Training & Outreach

The Training and Outreach team works closely with Navajo Nation tribal programs and Navajo Area Indian Health Services (IHS) throughout all eight service units on Navajo Nation to integrate community health workers into health care delivery services and expand access to chronic disease outreach through monthly health education sessions led by IHS and 638 lead trainers. Although COPE does not provide direct services to patients, we closely collaborate with more than 70 community health workers, 12 health facilities and hundreds of health providers.

The Training and Outreach program focuses on adapting and/or developing locally informed training and patient outreach materials as well as the training of community health workers, and better health care delivery through stronger coordination between clinical and community outreach teams and interprofessional collaboration.

COPE also facilitates trainings on Motivational Interviewing, which includes behavior change and goal setting, and Community Health Representative (CHR) Supervisor training, which helps capitalize on leadership and team building skills in order to achieve quality improvement.

COPE has strongly advocated for the inclusion of the Navajo CHR/Outreach Program in the implementation of a referral system using Electronic Health Records (EHR). This referral system allows for CHRs and Public Health Nurses to collaborate in the care of participating patients.

 

The Training and Outreach team has been working with the New Mexico Department Of Health to get all Navajo Nation CHRs certified as New Mexico Community Health Workers, and continues this collaboration to support the CHR teams in maintaining their certification through COPE-provided trainings.

An estimated

285

hours of training

...in over

15

locations across the Navajo Nation

...taught by

25+

doctors, local trainers, or COPE staff

...covering

28

topics, including childhood obesity, congestive heart failure, diabetes in pregnancy, men's and women's health, and wellness.

We are so proud to continue our training programs with the Community Health Representative workforce, public health nurses, and early childhood education center staff.

Arthur Lazarus, Jr. CHW Training Program

COPE is very honored to partner with the Lazarus and Janowitz family to support advancement and professional development for Community Health Workers (CHWs), including broader health system support to improve access to cancer prevention, education, screening, and coordinated care.

Arthur Lazarus, Jr. (1926–2019) was an attorney who spent his career fighting for restoration of Tribal sovereignty and compensation for lands taken from American Indian and Alaska Natives Nations. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he studied at Columbia University and Yale Law School before joining Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and moving to Washington, D.C., where he headed the Indian Law practice after the passing of his mentor Felix S. Cohen in 1953. His clients included the Blackfeet, Tuscarora, Seneca, Lakota, and Navajo Nations. The future first two directors of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian were among the Tribal citizens who honed their own craft at Fried, Frank. Later, Lazarus became Of Counsel at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, & Endreson. He was married for 58 years to Gertrude “Gigi” Lazarus, who predeceased him, and is survived by three children and seven grandchildren, who sponsor this program in his memory and to continue Arthur Lazarus, Jr.’s lifelong work.

 

We are deeply grateful to the Lazarus family – Andrew Lazarus, Naomi Janowitz, Noah Lazarus, Gideon Lazarus, Eddie Lazarus, and Diana Lazarus for making this vital work possible.

Culturally Informed Curricula

The goal of Healthy Habits, Happy Homes is to improve child health on Navajo Nation. Happy Homes (see rack card here) is an evidence-based program to help families start healthy habits with their pre-school aged kids. Caregivers and children learn together how to live healthier, happier lives. Changes focus on healthy eating, time spent in front of a TV or computer screen, physical activity, sleep time, gardening, and spending more time together as a family. At every meeting, families are introduced to new routines and healthy recipes to try together at home. Happy Homes is taught in 6 sessions once a month. The Training and Outreach team played a key role in adapting the curriculum for Navajo Nation, for example by including Diné terminology. This curriculum is used in conjunction with the FVRx program. The team continues to provide trainings on delivering Happy Homes.

The Color Me Healthy (CMH) curriculum is designed to improve fruit and vegetable intake and increase physical activity among 4 and 5 year old children in child care and preschool settings by increased exposure to nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity. The curriculum includes interactive activities that leverage color, music, dance, and imaginary play to complement the CMH sessions. COPE created additional materials that are culturally relevant and tailored for our local partners. Through the CMH trainings, COPE has also received feedback from staff at early childhood education centers to strengthen the additional components to the curriculum. An example is the inclusion of a story that highlights how a typical day on Navajo Nation incorporates different kinds of physical activity and other healthy behaviors.

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90% of Head Start staff trained by COPE found the Color Me Healthy/Happy Homes trainings increased their understanding of child nutrition

How You Can Help

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The efforts described on this page are supported by grants to COPE 501(c)3 and grants to our partner organizations,
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Partners In Health.