Roadmap to Healthy Communities

The goal of this project is to develop, implement and evaluate a series of four annual conferences that will contribute to capacity building within the American Indian (AIs) tribes and urban AI community of New Mexico to address their common and specific health care needs. The primary objectives for the conferences are to bring together tribal leaders and other key tribal members for a series of leadership and educational sessions. The conferences are designed to build health policy capacity within the tribes, create partnerships between tribes and with the University of New Mexico (UNM) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Native American Health Policy, and to address shared and unique tribal health and health care issues. The Roadmap to Healthy Communities: Understanding Indian Health (RHCUIH) conferences will be divided into four key components:
•    Understanding our Needs – This workshop will illustrate the importance and process of engaging in needs assessments through presentation of existing community health measurement instruments and needs assessments conducted in tribal communities and other for use in tribal communities.  
•    Building our Capacity – Experienced grant writers and reviewers will lead workshops explaining the grant writing and review process.  
•    Understanding Health Policy – These sessions will focus on increasing understanding of the complex health policy and sharing the strategies tribes have used to influence health policy decisions created at the local, state and federal levels by translating research into culturally appropriate health care programs.  
•    Navigating our Tribes into the Future – This workshop will highlight the successes of tribes in building strategic plans to direct tribal interest and policy.  Tribes with successful tribal health boards will present their strategies and keys to success, and the importance of tribal health boards will be emphasized for addressing key health problems and responding to federal grant opportunities.
The proposed conferences will fill a key need by building relationships among New Mexico tribal communities while providing needed education on AI health policy.  Through sessions designed to share collective knowledge about health policy and tribal health structures, participants will gain important information regarding resources for building healthier communities through needs assessment, grant writing, health policy, and the use of tribal health boards. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, will be the location for the conference, and is the home to the Center for Native American Health Policy.
Principal Investigator:    Robert O. Valdez, PhD, RWJF-Center for Health Policy at UNM
Co-Investigator:        Kenneth B. Lucero, RWJF-Center for Native American Health Policy
Co-Investigator:        Emily A. Haozous, PhD, College of Nursing
Project Dates:            07/10/2011 to 06/30/2012