Local outreach efforts just achieved a big success in raising awareness of organ donation in Native communities. Although most people waiting for organ transplants belong to racial and ethnic minorities, relatively few organ donors are minorities themselves. This mismatch between supply and demand is particularly acute for Native Americans – because the best organ donor for a Native person is often another Native. LifeCenter Northwest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation, partners with more than 200 hospitals to serve families and communities across Washington, Montana, northern Idaho, and Alaska.
If you happened to stop by our offices this summer, chances are you would find staff from Native People for Cancer Control filling bags with our very special bean soup mix. Each bag is stuffed with five different kinds of beans and a small card with a soup recipe. Also on the card is information explaining how eating beans can reduce your risk of cancer. Our bean soup mix is intended to launch conversations at community events, where we often set up tables for health education.
November is National Family Health History month. Family members can share genetic, lifestyle, and environmental risks associated with illness and disease. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can run in families, so a detailed family history could help patients and providers determine appropriate screenings at appropriate times.
Partnerships for Native Health is excited to announce our Family Health History Genome Project. With support from the National Institutes of Health, study staff will pilot-test the My Family Health Portrait site (https://FamilyHistory.HHS.gov) and partner sites. This is a publically accessible, standard-based family history tool that is widely used in the U.S. Study staff hope to determine whether this tool fits the health needs of Native patients and their providers.
Indigenous Cultures Day at the Seattle Center gives indigenous peoples the opportunity to express their culture through performance, food, visual art, film, and other festive activities. The program is held annually in August and is free to the public. Last year, Indigenous Culture Day featured performances by Aztec, Filipino, Guelaguetza, Haida, Japanese, Maya, Panamanian, Peruvian, Tahitian, and Zapotec traditional dancers, representing North, Central, and South America as well as the islands of the Pacific. This year, the program will be held on Saturday, August 17, with events at the Seattle Center Armory and the Mural Amphitheatre from 10 AM to 7 PM.
P4NH Spotlight: Bill Ward Bill Ward sends a shout out to the Pacific Northwest and UW Medicine! It was an honor to interview him for this month’s Spotlight. His wisdom and motivation for service are truly inspiring. For almost 40 years in the Northwest Bill cherishes the memories of outdoor photography and working in a winery in the Columbia Valley region. He enjoys spending time at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the peace and quiet without cell phones, televisions or cars.