Following the expanded funding for tribal youth behavioral health, CPN Health Services and the behavioral health department recently added another psychologist to its roster in the fall.
Dr. Jessica Brody comes to CPN following her tenure with the U.S. Veterans Administration in Oklahoma City. While the VA had been her professional home for some time, Brody was in search of new career challenges and received CPN Behavioral Health Coordinator Dr. Glenna Stumblingbear-Riddle’s email to a local professional network telling of the opening.
“I think I may have answered it within one minute of seeing the email,” Dr. Brody explained with a laugh. “Diversity issues are very important to me, and I’d heard so many good things about Dr. Stumblingbear and what she’s done, I wanted to explore that option.”
The behavioral health clinic is one of the tribal health services’ most frequently used programs, last year having approximately 8,400 office visits. With the addition of a second psychologist, more people will be reached while maintaining the CPN Health Services’ high quality of care.
“It is very exciting and I am thankful we are able to add to our clinical behavioral health team,” said CPN Behavioral Health Coordinator Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle. “Having another psychologist on board helps us to continue to expand our scope of services and treatments we can offer to help meet the needs of the people we serve.
Dr. Brody noted that her focus on diversity issues stems from her belief that equal rights, including treatment in the healthcare sector, are vital, especially to marginalized groups with a history of trauma.
“Dr. Brody comes to us from the VA with a strong skill set,” noted Dr. Stumblingbear-Riddle. “She will see all patients but with particular focus on treatments specific to health psychology and integrated care such as depression that impacts diabetes and insomnia and various forms of trauma exposure such as sexual assault and much more.”
Women’s issues, specifically with regards to reproductive and mental health, are something Dr. Brody is passionate about. While a term like “women’s issues” tends to link to contemporary constructs tied to the culture wars and the debate over abortion, she pointed out that the breadth of the issue is far wider.
“It’s so much more than that in terms of behavioral health because it involves helping women who are struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss or post-partum depression.”
Dr. Brody is originally from Oklahoma City, where she still resides, and is thrice a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She holds a BA in Psychology, ME in Community Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology.
While this is her first instance of working for a tribal health service, she is confident that her background and previous experiences as a psychologist and counselor will fit with the behavioral health program’s mission.
“I don’t think you can come into this work without knowing how to do trauma-informed care,” she said. “There are a lot of traumas people have experienced and that was one of the pulls for me, I enjoy doing trauma work.”
At Citizen Potawatomi Nation, which primarily serves all Native Americans living inside the tribe’s jurisdiction, Brody’s work will be focused on treating symptoms left by historical trauma.
“As part of my own cultural identity, there is a strong history of historical and cultural trauma, so that’s always been something that is near and dear to my heart. The impact of how trauma can be passed from generations.”
To learn more about services offered by the CPN Behavioral Health Program, please call (405) 214-5101.