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Health Board Employee Selected for Prestigious Leadership Program

 RAPID CITY –Sarah Beare, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a five-year Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board employee, has been chosen to join this year’s Indigenous Public Health Leadership Program.

The Indigenous Public Health Leadership Program is a leadership training institute created by the National Network of Public Health Institutes. Those chosen are considered public health leaders working within a tribal health department or in an Indian Health Service/Tribal/Urban healthcare facility serving American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities.

“The Health Board is extremely grateful for Sarah’s contributions to the organization and the community. She is an emerging leader in the field of public health, and we are excited to see what she will accomplish with this opportunity,” said Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board CEO Jerilyn Church.

The program is 6-months long and provides training in core public health competencies, focusing on key issues impacting tribal communities. These topics include everything from mental health and resilience emergency preparedness to increased communication and collaboration amongst stakeholders.

Currently, Sarah is a Program Manager of a SAMHSA-funded Behavioral Health program at the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board in Rapid City, SD. In that capacity, Sarah works with community members struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her program is focused on healing using a holistic approach by incorporating the Lakota culture in the services provided.

The Where Are You (WAY) program has done many things, including partnering with community members to create Lakota Mental Health First Aid training, providing traditional healing and counseling services, and starting a ride service for patients who want access to behavioral health services.

Before becoming a Program Manager, she served as a Case Manager/Student Coach for students pursuing higher education in healthcare. Sarah is very passionate about helping her people and utilizing public health services to reduce inequities faced by Indigenous peoples.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree and has started pursuing a Master’s in Public Health.

 *Established in 1986, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board represents tribal communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The organization is overseen by the elected tribal leaders of 17- tribal entities in the area. Through public health practices and the formation of tribal partnerships, it works to improve the health of the American Indian peoples through health support, health care advocacy, and direct-patient care at the Oyate Health Center.