Thursday, July 12, 2007
A Health Report Card for a Rural Native American Community
|Learning Objective #1: describe the role of commmuity as the agent for social change|
|Learning Objective #2: identify strategies for engagement of community participation in health promotion and disease prevention |
The Omaha Tribe, located in rural Nebraska, invited Creighton University's School of Nursing and the Office of Interprofessional Scholarship, Service and Education (OISSE) to participate in a community health project. The community identified the need to have school health screening data analyzed and a health report card developed for each child screened, partly in response to the community-identified problem of rapidly increasing rates of diabetes. School screenings included traditional measurements as well as visual examination for the presence or absence of Acanthosis Nigricans (AN), a skin pigmentation associated with diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.The Omaha Tribe has found AN screening results to be useful tools for diabetes prevention education. Each year more than 500 youth have been screened. Creighton graduate nursing students and faculty participated with Omaha Tribe health professionals and volunteers for the 2006-07 school screening events. The collected screening data was analyzed by graduate nursing students and faculty and shared with the community health team. With assistance from community and tribal leaders, the health report card was developed to be a culturally relevant tool for families regarding their child’s health status. The health report card was used to inform parents about their child's annual school health screening results and provided relevant education and interventions, as necessary, for prevention of potential health problems such as obesity and diabetes. The completed health report cards were given to family members who attended popular community events. Culturally appropriate incentives were used to maximize attendance. Health professionals, including the graduate nursing students and community health staff from the local clinic, were present to discuss the health report card with the family. The health team partners contacted high-risk students for further evaluation; and health promotion and disease prevention interventions were tailored to the participating students, families, and the Omaha Tribe community.