Hopi programs hold two community health events

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - In the past two weeks, there have been two events promoting health for youth and men. On July 8 the Hopi Head Start program hosted a mass screening for incoming head start students. The target age was from 0-5 and was part of the recruitment efforts for Head Start and the Babyface programs.

Numerous booths were set up to give information on different organizations in the community. There was also hemoglobin, height and weight checks and immunizations for children to get ready for school. Community programs focused on health and nutrition.

Another similar event will be held Aug. 15 and will be held at the Veterans Memorial Center. The Center is currently closed for renovations so this event was held at Hopi Day School.

The Babyface program, one of the programs represented, goes out to parents to teach them how to take care of children from prenatal to 5 years old. They visit parents twice a month and provide material and lessons on how to make homemade toys and books for their children, promoting positive results in transitions to Head Start.

Other organizations that were being represented were the Hopi Tribe's child care center which emphasizes a traditional environment to carry on tradition, culture and language. Another organization was the Hopi Domestic Violence program, which assists households that may be experiencing domestic violence.

The Hopi Guidance Center provides behavioral health services to the community for mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse. The Community Health Care Representative Program mission is to create a culture of healthy lifestyles in our community. This organization provides patient care to health promotion and prevention.

The Early Intervention program was present to provide information on identifying children with special needs. Many other organizations were represented as well.

Call Hopi Head Start at (928) 734-7125 for more information about the upcoming session on Aug. 15.

The other event held at the Hopi Day School was the Second Annual Men's Cancer Conference, which was sponsored by the H.O.P.I. Cancer Support Services.

They offered information on cancer detection and prevention in men.

According to Lori Joshweseoma, the program was once a women's health program, but branched out to both men and women. The first event was very successful so they have continued to hold this event yearly.

Topics of discussion included Cancer 101, Hopi and Tobacco, North Country Health Care-RESEP, Men to Men Conversation, a panel of a Health Care Provider, Professor, Traditional Medicine man , a cancer survivor and cancer survivor wife all topped by a performance by Navajo comedy duo, James and Ernie.

The event is held each year to bring more awareness to the Hopi community about cancer. Fortunately the incidence of cancer is relatively low on the Hopi reservation. In addition to cancer education her office provides assistance in filing claims for compensation from the United States government from bomb testing in Utah that drifted uranium into parts of Navajo County as well as the Moencopi area. This caused certain types of cancer in individuals and the government apologized and offered compensation up to $50,000 to survivors of victims that died of radiation exposure.

Joshweseoma states that a healthy diet and activity are good for cancer prevention as well as less red meat in diets, less alcohol and smoking. She also states that being mindful of your environment because many things can cause cancer.

The main thing is early detection. Previously, people usually didn't know they had cancer until it was too late. Now early detection is a key to treating cancer along with a positive attitude which will help a cancer victim through a lot quicker.

She also states that traditional foods are helpful in cancer prevention. When Hopis hunted in the past, the meat was leaner and Hopis ate more fruits and vegetables that were locally grown.

Prostate and breast cancer are the highest incidence of cancer and men have a higher incidence then women even though there are more women enrolled in the Hopi Tribe then men. But with screening the cancer survival rates has improved.

She says eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.

For more information call (928) 724-1151 or 1152.

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