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American Indian / Alaska Native Task Force

The American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Task Force leads efforts aimed at enhancing suicide prevention in AI/AN communities. Priority areas identified by the task force include the development of a national research agenda that focuses on suicide prevention in AI/AN communities. Accomplishments to date include supporting the establishment of the National American Indian and Alaska Native Hope for Life (Suicide Prevention Awareness) Day, celebrated every year on September 10th, and developing an online toolkit of related resources.

Task Force Members

Co-Leads

  • Beverly Cotton, DNP, RN, Acting Director, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (Public Sector)    
  • Debrah McBride, Acting Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Indian Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior (Public Sector)

Members

  • CDR Sean K. Bennett, LCSW, Public Health Advisor and National Lead, Zero Suicide Initiative, Division of Behavioral Health, Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Colbie Caughlan, MPH, Suicide Prevention Project Manager, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Durell Cooper, RISE Outreach Specialist, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
  • Pamela End of Horn, Suicide Prevention Consultant, Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (proxy for Dr. Beverly Cotton)
  • Clark Flatt, President, The Jason Foundation
  • Kimberly T. Fowler, PhD, Director of Technical Assistance and Research, National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • Mercedes Garcia, National Tiwahe Coordinator, Office of the Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Indian Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior (proxy for Ms. Debrah McBride)    
  • Laurel Iron Cloud, Criminal Law Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Aimee C. Johnson, LCSW, Program Specialist, Public Private Partnerships (Detail), VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Teresa LaFromboise, PhD, Chair, Native American Studies, Stanford University Graduate School of Education
  • Amber Richardson, Senior Program Associate, Center for Native American Youth, The Aspen Institute
  • Stephen Valliere, Public Health Project Coordinator, National Indian Health Board
  • Courtney Wheeler, Public Health Project Coordinator, National Indian Health Board
  • Lisa Wexler, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Community Health Education, Department of Health Promotion and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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