From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Our 2021 Tribal Community Report outlines the work we do with the tribes in Idaho

June 17, 2022
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

In our efforts to strengthen the health, safety, and independence of everyone who lives in Idaho, many divisions in the department work directly with the state’s five tribes to make sure they have access to the services and resources they need.

We recently created a new annual report called 2021 Tribal Community Report and have shared it with the tribes to help strengthen these partnerships.

In the past several years, the department has expanded opportunities to communicate and share ideas with the tribes. This translates into more collaborative solutions to sometimes challenging problems because there are more opportunities to work together.

We’ve also provided services and support to help influence the physical and mental health of tribal members.

One example of this work includes boosting the tribes’ education and awareness programs that help members quit commercial tobacco and vaping products. More than half of all tribal members have reported regularly smoking or chewing tobacco or vaping, all of which can be harmful. Another example includes providing funding and support for tribal efforts to curb substance use and overdoses.

DHW is also working to make sure tribal representatives are involved in the process that helps children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and their families. The Division of Family and Community Services strives to make sure tribes have access to resources and services they need to keep their families together.

More details are available in the report. I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

I hope you stay safe and healthy on this extended weekend. The department will be closed on Monday, in honor of the Juneteenth holiday.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.