Surgeon General Visits Arizona Tribal Community

The partnership between the Hualapai Tribe and the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been acknowledged by Indian Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General as a model of a successful tribe-university collaboration that has had a measureable impact on community health.
Tucson, Ariz.—Nearly 1,700 residents of Peach Springs, AZ, the residential and business center of the Hualapai Tribe, hosted the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin on September 10, 2010. The visit was prompted by the recommendation of Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, director of Indian Health Service, to learn about the sustained collaborative health promotion efforts of the Hualapai Tribe, led by Sandra Irwin, MPH, and the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health, led by Nicolette Teufel-Shone, PhD, associate professor in the health promotion sciences division.
Roubideaux is a former assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the UA College of Public Health.
While in Peach Springs, Benjamin visited the local web-based Kidstar Radio Station, EPCH The Peach. Run by Hualapai youth between the ages of 8-25, the program is part of a collaborative Hualapai Tribe-UA Zuckerman College of Public Health research project funded by the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona’s Native American Research Center for Health (a National Institutes of Health and Indian Health Service initiative).
Before leaving the radio station, Benjamin was interviewed by a young reporter about the role and activities of the Surgeon General. She later addressed more than 400 community members at a luncheon and congratulated the Tribe on its efforts to improve community health. During the event, Benjamin also learned about the Healthy Heart Program, another Hualapai Tribe-UA Zuckerman College of Public Health collaborative venture, by listening to community members share their individual stories of transformation by following the program.