PEMBROKE — With help from a grant from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, steps are now under way to try to reduce the cancer and obesity rates of American Indians in Robeson and Scotland counties.
The three-year grant, totaling $574,800, will fund a new program entitled “Changing Lifestyles, Living Longer.”
According to a statement from the tribe, the grant will be used as an avenue to get more American Indians enrolled in insurance programs. It also will be used to help American Indians become associated with a medical facility where they can receive the proper screenings and education about health concerns, particularly obesity and cancer.
Lumbee tribal members, identified through the Tribal Elders Department, will be trained to conduct workshops throughout Robeson and Scotland counties. The workshops will follow the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program designed by the Stanford University School of Medicine.
“There are a lot of partners in this program,” said Alex Baker, a tribal spokesman.
Baker said that the tribe will be joined by Robeson Health Care Corporation, the N.C. Division of Aging, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Department of Nursing, and Robeson and Scotland counties in administering the program.
As part of their participation in the program, the UNCP Department of Nursing will be conducting workshops on the causes of cancer and the family support services that are available to cancer patients. The department will also conduct home visits to cancer patients to evaluate such things as available home health services and equipment needs.
Baker said that an office to house the program is now open at Commerce Plaza in COMtech Park. COMtech is located just outside of Pembroke on N.C. 711.
“We want people to be aware that this office is now open and encourage them to use its services,” Baker said.
Baker said that those wishing more information about the program should contact the program’s director, Nicole McNeill, at 910-521-5580.