Indian Health Service Headquarters
Division of Behavioral Health Newsletter
Message from the Director, Division of Behavioral Health:
Intimate partner violence poses a significant health threat across Indian Country. American Indians and
Alaska Natives experience some of the highest rates of domestic violence and sexual assault of any
population in the United States. In addition to physical injuries, victims of abusive relationships also suffer
emotional and mental abuse. The experience of abuse is also linked to adverse health outcomes among
American Indian and Alaska Native people.
Increasingly, health care professionals are recognizing that it is a major public health problem. A 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on health and violence found that 39 percent of Native
women reported that they were victims of intimate partner violence some time in their lives. Healthcare
professionals play a significant role in addressing intimate partner violence and the health care setting offers
a critical opportunity for early identification and primary prevention of abuse.
Amnesty International’s report, Maze of Injustice, identified poor access to sexual assault forensic
examiners and other related health services as significant problems for American Indian and Alaska Native
women struggling with violence and sexual assault in Indian Country. It is critical that healthcare
professionals provide compassionate care to victims of crime. The Indian health system must commit to
improving victim of crime service delivery through policy, awareness, and linkages with victim assistance
advocates and organizations in order to more effectively respond to crime victims in Indian Country.
Starting in 2002, the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Administration for Children and Families funded
an innovative initiative to improve the health response to domestic violence. The Family Violence
Prevention Fund, in partnership with Sacred Circle and Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance
Project, worked with more than 100 IHS, Tribal and Urban Indian health care facilities as well as domestic
violence advocacy programs on this initiative.
On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, a major new report will be unveiled, “Building
Domestic Violence Health Care Responses in Indian Country: A Promising
Practices Report,” as a tool for all Tribal and Urban Indian communities to
learn about building effective health-based responses to victims of
domestic violence. This report explains how this work can be replicated
and shares lessons learned from this innovative project. The report will be
available as a PDF on July 13th on www.endabuse.org/health.
Funding appropriated by Congress continues to support the IHS Domestic
Violence Prevention Initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to support a
national effort by the IHS to address domestic violence and sexual assault
within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. For more
information, please contact Michelle Begay, Public Health Advisor, at
(301) 443-2038 or by e-mail at Michelle.Begay2@ihs.gov.
Spotlight on the
Oklahoma City Area Office
The Indian Health Service, Oklahoma City Area serves the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, portions of
Texas, and Richardson County, Nebraska. In the Oklahoma City Area, there are 39 Tribes in Oklahoma,
4 Tribes in Kansas, and 1 Tribe in Texas. The Area consists of 12 Service Units:
Ada Holton Shawnee
Claremore Haskell Tahlequah
Clinton Lawton Talihina
Eagle Pass Pawnee Wewoka
The Oklahoma City Area has the largest user population in all of the Indian Health Service; the second
largest is the Navajo Area. There are a mixture of Indian Health, Tribal and Urban (I/T/U) facilities
located throughout the area. The large number of Tribal Health Care Facilities and Programs is a
reflection of the partnerships and cooperation within our Area to fulfill the health care needs of our
As of October 1, 2008, there are six hospitals with four of the hospitals Tribally operated. The hospitals
also provide ambulatory patient care services in addition to inpatient care. There are 54 outpatient
ambulatory care centers in the area, which include four clinics located in urban areas:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
For information about the Oklahoma City Area Office, Behavioral Health Program, please contact
Don Carter, Area Behavioral Health Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma City Area Office
Seneca-Cayuga Substance Abuse Program
Kristy Chance, L.M.S.W. uses the B.A.B.E.S. Program puppets to
spread the word about the dangers of methamphetamine.
B.A.B.E.S. is an acronym for “Beginning Alcohol and Addiction Basic Education Studies.”
B.A.B.E.S. is a primary alcohol and drug prevention program designed to help children choose a
healthy lifestyle. Because of the increase of methamphetamine use and manufacturing in Northeast
Oklahoma, the Seneca-Cayuga Substance Abuse Program felt a need to incorporate methamphetamine
information into the alcohol/drug section of the B.A.B.E.S. Program. A description of what
methamphetamine looks like along with the effects of the drug is given to the children in a simple way
that they can understand.
The B.A.B.E.S. Program, through the use of puppets, teaches children skills to have a healthy mind
and healthy body. Some of the topics covered are: expressing your feelings, decision making, peer
pressure, substance abuse, asking for help when you need it, and physical and sexual abuse.
The presentations are given to students in a story form. Telling stories is among the least costly and
yet the most effective means of education and entertainment available. American Indians, including
the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, have used storytelling for centuries as a way to educate the young about
their history and culture.
For more information, please contact the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, Substance Abuse
Program at (918) 542-6609.
Oklahoma City Area Office
Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
Quapaw Tribal Substance Abuse Services
The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is located in Rogers Middle School in Miami, and a training/luncheon
Quapaw, OK, in the Northeast corner of Oklahoma. The event held at the Holiday Inn. Mr. Parnell is a
Quapaw Tribe has approximately 3,772 members. In methamphetamine and suicide survivor from Tennessee.
August of 1998, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma began After spending twenty-three years addicted to drugs, he
the Quapaw Tribal Substance Abuse Services (QTSAS) attempted suicide by shooting himself in the face with an
to provide outpatient substance abuse treatment and SKS assault rifle. He has since devoted his life to
referral services. In the fall of 2009, the Quapaw Tribe educating others about the dangers of methamphetamine.
of Oklahoma received additional funding from the Indian In addition to David’s personal story of addiction and
Health Service through the Methamphetamine and recovery, the presentation included facts about meth and
Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) project. the dangers/effects of meth use. Mr. Parnell’s
Through the MSPI project the QTSAS has been presentations were very moving and appropriately
providing methamphetamine and suicide prevention tailored for each audience. We had approximately 300
programs in the community, schools, and trainings for people attend the community event, and approximately
local organizations. Our first presentation was held on 1,100 students attended the school presentations. At the
April 6-8, 2010 titled “Facing the Dragon: One’s Man’s conclusion of the program, members of the audience
Battle with Meth,” given by Nationally Known Speaker, filled out surveys and were entered into a drawing to win
David Parnell. Mr. Parnell gave presentations at the gift cards. The feedback from the surveys was very
Coleman Theatre in Miami, Quapaw Middle and High positive.
Schools, Commerce Middle and High Schools, Will
On May 5-6, 2010, the QTSAS held our 2nd MSPI presentation
titled Question Persuade & Refer (QPR) and Dangers of Meth
Training at the Robert Whitebird Cultural Center in Quapaw. Our
instructors for the event were Howard Lane, QPR instructor from
Lawton, OK; Glen Beaver, Kiowa Tribe, assisted Mr. Lane with the
QPR training; and Mr. Rick Pickens presented the Dangers of Meth
program. QPR is a straightforward comprehensive suicide
screening method. The training was very interesting and provided
valuable information to organizations and individuals in our
community. We had a wonderful turnout on both days for this event. We would like to thank Amy Cozad from the
Kiowa Prevention & Injury program and all her staff for their assistance with the two day training.
We feel both presentations were very well received and provided our audience with a wealth of information on
meth and suicide. We set up booths at both presentations and at various events within our community to provide
information on meth and suicide including prevention, treatment, hotline numbers, etc. We are excited about the
future presentations and trainings we will be able to provide to our community members, schools, and local
organizations through this program. We would also like to thank the Indian Health Service for the opportunity to
provide these presentations. For more information regarding our programs please contact QTSAS at 918-542-4232.
Oklahoma City Area Office
Tulsa’s Indian Health Care Resource Center (IHCRC)
Announces New Director of Clinical Training and
Revival of the IHCRC Psychology Internship Program
The Tulsa Indian Health Care Resource “Native Americans have traditionally been
Center (IHCRC) is pleased to announce a revival underserved, had limited access to behavioral
of its Psychology Internship Program under the health care and few have had an interest in
collaborative direction of Megan Ballew, Ph.D., entering the psychology field or the opportunity to
Director of Clinical Training and Stephen do so. We have been involved for many years and
Shoemaker, Ph.D., Director of Human Services. now we’re providing internships that can facilitate
IHCRC has rejoined the Northeastern Oklahoma Native Americans going into the psychology field.
Psychology Internship Program (NOPIP). NOPIP One of the unique opportunities that we can
is an APA-accredited consortium comprised of provide for our practicum students and interns is
several agencies which provide training for pre- the many in-house resources provided via the
doctoral psychology interns. In the past, IHCRC continuity of care that we provide at IHCRC.
participated in NOPIP as a partial rotation, but a Interns and practicum students could have an
recent policy change now allows a host agency to opportunity, for example, to consult with our
provide a full 40-hour-per-week rotation. This Pediatrician, Dr. Bowling, or the Systems of Care
change provides a win-win for both the intern and staff under the direction of Dr. Newcomb. IHCRC
IHCRC. has many internal resources available through the
IHCRC has had a long history of medical, dental, optometry, wellness, and human
supporting the mission and goals of the American services departments.” said Dr. Ballew. “These
Indians Into Psychology (AIIP) program. The resources will help us attract strong candidates.
AIIP program, part of the Indian Health Care We are already attracting an impressive number of
Improvement Act, is designed to increase the qualified applicants from across the country for
number of American Indian mental health the two intern positions we have available in our
professionals serving American Indian program.”
communities through recruiting, training, and Please visit www.ihcrc.org for more
promoting graduate education. information.
By Edward E. Rogers
Megan Ballew, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Training
Dr. Ballew is a member of the Cherokee Tribe and was raised in Jennings and
Claremore, Oklahoma. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Special
Education from Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah. She
completed her graduate training at OSU in Stillwater with a Master of Science
degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology. While at OSU, Dr.
Ballew was a member of the American Indians Into Psychology program.
She came to IHCRC in 2006 as a Staff Psychologist, and became the Kasey Claborn, doctoral practicum
Director of Clinical Training in 2009. student (left) and Dr. Megan Ballew
Oklahoma City Area Office
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Wind Horse Family Recovery Center
Sounds of laughter, sharing, and learning can be heard coming from the Choctaw Nation Wind
Horse Family Recovery Center located in Wilburton, OK. Voices of children and their parents intermingle
as they work through a family exercise designed to increase parent/child communication. This activity is
part of the “Strengthening Families” parenting education classes that are held weekly. Parents and children
learn new ways to interact with each and improve their behavior and family functioning.
Funded through a grant from the Administration for Children and Families, Wind Horse, opened in
January 2008 in McAlester, OK. The grant serves American Indian children and their families residing in
Pittsburg and Latimer Counties. “We saw quickly that due to the distance most families would not be able
to travel to McAlester from Latimer County for services,” states Kari Hearod, Project Director. “But it was
not until January 2010 that we were able to locate a building suitable for all areas of our program.”
The name “Wind Horse” comes from a Choctaw Legend. The Wind Horse would come to American
Indians in need and care for and carry them until they were well and could care for themselves. The
program’s mission is to care for children and their families when they are in the most need and to help
provide the tools they need to live their lives free from alcohol and other substances.
Families meet criteria for entry to the program if they have a child that is 0-18 and possesses a
Certificate Degree of Indian Blood. This child is eligible for services if in foster placement or in danger of
being placed out of home care due to parental substance abuse. Many families may have one Native parent
and one non-Native. Wind Horse focuses on providing services to the entire family by providing out-
patient individual, family, and group counseling and culturally-based case management services to help
with things like housing, employment, child care, and education. Families remain intact and parents gain
the skills necessary to maintain sobriety from alcohol and other substances while caring for their children
and in most cases, maintaining employment.
Prevention is also a component of Wind Horse. Choctaw Nation is able to provide the “Positive
Action” Curriculum to area 5th graders. This education teaches positive social skills and decision making,
as well as substance abuse prevention and resistance skills.
You may reach Kari Hearod at KEHearod@cnhsa.com with any questions.
Oklahoma City Area Office Tele-Psychiatry
The Oklahoma Area started providing psychiatric services to patients at the Wewoka and Anadarko Health
Centers in April 2010. The clinics are currently held every Tuesday and Thursday at the Area Office with
Dr. Don Chesler providing patient care. Dr. Chesler (pictured at right) is a
contract psychiatrist in private practice in Midwest City, OK. Other clinics are
being planned for the Clinton Service Unit in OK and Haskell Service Unit in
Lawrence, KS. Dr.’s Laura Webb and Robert Beasley have visited the sites,
equipment has been tested, and we are looking for a July start date for services.
Future plans have the Oklahoma Area providing services to the Riverside Indian
School as well as the Jack Brown Youth Treatment Center. Dr. Beasley, a Child
and Adolescent Psychiatrist, currently travels to these two facilities providing
Oklahoma City Area Office
If you have ever lived in or just visited
Oklahoma during the months of March
through August, you know that this time of
year is prime Tornado Season! Just in case
you are new to Oklahoma, here are a few
things you need to know.
Practice periodic tornado drills so that
everyone knows what to do before,
during and after a tornado hits
Designate an assembly area for family
and friends if separated and there is a
loss of power and communications
Gather prescription medications during
a tornado watch, just in case it turns
into a warning
Springtime in Oklahoma! This photo was taken at Lake Stanley FEMA has established the National
Draper , east of Moore and just south of Tinker Air Force Base. Emergency Family Registry and
Locator System (NEFRLS), which has
been developed to help reunite families
who are separated during a disaster.
Tornado Watch Tornado Warning
Tornadoes are possible in and near the A tornado has been sighted or
watch area. Review and discuss your indicated by weather radar. Tornado
emergency plans, and check supplies warnings indicate imminent danger to
and your safe room. Be ready to act life and property. Go immediately
quickly if a warning is issued or you underground to a basement, storm
suspect a tornado is approaching. cellar or an interior room (closet,
Acting early helps to save lives! hallway or bathroom).
Your emergency kit should include:
Flashlight and extra batteries Work gloves
Battery-operated radio with a weather Duct tape
band Prepaid phone cards, spare credit cards or
First aid kit with essential medicines and a small cash-stash
manual A copy of insurance documents
A large jug of drinking water Blankets and sleeping gear
Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food List of phone numbers and addresses of
Towels, toilet paper and bathroom items emergency services and protective areas,
A spare pair of shoes physicians, family and friends
Tornado Safety Links
www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado www.spc.noaa.gov www.redcross.org
News from Headquarters
2010 Indian Health Service/Bureau of Indian Affairs National Behavioral Health Conference Update
We are so pleased to announce that Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart will be this year’s keynote speaker. Dr.
Braveheart an Associate Professor at Columbia University and President of the Takini Institute, will present during the
Mental Health Plenary Session on Co-occurring Disorders and Historical Trauma among American Indian and Alaska
Natives. The conference will showcase dynamic speakers that will present plenary and learning lab sessions focusing on
four programmatic tracks: Alcohol/Substance Abuse; Mental Health; Youth, Family and Community Wellness; and
General Topics. We will also feature facilitated Self-Care Roundtable discussions to highlight important self-care
related topics. Continued Education Units and Continued Medical Credits will be available. In addition, participants
will have the opportunity to attend the National Behavioral Health Achievement Awards Ceremony which will highlight
the outstanding accomplishments of IHS and BIA behavioral health providers.
An agenda is currently available at www.bhconference.com. If you have not registered yet, please visit the conference
website and register. We are excited to bring the conference to a new region in the California Area. This will be one
event that you will not want to miss! Please contact Ms. Deborah Black at Deborah.Black@ihs.gov with any questions.
We would like to introduce the also did his doctoral work in Behavioral
Division of Behavioral Toxicology. Mose taught undergraduate courses in the
Health’s new Health Science departments of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at
Administrator, Mose Herne. Boston University and Fitchburg State College. He
Mose is a member of the also has direct care and program management
Akwesasne Mohawk Nation experience in intensive mental health and dual
and comes to the IHS with a diagnosis services through both the VA healthcare
broad range of system and the IHS-funded urban health program in
experience. Mose has a Massachusetts. Prior to his acceptance of a position
military background consisting with IHS, Mose was the Director of Public Health for
of nuclear and mechanical the Franklin County Health Department in northern
engineering, quality assurance, and departmental staff New York State, a rural area covering nearly 1800
training with the US Navy submarine force. His square miles and including over 50,000
academic experience includes an undergraduate degree residents. Among other duties, he directed overall
in Psychology from Clarkson University, Master’s community health needs assessment and program
degree in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, an planning and evaluation activities related to
MPH degree in environmental health sciences from comprehensive, community-based public health
Boston University School of Public Health, where he services. Welcome to IHS, Mose!
News from Headquarters
Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) Update
By Michelle S. Begay
Headquarters Division of Behavioral Health
This month, the IHS DVPI Program has Ms. Michelle S. Begay, provided a presentation
been actively working to fund tribal and as a plenary speaker on the IHS DVPI program.
federally operated programs for projects Additionally, the IHS DVPI program
addressing domestic violence and sexual assault participated in two sessions addressing violence
in tribal communities and in Indian/Tribal/Urban prevention in tribal communities. The IHS DVPI
Indian Health organizations. During the month program participated in planning sessions for the
of June 2010, the DVPI held an Urban Indian Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention. The
Health Grant Review to award Title V Urban federal partners are preparing for the Federal
Health programs. The DVPI Urban Indian Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in
Health Organization applications were reviewed Washington, DC on August 11-12, 2010. The
and awards will be announced shortly. other session was the Interdepartmental Tribal
The DVPI Area Guidance was released Justice, Safety, and Wellness Session 11 held at
by the IHS Director on May 7, 2010 to fund Rapid City, SD on June 16-18, 2010. The IHS
projects in the 12 Areas and proposals are due to DVPI program provided meeting facilitation on
the IHS Division of Behavioral Health on July 9, tribal youth violence prevention issues with
2010. Several technical assistance calls were tribal leaders. The report from this meeting will
held to provide information on DVPI funding be submitted in a congressional report by the
opportunities to IHS and tribal programs. All Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council: Tribal
DVPI projects are anticipated to start August 1, Youth Juvenile Justice Work Group – Review of
2010 upon award. Federal Policy, Practice, and Process for
Starting in 2002, the IHS, the Intervention, Prevention, Detention, and Re-
Administration for Children and Families at the entry for Tribal Youth.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services For additional information, contact
funded an initiative to improve the health Michelle S. Begay, Public Health Advisor,
response to domestic violence in tribal Indian Health Service Domestic Violence
communities. The IHS DVPI program Prevention Initiative,
participated in the 2010 Family Violence Email: email@example.com or by
Prevention Services Act Annual Conference, Telephone: (301) 443-2589.
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Copies of
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2010 resources are
available for free from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
web site. Visit www.nami.org/multiculturalmentalhealthmonth
Save the Date
Responding to Methamphetamine Endangered Spirit of Giving Conference, “Weaving the
Children in Tribal Communities Traditional Pathway to Integrated Health”
BIA Office of Drug Enforcement August 31, 2010 - September 3, 2010
Registration and Training: Ron Hall NARA of the Northwest, Inc.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-217-9076 Red Lion on the River, Jantzen Beach
Program Content: Diane Payne, Justice for Native Portland, Oregon
Children email@example.com or 907-694-5709 http://www.naranorthwest.org
July 20-22, 2010 in Bismarck, ND
Healing Our Spirit Worldwide
National T.R.A.I.L Diabetes Prevention September 3-10, 2010
Implementation Training Honolulu, Hawaii
July 15-16, 2010 Register online by April 30, 2010:
Minneapolis, MN http://www.hosw.com
Information: 866-822-5827 20th Annual National/International Native
American Indian Alcoholics Anonymous
13th National Child Welfare Data and Convention
Technology Conference September 9-12, 2010
July 19-July 21, 2010 Riviera Hotel and Casino
Washington, DC Las Vegas, NV
Tribal Best Practices Conference Rural Behavioral Health Symposium
Hosted by the ANTHC and USET September 21-23, 2010
July 25-28, 2010 Glendale, AZ
Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel http://gucchdtacenter.georgetown.edu/Activities/
Prior Lake, MN Rural_BH_Symposium_2010.html
6th World Conference on the Promotion of
4th National Conference on Women, Addiction Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and
and Recovery Behavioral Disorders
July 26-28, 2010 November 17-19, 2010
Chicago, IL Washington, DC
American Psychological Association 12th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice
118th Annual Convention for Victims of Crime
August 12-15, 2010 December 9-11, 2010
San Diego, California Palm Springs, California
More Than Sad http://www.morethansad.org/
Find Youth Info http://www.findyouthinfo.gov/
ONDCP National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign www.mediacampaign.org
National Indian Country Methamphetamine Initiative www.ncai.org/meth/
Wellness resources for the military community www.afterdeployment.org
The Young Teens Place for Info on Alcohol and Resisting Peer Pressure www.thecoolspot.gov
Resources for active duty and retired military http://www.militaryconnection.com
SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Guide for Indian Country
“An American Indian/Alaska Native Suicide Prevention Hotline: Literature Review and Discussion
with Experts.” http://www.apse.hhs.gov/hsp/09/AIAN-SuicidePreventionHotline/index.pdf
2010 White House Tribal Nations Conference Progress Report
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) was established in 2002, SPRC is the nation’s first
and only federally funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center, which collaboratively builds and
enhances the capacity of States and communities in implementing and evaluating suicide prevention
programs. Recently SPRC has added specific resources for American Indians/Alaskan Natives to
their website. You may visit their site at: www2.sprc.org/aian/index.
1. 2011 Healthy Native Communities Fellowship www.hncpartners.org
2. “Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program” funding
opportunity. Applications are due Wednesday, July 28, 2010.
3. “Family Violence Prevention and Services/Technical Assistance and Resource Development to Expand Services for
Children and Youth” funding opportunity. Applications are due Friday, July 30, 2010.
4. “Family Violence Prevention and Services/Expanding Service for Children and Youth”. Applications are due
Friday, July 30, 2010 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/foa/view/HHS-2010-ACF-ACYF-EV-0084
5. “Family Violence Prevention and Services/Expanding Leadership Opportunities within the Domestic Violence Field
for Members of Underrepresented Groups” funding opportunity. Applications are due Friday, July 30, 2010.
Division of Behavioral Health
801 Thompson Ave.
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 443-2038
Fax: (301) 443-7623
Rose Weahkee firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan Wooden email@example.com
Jon Perez firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Stuart email@example.com
Danny Ukestine firstname.lastname@example.org
Mose Herne email@example.com
Amina Bashir firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Black email@example.com
Michelle Begay firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelly Carter email@example.com
Michele Muir firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Shelly Carter at Shelly.Carter@ihs.gov with
any questions about the newsletter or to submit articles.