Dementia Caregivers Provide Long, Intensive Care

Majority of Dementia Caregivers Provide Care for Sustained Period of Time

BRFSS Logo with taglineIn 2015, 59 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had been providing care for at least the past two years. And, that care is often intense and intimate: 64.4 percent of caregivers help with personal care like bathing and feeding, while 81.7 percent help with household activities like cleaning and managing money. These data come from a new analysis – conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Alzheimer's Disease and Healthy Aging Program – of the Caregiver Module from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Public Health Roadmap M-02 NewThe data demonstrate just a fraction of the burden Alzheimer’s and other dementias places on caregivers. Individual fact sheets are now available for the 24 states that used the Caregiver Module in their 2015 BRFSS surveys. With these new data, states can see the scope and burden of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including the toll that caregiving takes on mental and physical health.
We encourage you to download your state’s fact sheet not only for your own use, but to distribute to health officials, public health practitioners, and state policymakers. Tweet the fact sheet, link to it on your website, blog about it. Data are only useful when used to inform policy and systems change, and that can only happen if the data are widely distributed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Voices for Utah Children: 2017 Utah Legislative Session

13 March 2017 Written by   
Voices for Utah Children
Early Childhood
Wins for new moms and babies including much-needed funding support for Early Intervention Services/Baby Watch (Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, SB 2) and SB 135 which will strengthen statewide, evidence-based home visiting programs for low-income mothers (Sen. Escamilla).
SB 100 (Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden) commissions an analysis of early childhood systems throughout the state, to determine where and to what extent early childhood services exist such as developmental screenings, home visiting, high-quality child care and preschool, as well as what access barriers there are between these services and the children and families who need them.
Access to Healthcare
A win for families is HB 278 (Rep. Chavez-Houck, D- Salt Lake City), which makes it easier for divorced parents to seek medical care for their children. It requires medical providers to separately bill each parent for their due portion, and prohibits a parent from getting a negative credit report if the other parent has not made his or her portion. The onus is no longer on the parent to track down the full payment or risk a bad credit score. HB 278 will help more kids get the care they need.
Sen. Christensen (R-Ogden) sponsored SB 51, which would return Medicaid managed care services to a fee for service model. Ultimately, this bill was decided outside of legislation, however, the agreement reached will help more children access a Medicaid pediatric dentist or school-based preventive dental care. To further monitor the issue, Sen. Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City) sponsored intent language that directs the Department of Health to investigate pediatric dental care access issues kids enrolled in Medicaid may experience (SB 2).
Rep. Thurston’s (R- Provo) bill HB 308 which will strengthen protections for Utah students against disease outbreaks and standardize vaccination exemption requirements and procedures, creating an online education module for those seeking an exemption.
Suicide Prevention
Lawmakers took several key steps toward addressing bullying, student safety and teen suicide in Utah. Sen. Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City) sponsored SB 161, which strengthens school anti-bullying policies, and gives parents and school staff greater ability to address anti-bullying behavior.
Rep. Eliason (R-Sandy), who was also the floor sponsor for SB 161, sponsored HB 223 which establishes a suicide prevention education program, including firearm safety curriculum to be made available in schools.
A big win this session for Utah kids is the repeal of the so-called “No Promo Homo” in SB 196. Previously schools were not allowed to discuss homosexuality in the classroom and curricula. This harmful and discriminatory policy was repealed thanks to the efforts of Sen. Stuart Adams (R-Layton), champions at Equality Utah and others for create a safer, creating more inclusive environment for Utah kids.
Juvenile Justice
For the last year, the state policy makers have been grappling with how to make Utah’s juvenile justice system work better for kids and our community. With the help of the Pew Charitable Trusts, a workgroup made up of key stakeholders—judges, mental health providers, police officers, school officials, prosecutors, and juvenile defense attorneys—made a number of strong recommendations including:
  • Keeping kids out of court for low-level status offenses like truancy.
  • Bringing much-needed structure to the sentencing process in the juvenile justice system.
  • Ensuring that kids don't spend time in detention just because they can't pay restitutions and fines.
  • Creating specific performance requirements for community placement programs.
  • Ensuring that children have their constitutionally guaranteed right to counsel.
HB 239, Juvenile Justice Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Lowry Snow (R-St. George), incorporated many of these recommendations and received near unanimous support this legislative session. The bill that finally will bring much-needed structure to juvenile sentencing, and require important training for system workers. However, the legislature failed to provide sufficient funding to ensure kids have access to community-based and school-based interventions that offer more opportunities for positive change and that Utah is meeting its constitutional obligation that kids have legal representation.
The passage of SB 134, Indigent Defense Commission Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Salt Lake), may provide a forum to address the lack of legal representation for kids involved in juvenile justice system by expanding Utah’s Indigent Defense Commission’s mission to include looking at how Utah will protect children’s Sixth Amendment rights, not just adults.
Public Education
For decades Utah has languished at the bottom in terms of state investment in our kids. While big reforms inspired by the Our Schools Now initiative did not make it through in 2017 (The Our Schools Now ballot initiative, however, remains very much alive), the legislature did take a number of positive steps.
As a result of higher-than-expected revenue projections, the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee recommended a 3 percent increase to the value of the weighted pupil unit (WPU) — the basic unit of education funding — as well as $68 million for new growth in the state’s public education system.
HB 168 (Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George) appropriates just under $3 million in TANF funds to help schools establish kindergarten supplemental enrichment programs (extended-day kindergarten). Schools with at least 10 percent of their students experiencing intergenerational poverty will receive first priority for funding, followed by schools in which 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The bill also directs the State Board of Education to develop kindergarten entry and exit assessments to be used in conjunction with these programs.
HB 212 (Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley) provides bonuses for teachers working in high-poverty schools who have a 70 percent median growth percentile or higher (as determined by SAGE scores). The state and the school district will each provide half of the bonus funds. While there are concerns about the limitations imposed as a result of using SAGE scores as the sole determinant, it is nonetheless a good step toward incentivizing highly effective educators who work in high-need schools. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.
SB 34 (Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden) authorizes the State Board of Education to reimburse a local education agency that provides competency-based education for a student who graduates early. In the past, school districts and LEAs lost the remaining per-pupil funding each time a student graduated before the end of their senior year. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to Governor Herbert.