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Northwest Washington Indian Health Board



2023 Age Friendly Public Health Initiative 

The Northwest Washington Indian Health Board (NWWIHB) will augment the health care services and public health services to the Native people in the Pacific Northwest. We will analyze community needs, develop programs, and deliver services in a spirit of collaboration; based on available funds, and Tribal desires. The needs of our clients define the goals for our work.

Washington State Department of Health and Trust for America’s Health funding opportunity (mini-grant) and initially no tribes applied.  In February of 2022, the idea for an organization to apply as a consortium, the NWWIHB agreed to apply and the DOH contract was awarded in May of 2022.

The Age Friendly Public Health System aims to align the 4 M’s Framework to the older adults:

  • What Matters, the goals and preferences of older persons health outcomes

  • Medication, the use of age friendly medication according to What Matters

  • Mentation, Preventing, identifying and managing conditions like dementia, depression and delirium across settings of care

  • Mobility, older adults are moving safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters

Project Goal:

Our goal is to enhance public health efforts to improve the health and well-being of older adults in tribal communities.

This initiative will utilize the 6C’s to facilitate this transformation, including Collecting relevant and robust data on older adults to identify needs and assets of communities that will provide information for the development of interventions. We will complement existing programs and communicate important public health information to promote and support older adult health and well-being.  We will also Connect and Convene stakeholders to address health and social needs of older adults.

American Indian Alaskan Native born today have a life expectancy that is 5.5 years less than the U.S. all races population (73.0 years to 78.5 years, respectively) AIAN continue to show higher mortality rates than other populations (Chronic liver disease, diabetes, unintentional injuries).  Every year, more than one million Americans suffer from slips, trips, and falls.  Older Adult Profile for Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties: Residents >65 made accounted for 40% of the Emergency Room Visits and approximately 40% were potentially avoidable. Physical functioning among people ages 65 and older 40% have difficulty with mobility.

The NWWIHB is seeking Tribal support and permission to develop and conduct a survey to assess the needs of older adults those 55 years and older in your tribal community. The data collected will be shared with and owned by the respective Tribe. 


Resources for Aging & Dementia: 

  1. NW Regional Council: NWRC (Northwest Regional Council) (

  2. Center for Disease Control & Prevention: Road Map for Indian Country | Alzheimer's Disease and Healthy Aging | CDC

  3. International Association for Indigenous Aging: Home - International Association for Indigenous Aging (

  4. Alzheimer's Association: Native Americans and Alzheimer's | Alzheimer's Association

  5. Eldercare Locator: Eldercare Locator (

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Northwest Washington Indian Health Board


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