The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, serving thousands of federally recognized tribal members, employees and their spouses prides itself on offering the best trained staff in Indian Country. This is due in large part to the continuing education of its medical professionals, who spend several days and weeks each year learning about the latest developments in their respective fields.

Dr. Glenna Stumblingbear-Riddle, the Tribe’s Behavioral Health Coordinator since June 2013, is a licensed psychologist and is the latest example of this ongoing training. Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle is in an ongoing, nationally-recognized training program called Project LIFT.

Project LIFT – Leadership Initiatives for Tomorrow – is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of emerging leaders serving communities in greatest need of behavioral health services. Native Americans, who are the primary patients of the Citizen Potawatomi Health Services, are one of these populations.

“Within the next few years many healthcare providers and leaders of the Baby Boomer generation will be retiring,” said Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle. “Project Lift’s Leadership Program is important because it offers leadership development to behavioral health professionals who work with underrepresented and underserved groups.”

The leadership program is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which gives healthcare providers like Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle support and training opportunities that will enhance the services offered to patients seen in CPN’s clinics.

In March, Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle travelled to Washington D.C. for a two day immersion training session. Bringing together emerging leaders in behavioral health from across the country, the trip offered these professionals an opportunity to meet and collaborate on the challenges facing the populations they serve.

“The main benefits relate to improving patient care, staying on the cutting edge of changes and having tribal presence in behavioral health leadership roles at the national level,” said Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle.

Attendees also met with and listened to other behavioral health experts from a wide range of sectors, including SAMHSA, the Association of Addiction Professionals and the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Disability Directors. This collaboration is increasingly important given the recent national overhaul of the healthcare system, which is not only impacting patients, but healthcare providers and their staffs’ as well.

If you would like to learn more about Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Behavioral Health Services that include individual and group counseling for behavioral health and substance use disorders, psychiatry, and smoking cessation classes, please contact the CPN Health Services at (405) 214-5101.