White Mountain Apache Tribe receives “Tribal Nation of the Year” award from Blue Cross Blue Shield

Commended for engaging in a public health partnership with Johns Hopkins University for more than 40 years

Infectious Disease Control



Media Contacts:
White Mountain Apache Tribe:
Jerry Gloshay jerrygloshayjr@wmat.us

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health: 
Rose Weeks rweeks@jhu.edu

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Awards White Mountain Apache Tribe and Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health with “Tribal Nation of the Year” Award for Health of White Mountain Apache peoples

The White Mountain Apache Tribe was awarded “Tribal Nation of the Year” in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ)’s second annual Get Fit. Don't Quit! Spotlight Awards. The award came with a $10,000 prize to continue healthy lifestyle promotion activities.

The White Mountain Apache Tribe was commended for engaging in a public health partnership with Johns Hopkins University for more than 40 years that has resulted in designing public health innovations to promote health and save lives among the White Mountain Apaches, with many solutions scaling to other communities in the U.S. and across the world. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona launched the Get Fit. Don't Quit! Spotlight Awards in 2018 to inspire Arizonans to live a healthier lifestyle through fun and engaging videos and tips on being active, eating better, and staying motivated. The 2020 awards were announced at a ceremony in downtown Phoenix on Monday, March 2 at 11 a.m.

Programs designed by the WMAT tribe in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health have evolved over the years to focus on the most immediate health concerns of the community. At the awards ceremony, BCBS leaders lauded several of the WMAT-JHU programs, including the Family Spirit early childhood home-visiting intervention. Also highlighted were sports-based youth development programs promoting fitness, nutrition, and reproductive health—including Native Vision, Respecting the Circle of Life, and the Arrowhead youth entrepreneurship program, which promotes behavioral health, education, and the start-up of youth-run businesses. 

WMAT Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, in photo at left, made the following statement about the award:

“Receiving this award is an important recognition of our partnership focusing on the health and well-being of our Apache people. Crucial elements of the partnership include trust, commitment, support, and respect for our culture. Johns Hopkins has helped our people—and millions around the world—and for that we are grateful. The prayers of our ancestors continue in motion.”

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Director Allison Barlow, PhD, in photo at left, made the following statement about the award:

“The White Mountain Apache peoples are at the forefront of public health science and impact. Their creativity and commitment to identifying and solving problems to promote health across the lifespan is producing solutions for Arizona, the nation, and the world.” 

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