Health | Opinion

André Cramblit: A new adventure at urban Indian health center






An aerial view of the Potawot Health Village, operated by the United Indian Health Services in Arcata, California. Photo by Eric Johnson

With a new job at the United Indian Health Services, an urban Indian health center in northern California, André Cramblit, a member of the Karuk Tribe, finds you can teach an old dog new tricks after spending 20 years at the Northern California Indian Development Council:
My time with NCIDC was very rewarding. As the Operations Director I oversaw the programs and services and helped develop new projects and grants to respond to the needs of the Native community. One of the programs I was most fortunate to work with was the Del Norte Indian Education Center that we ran in Crescent City. It served approximately 100 students and families each year. During the time I was involved with it the graduation rate in the school district turned around from 20% to 80%. This was accomplished by creating productive partnerships with the school district, Tribes, Title VII (now Title V) students and parents.

My new position is the Health Promotions and Education programs Manger for United Indian Health Services. This division is in the Community Health and Wellness department. I am in charge of a suicide prevention project, two tobacco cessation programs, the Teen Advisory Group, the Community, Outreach, Resource, and Education coalition and a harm reduction program. I also research potential new funding sources to bring on new grants, projects and programs.

This career change has been both very rewarding and challenging. The learning curve is steep for a variety of reasons. I have had to go from being a life-long Macintosh user to learning the quirks of a windows environment. I thought being involved with government grants and programs I was familiar with a wide range of acronyms but the medical world speaks a language unto itself. I am directly supervising a greater number of employees and enjoy working with them as well as a talented group of co-workers who are dedicated to the mission and vision of our clinic.

Read More:
André Cramblit: Old Dog, New Tricks; Yada, Yada, Yada (Indian Country Today 11/14)