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Wednesday, March 1, 2006  

Northern Plains Healthy
Start Program




Staff: Vickie Andersen - Community Coordinator


Northern Plains Healthy Start is committed to the mission of promoting healthy families and improving birth outcomes for Native American women by providing Targeted Case Management Services.  TCM services are a culturally relevant program, which empowers individuals to make better health care choices.  Services are planned and coordinated through needs assessments, case service planning, referrals and assessing community services, advocating for women and children, and monitoring progress and outcomes.  Northern Plains Healthy Start and the TCM program is a holistic approach respecting the importance of family, physical, emotional, psycho-social and spiritual health and the continued support for Indian family values.

PHILOSOPHY:  The TCM Model was built and guided by the following seven beliefs:

  1. Infant mortality reflects adverse medical, social and environmental factors affecting the lives of pregnant women, infants, and their families.
  2. Direct community involvement in the planning and implementation of the NPHS project will encourage participants and promote its success in decreasing infant mortality.
  3. Personal, traditional, caring relationships that support pregnant women and new mothers enhance the health outcomes of infants, children and families.
  4. Community involvement supplements, in culturally meaningful ways, a woman’s contact with providers of health, social and educational services.
  5. Infant health is enhanced when services creatively teach families in home, local environments and through traditional ways.
  6. A high quality system of locally accessible primary care and transport to secondary and tertiary care must be readily available to all pregnant women and infants.
  7. Infant health has a direct relationship to the family, the extended family and the community awareness that these children are our next generation.

What is Healthy Start?

Healthy Start is a Federal Grant Program made available to through the Health Resources and Services Administration, designed to combat and lower the infant mortality rates among at risk populations.  The Northern Plains Healthy Start has programs offices on 16 Reservations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.  Services available vary based on the particular needs of each grantee and its clientele.

Who may participate?

The Healthy Start Program is designed to provide services needed by Native American prenatal and postpartum women and their infants to 24 months age.  Also, included are non-native women with a native partner. 

Services Include:

  • Individual Case Management
  • Prenatal & Postpartum Education
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Health Education Activities
  • Risk Assessments
  • Home Visits
  • Parenting Education Classes
  • Family Planning Information
  • Collaboration With Existing Agencies
  • Promotion of Male Involvement
  • Purified Water, Free of Harmful Nitrates
  • Incentive Program
  • Smoking Cessation for Pregnant women and women with young children
  • Annual Spring Wacipi, Honoring Families/Infants born in the last year

The Northern Plains Healthy Start Program (NPHS) is a prevention program responding to the high infant mortality rates and inadequate health care for women of childbearing age and their families on the 16 reservations of the Northern Plains.

NPHS emphasizes the need to develop comprehensive, holistic approaches that include health, social and educational services.

We only have to look at our native culture to find the traditions and practices that will help build a healthy nation that includes every baby.

Northern Plains Healthy Start

Goals and Objectives

  • Enroll women early (within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy)
  • Reduce Infant Mortality
  • Decrease the Rates of Preterm Births
  • Encourage Breastfeeding
  • Provide Depression Screening and Counseling Referrals
  • Provide Pregnancy and Infant Care Education

The Healthy Start Program is made available to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe by a grant received by the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.  The other tribes in the Northern Plains Healthy Start Project are:  The Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikira Nations, Trenton Indian Service Area, Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, Turtle Mt. Band of Chippewa, and Yankton Sioux Tribe.

“Hecel oyate kinipikte – So that the People May Live”

FSST Child Care Program


Our Fourteenth Annual Healthy Start Spring Wacipi is coming up please click here for a poster.

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