James Segura, second from right.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—May 14, 2019—During the 10th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit opening reception, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) presented two individuals – one from Alaska and the other from North Dakota – and one Tribal organization from California with the 2019 Native Public Health Innovation Awards for their effective approaches to and significant impact on American Indian and Alaska Native public health.

“NIHB recognizes that public health is a traditional Native value and that Tribes have led the way in creating and implementing public health programming and services that align not only with community health needs, but with cultural beliefs as well,” said NIHB Board Chair Victoria Kitcheyan. “NIHB presents these awards to recognize excellence, achievement and innovations that are above and beyond the call of service. These awards highlight the efforts that have improved health status, created new programming, addressed long standing health disparities and/or increased the visibility of Tribal public health concerns.”

National Recipient – James Segura, Chairman, Southcentral Foundation Board of Directors

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James Segura has served as Southcentral Foundation (SCF) Board Chairman for 35 years. SCF is a non-profit, Tribal organization serving 65,000 Indigenous peoples. With his commitment to strong governance, he has helped the Alaska Native people realize a dream of a customer-owned, customer-driven health care system. The resulting Nuka System of Care has proven to impact whole population health and is now regarded internationally as a best practice with promise for replication in other communities. Consistent with the Native value of “sharing what we know,” Mr. Segura is expanding the reach of these innovations through his support for SCF’s Learning Institute, a new avenue for sharing knowledge and expertise with other Tribes/Tribal organizations. The Institute develops and delivers workshops, trainings and consulting services for organizations interested in replicating Nuka concepts to improve health outcomes in their communities.

“It is an honor and privilege to accept this award. I am truly proud of the great strides that have been made in the delivery of care for our people. I would like to thank not only the National Indian Health Board – but all the people who work tirelessly, every day, to improve the health and wellness of Alaska Native and American Indian people,” said Mr. Segura.

At the opening reception, conference attendees also had an opportunity to visit with staff from different Tribal Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) programs as they showcased their success stories at the annual SDPI Poster Session.

The 10th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit concluded today with closing remarks from the National Congress of American Indians Southwest Regional Vice President Joe Garcia and presentations on climate change and electronic cigarettes in Indian Country. NIHB will host listening sessions with federal agencies tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15. View the agenda for more information.


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