Tribal Unity XX Gathering, A Journey Toward Health & Wellness

by Sophie Evan on April 2, 2013

Dr. McCoy Keynote Speaker photo by S.Evan

Dr. McCoy Keynote Speaker photo by S.Evan

The Yukon Kuskowim Health Corporation is holding it’s annual gathering in Bethel, which runs through Thursday. The Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center has been filled to capacity with delegates from 56-villages. YKHC’s theme this year is, “A Journey Towards Health and Wellness. Sophie Evan reports on how the first day has been going:
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YKHC’s behavioral health department is featured this year at the annual gathering. They fill up the first day’s activities, starting with the keynote speaker. Dr. Clyde McCoy is a Cherokee Indian from Miami Florida; he is professor and chair emeritus, for the University of Miami’s department of epidemiology and public health. Dr. McCoy traveled up here with his wife in order to talk about the importance of Culture in Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Prevention and Intervention Programs.

McCoy has 40 years of experience working with epidemiology, which is a branch in medicine, which deals with the causes, distribution, and control of diseases within a population. The Y/K delta has seen its share of epidemics and currently suffer from staggering statistics, the latest being suicide.

Dr. McCoy’s message included being able to recognize a person’s own culture, as he/or she fits within a larger culture, and for the first nations people, that we possess traditions of strength and resiliency within our culture which will be very important in building intervention and prevention programs.

YKHC’s director of Behavioral health, Ray Daw, spoke to the delegates about their strategic plan; each residential service director gave a report on their programs, from PATC, to the McCann Treatment Center.

After lunch, the behavioral health outpatient and emergency services will give a report, after them, the community services and preventative services department will give a presentation on how Historical Trauma affects every single native person in the United States.

Later this evening, from 6:30 to 8:30, James Sipary Senior, and Marita Hanson will hold a “Qasgiq, story-telling session, in order to inform, teach and learn.

For KYUK news I’m Sophie Evan.

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