Messengers for Health allows healthcare providers and community members the opportunity to be aware of each other's unique cultural backgrounds in order to develop a relationship of understanding, acceptance, and trust.
Messengers for Health works in coordination with Big Horn Valley Health Center and Indian Health Services (IHS) to ensure high quality health care to Crow people. Provider partners are interested in learning about the Crow community and culture, in delivering high quality health care to the community, and in being a bridge builder between health professionals and the Crow community.
Colleges and Universities
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The Administrative Office for Messengers for Health is located in Little Big Horn College. This location allows easy community access as well as serving as an educational resource for students right on their campus.
Montana State University's impactful relationship with Messengers began in 1996 with a dialogue between members of the Apsaalooke Nation and a Montana State University faculty member who were invested in health equity. They jointly developed Messsengers for Health to study the effectiveness of utilizing community women to deliver education and encourage Crow women to receive cancer screenings and to partner with the Indian Health Service to provide high quality care to tribal members. They received two research grants from the American Cancer Society in 2001 and 2005.
In 2016, Messengers expanded their commuity services through a new project with MSU. Baaniilaa Project is designed to study Chronic Illness and Self-Care Management for Crow people. Learn more...
A primary goal of the program is to increase understanding and respect between providers and community members and ultimately to more open and effective communication between providers and patients and improved health of the Crow people.
As Crow women become more educated about their health, they feel more empowered and comfortable about scheduling appointments and speaking with medical professionals.