When working with Native families I have sometimes been overwhelmed by trying to be there for them.The mental health course has helped me learn about how poverty affects mental health and provided me with information to help guide my families.The curriculum is unique because we use data related to American Indian health, and the faculty are Native. I thought public health was nurses and doctors—I didn’t know about epidemiology. It’s neat to have been able to learn about different career paths. There is a lot out there that I can do.
A mother of two and native of Zia Pueblo in New Mexico, Gail Salas hadn’t heard of Johns Hopkins before she received a note stating that she could apply to participate in a Summer Institute on American Indian Health organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. She had been working with the Native American Professional Parent Resources group as a home visitor for young parents, urging them to go back to school.
“When an opportunity hits you take it,” Ms. Salas recalls telling her families. “So when I heard about the Center’s training program I couldn’t turn away from the opportunity—I had to practice what I preached!”
This past summer Gail completed her Public Health Training Certificate for American Indian Health Professionals from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and plans to continue serving her community.