Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program Coordinator Receives Award from National Indian Health Board

Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program Coordinator Receives Award From National Indian Health Board

(Rapid City, SD) The program coordinator for the Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program (GPGHW), Eugene Giago was awarded the Area/Regional Impact Award from the National Indian Health Board (NIHB). NIHB represents Tribal governments—both those that operate their own health care delivery systems through contracting and compacting, and those receiving health care directly from the Indian Health Service (IHS). NIHB hosts an annual Awards Gala to recognize individuals across Indian Country to pay tribute to their work in improving American Indian/Alaska Native health. This year’s Gala was hosted in Bellevue, WA in conjunction with the 34th Annual Tribal Health Conference.

Mr. Giago is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He is inspired to assist tribal communities in adopting healthy behavior changes and focuses on improving holistic wellness for all tribal nations. His work with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board’s (GPTCHB) GPGHW program consists of daily communication and coordination with Great Plains area tribes who are in the process of implementing strategies that will increase access to healthy and traditional foods, promote physical activity or reduce the use of commercial tobacco within their communities. Eugene strives to incorporate his passion for Lakota traditions into his work with GPGHW by mentoring, practicing ceremonies and living traditionally.

“Our program has sub-awarded ten tribal partners representing ten different Great Plains tribes, each of whom has done outstanding work to improve health outcomes in their communities. As the Program Coordinator, Eugene serves as the main point of contact for each of these tribal partners. If they need evaluation technical assistance (TA), they will call Eugene. If they have questions, they ask Eugene. They can trust that he will communicate it, coordinate it or point them in the right direction. Eugene does an excellent job of ensuring that our tribal partners have access to the training, TA, and resources that they need, when they need it. He is an invaluable asset to our Good Health and Wellness family and we are very proud of him and his accomplishments.” Nichole Cottier, Director of Health Promotion Programs.

The Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program is funded through a Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). GPGHW provides training, TA and sub-awards to tribes to implement policy, system, and environmental (PSE) strategies to reduce the rates of heart disease, type II diabetes and stroke for American Indians living in the Great Plains region. For more information, contact Jennifer Williams at 605-721-7512 or email at  Visit the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board at


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