Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority’s Tribal Option Department recognized with i2i Center’s 2023 Whole Person Care Innovation Award

by Nov 30, 2023NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

CHEROKEE, N.C. – Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority’s has announced that the EBCI Tribal Option department has earned the prestigious recognition as the recipient of the i2i Center’s 2023 Whole Person Care Innovation Award. Given by North Carolina’s i2i Center for Integrative Health, this accolade honors programs or services demonstrating integrative approaches and a commitment to addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in caring for individuals with Mental Health (MH), Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) needs.

Established in 2018, the i2i Center’s Whole Person Care Innovation Award celebrates initiatives that excel in providing comprehensive care while integrating behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use care within the broader scope of whole person care.

Since it’s inception, EBCI Tribal Option has provided care coordination for Medicaid-eligible Tribal members to improve their healthcare outcomes. More broadly, EBCI Tribal Option assists approximately 4,000 Tribal-eligible Medicaid beneficiaries, primarily in Cherokee, Haywood, Swain, Jackson, and Graham counties.

“We are so grateful to be recognized as the 2023 Whole Person Care Innovation Award winner,” said Karen Kennedy, EBCI Tribal Option Director. “We strive to instill strong focus on primary care, preventive health, chronic disease management, and providing comprehensive care to ensure that patients are cared for in a holistic way.”

EBCI Tribal Option takes a relationship-based, patient-centered approach to transform patient care by connecting patients to doctors, appointments, medication, and therapy seamlessly—ensuring that patients get the most out of their benefits.

The i2i Center for Integrative Health, known for bringing together healthcare leaders to address critical issues affecting behavioral, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, as well as primary health care in North Carolina, commends the exceptional efforts of CIHA Tribal Option in advancing the quality and efficacy of care and support services.

As a testament to this achievement, CIHA Tribal Option will travel to Winston Salem next week to receive the award during i2i’s Winter Conference at the Benton Convention Center on December 7 and 8. This conference serves as a platform for thought leaders and innovators to convene, strategize solutions, and activate change in the realm of healthcare.

For more information about EBCI Tribal Option, please visit

  • Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority release