By ROBIN BAILEY-CALLAHAN
The Cherokee Community Wellness Team (CCWT) was initiated to give community members a role in making Cherokee a healthier place to live, work, and play. It is fully supported by Principal Chief Michell Hicks.
The vision statement of the team is Duyukdv – Balance and states, “Being true to self, family, community and Tribe through spiritual, cultural, mental and physical well-being for all generations.
Health Problems Identified
The CCWT interviewed and surveyed 104 community members on their perspectives on health. The top health problems identified include:1. Diabetes 2. Drugs & Alcohol 3. Obesity. The CCWT first initiatives focus on Diabetes and Obesity prevention including promoting healthy foods in Cherokee through community gardens and working with Food Lion on a health promotion campaign. As well as, policy change promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The Roles of the CCWT Members
1. Being a Communicator
• Listen to and give a voice to the community.
• Communicate wellness activities to community members and CCWT members.
• Be a sounding board for Cherokee Choices.
2. Being a Role Model & Motivator
• Work towards leading a healthy lifestyle and being involved in wellness activities throughout the community.
• Motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle.
3. Advocating for Change
• Promote policy change that supports wellness within the community and beyond.
CCWT members include:
Big Cove – Sarah McClellan-Welch, Bo Taylor, Sally Penick, Phyllis Shell
Big Y – Teresa Reed, Daniel Tramper
Birdtown – Ulela Harris, Tara McCoy, Michelle Ledford
Painttown – Billie Jo Rich
Soco – Mollie Littlejohn
Snowbird /Robbinsville – Jennifer Wachacha, Marsha Hollifield
Wolftown – Cassandra Oocumma, Lynn Taylor, Marisa “Sis” Cabe
Yellowhill – Sarah Wachacha, Sean Grady, Tony Walkingstick
Health & Medical Division – Jennifer Brown, Robin Callahan, Yvette Colmant, Renee Mulligan
Cherokee Indian Hospital – Nilofer Couture, Tracy Wolfe
Cherokee Central Schools – Laura Cabe
Qualla Youth Health Clinic – Joan Parks, David Cozzo
If you would like to be a part of the Cherokee Community Wellness Team or for more information contact Robin Callahan, RD, MHS – Cherokee Choices, 497-1975, Fax:497-1799 or email@example.com.