THE CENTER ADDRESSES SEVERAL NEEDS
West of the Mississippi there are a multitude of tribal colleges that address the needs of native communities in a culturally grounded manner, but in the East this is not available in most communities. In lieu of a tribal college the CNH works with the EBCI and other sovereign tribal nations in the southeast to address issues related to the significant health disparities that exist in native communities. These disparities are reflected in the following health statistics:
The numbers of tribal members who have at least one chronic disease (e. g., diabetes, heart disease) is increasing. “Baby boomers” are getting older with many health needs.
About 35% are currently diagnosed with diabetes and younger folks are being diagnosed more and more
Childhood obesity is a serious health issue (in 2003, 61.9% of EBCI male children 6-11 years old were overweight or obese and 58.6% of female children in the same age group were overweight or obese).
The suicide rate for AI youth is 4x greater than for all others in US
A recent CDC report concluded that, “The findings in this report indicate that AI communities bear a greater burden of health risk factors and chronic disease than other racial/ethnic minority populations.”