The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health partnered with Chinle Indian Health Service Public Health and Health Promotion Programming to create a school-based obesity and diabetes prevention initiative for local youth. The partnership was created to address the lack of comprehensive and sustainable obesity and diabetes prevention programs in and around Chinle, AZ. Through an iterative process, the partners extensively adapted and expanded the Together on Diabetes program, renamed “Yéigo”, and are currently piloting it in Chinle and Piñon Unified School Districts.
About the Yéigo Initiative!
Yéigo promotes healthy living through three integrated programs. The initiative targets middle school students through the one-on-one Yéigo My Health Program, targets high school students through the group-based Yéigo Ambassador Program and targets middle and high school students through the school-wide Yéigo Assembly Program. The programs are delivered by trained Indian Health Service Health Technicians.
- Yéigo My Health: Following a structured curriculum developed by Johns Hopkins, Indian Health Service Health Technicians conduct one-on-one lessons during the school year. The curriculum provides youth with knowledge and skills related to nutrition, physical activity, and psychosocial wellness.
- Yéigo Leadership: High School students participate in healthy living and empowerment lessons. Through these classes they explore health topics and develop skills to become ambassadors of healthy living. They also develop and implement a “Healthy Living Campaign” at their school.
- Yéigo Assemblies: Quarterly, Indian Health Service Health Technicians conduct a one-hour interactive presentation in Chinle and Piñon middle and high schools. The curriculum corresponds with topics reviewed in Yéigo My Health.
The Center for American Indian Health’s Role
Through a formative phase, the Center for American Indian Health identified pilot schools for implementation and determined key program components. Guided by these and initiative partners, the Center developed Yéigo program procedures and curricula, trained and certified Health Technicians to deliver the program and continue to provide technical and programmatic support to Chinle Indian Health Service.
Funders and replication partners
This project has been supported by the Chinle Indian Health Service Unit and Navajo Area Indian Health Service.