Community Health Representatives

Krystal Koop (Makah)

Do you have a passion for connecting people with Native community-oriented primary health care services?

The Community Health Representative (CHR) Program is a unique concept for providing health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. CHRs have demonstrated how they assist and connect with the community, and their work has become essential to the spectrum of Native community-oriented primary health care services. CHRs are great advocates, in part, because they come from the communities they serve and have tribal cultural competence. Their dedicated work has assisted many to meet their healthcare needs. The health promotion and disease prevention efforts that CHRs provide have also helped people from the community improve and maintain their health. By providing health education and reducing hospital readmissions, CHRs have contributed to lowering mortality rates. The demand for CHRs continues to grow.

Learn how to become a community health representative


Educational Resources for Community Health Representatives

IHS National CHR Program training and education

The Indian Health Service (IHS) provides free web-based training for Community Health Representatives. CHRs are required to successfully complete the CHR web-based modules within one year of employment. More Information


Savvy Caregiver In Indian Country Trainer’s Manual

Part 1: Introduction to Indian Country

Part 2: Class Sessions


Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum 

Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum (NECC) (Download at NRCNAA website) is a 265-page training resource for families and caregivers serving rural American Indian elders, made available through the National Resource Center on Native American Aging, Center for Rural Health, University of North Dakota. The NECC has been designed as a tool to assist caregivers who have the responsibility of caring for their elders. The NECC curriculum focuses on topics that have been identified by elders and caregivers in rural Tribal communities as being useful in the provision of community‐based elder‐care. 


Methodology Report on Dementia Fact Sheet Development (I-CAARE): "Developing Educational Materials for Community Based Care: Methodology Report"

Developing Educational Materials for Community Based Care: Methodology Report (Download from NIH ADORE) describes the process used to develop the content for culturally relevant health information fact sheets targeted to Indigenous communities. The process was executed by a partnership of the Indigenous Cognition & Aging Awareness Research Exchange, in partnership with the First Nations and Inuit Health Home and Community Care (FNIH HCC) program. The methodology research culminated in a series on dementia published by the Canadian organization, Indigenous Cognition & Aging Awareness Research Exchange (I-CAARE). The 9-page report was published in 2017.


American-Indian Community Partnership Slide Presentation (Stanford University)

This 16-slide presentation (Download at NIH ADORE) introduces current information on what is known about dementia and the American-Indian population while making the point that much more research is needed. It discusses the Stanford University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center's partnerships with the Latino community and seeks similar partnerships with the American Indian community. 


Dementia Diagnosis Fact Sheet for Indigenous People (I-CAARE) 

"What to Expect After a Diagnosis of Dementia: An Indigenous Persons' Guide" (Download at NIH ADORE) is a fact sheet to help patients and caregivers understand a dementia diagnosis and the path ahead. The fact sheet includes a list of resources and a blank space for local organizations to add their own contact information. It is designed in 8 pages so that it can be printed both on regular printer paper or as a booklet. This fact sheet is part of a series on dementia and published by the Canadian organization, Indigenous Cognition & Aging Awareness Research Exchange (I-CAARE).  


Useful Links

  • Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The provision of health services to members of federally-recognized tribes grew out of the special government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. This relationship, established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people, and its goal is to raise their health status to the highest possible level. The IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 573 federally recognized tribes in 37 states.


  • Find Indian Health Service on Facebook


  • The National Indian Council On Aging, Inc. (NICOA), a non-profit organization, was founded in 1976 by members of the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association that called for a national organization focused on aging American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. 



  • International Association on Indigenous Aging: IA2 works to identify and implement the most effective solutions to the most significant issues facing American Indians, Alaska Natives and indigenous people around the globe. The organization helps people and programs figure out how to competently and effectively access and serve Native American elders.  They work to advance both knowledge and practice, and promote engagement at all levels – national, regional, and local, acknowledging the history, rights, cultures, and value of indigenous people throughout their lifespans.


Calendar of Events

This calendar includes Indigenous Aging events (blue) & free community talks and programs for people living with memory loss offered by the UW ADRC/Memory and Brain Wellness Center (golden).