Wellness Event Honors Native American Heritage Month and National Diabetes Month
November is Native American Heritage Month and National Diabetes Month
November is Native American Heritage Month and National Diabetes Month. To celebrate Native heritage and promote health the Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center (GLIIHC), along with the Milwaukee First Nations Wellness Coalition (MKEFNHC), will be hosting the third annual Native Community Wellness Event. The Event is free and open to the public with activities, education, and health screenings for people of all ages. The event will be held at the Indian Council of the Elderly All Nation’s Hall from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 7. The event will include a speaker who will discuss nutrition and healthy eating over the holidays. There will be opportunities to try physical activities such as “Pow Wow Pump” and “Zumba.” In addition there will be Affordable Care Act assistance, flu shots, blood sugar and blood pressure screenings. Clinical breast exams will be available along with incentivized breast cancer conversations. More than two dozen community based organizations will have health information booths at the event.
American Indians suffer from remarkably high rates of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other chronic diseases, more than any other segment of the population. American Indian youth are 9 times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than youth of any other ethnic group. Studies show that increasing healthy food intake and increasing physical activity levels are effective ways to prevent type 2 diabetes, lower one’s risk for cancer and improve overall health. This annual wellness event is designed to provide the tools necessary to live well in a culturally relevant manner.
Since 1999 the GLIIHC has been fulfilling its mission to improve the health, peace and welfare of Milwaukee’s urban Indian community. As Milwaukee’s only American Indian health center, the clinic serves the area’s diverse tribal members as well as people of all nations, through medical, social, behavioral health, educational, and outreach services. The GLIIHC’s comprehensive, holistic approach to wellness includes advocacy work with community partners to improve the environment where our community members live, work, learn and play. Key to GLIIHC’s community advocacy work has been the MKEFNHC. Comprised of organizations and individuals, coalition members are invested in improving the health of Milwaukee’s American Indian community through health promotion and disease prevention strategies to make the places we live, work, learn, and play more supportive of health. The MKE FNHC is facilitated by GLIIHC and its members include organizations such as American Cancer Society, Wisconsin Pink Shawl Initiative, American Indian Council and individual community members.