The Citizen Potawatomi Nation received $324,300 from the Department of Human and Health Services-Indian Health Services to continue a special healthy heart program. The program began in 2009 and serves numerous Native Americans annually.

The Healthy Heart Initiative works to reduce cardiovascular risks in patients who have a high risk of the disease. Participants are encouraged to meet with a dietician, a personal trainer and attend educational meetings on a monthly basis.

“We are pleased that DHHS Indian Health Services has provided this funding, which allows us to continue and expand our healthy heart program,” said Citizen Potawatomi Nation Vice Chairman Linda Capps. “We aim to create a stronger and healthier Native American population and these programs help us do that.”

Cardiovascular disease, which affects the heart and blood vessels, is a major complication of diabetes and number one cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Healthy Heart Initiative assists patients 18 years of age or older with Type II diabetes. Individuals participate in a case management program focused on reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease through dietary and physical activity changes.

“The cost of care for diabetes and heart disease is astronomical and the impact these diseases have on our population is detrimental,” said Betty Nicholson, Project Director of the Healthy Heart Initiative. “This grant helps us to reduce the risk of those diseases and the effects from occurring.”

The Healthy Heart Initiative is part of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services. CPNHS provides high quality, evidence-based, culturally-suitable medical and dental care, public health services, and behavioral health and substance abuse counseling to members of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and members of other federally-recognized American Indian tribes and nations and Alaskan Natives.