The purpose of this project is to partner with tribes and travel to community events, health fairs, and schools in Oklahoma and provide preventative health care and education to American Indian children and adults. The Caring Van project seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce chronic diseases in American Indian communities. Strengthen partnerships with state, local and tribal communities.  Turning lessons learned into best practices while reaching individuals and families where prevention healthcare is limited with the assistance of the Caring Van.

  1. Activity Advances
  • Increased Caring Van Health events attendance from 18 events in 2015 to 24 events in 2016.
  • Increased preventative health screenings aboard the Caring Van, 2015 to 2016 by an overall total of 61%.
  • Added additional tribal partners for health events and screenings.
  • Applied and received a $4000.00 from the Oklahoma Caring Foundation/Healthy Kids Healthy Families-Oral Health grant. This grant has allowed us to purchase toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss for children as well as healthy snacks.
  • Offer first-aid aboard the Caring Van if there is not one available at Caring Van events. Offer cool environment on the Caring Van to sit and rest if needed. High blood pressure checks, water for relief of heat stress, juice and fruit for diabetics until medical staff arrives.
  1. CDC site Visit
    • Prepared and presented Power Point presentation regarding Caring Van activities and accomplishments to the CDC officers during their site visit.
    • Conducted Question & Answer offered at this meeting.
    • Gave on-site tour of the Caring Van.
  2. Trainings
  • Completed in-service HIV & Hepatitis C training through the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
  • Attended HIV/STD Counseling, Testing & Referral Linkage to Care Training with the Oklahoma State Prevention Programs Manager. These trainings allowed the staff to work with medical staff and help with screenings on the van. In which increase the number of screenings aboard the Caring Van.

The Caring Van mobile unit has allowed the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board staff to reach out to as many American Indian communities and tribes in Oklahoma and provide them with health screenings and education. Whom might not have otherwise had this service, due to situations like transportation or conflicting clinic hours and parent work schedules. For example, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is in Perkins, Oklahoma. We first partnered with them in 2015 at their Tribal Health Fair, Cimarron Casino for their Employee Health Fair, City of Perkins and the Red Bud Assisted Living Center. All of these events helped us kick off our Flu vaccine campaign. This campaign has since been a huge success with the Iowa Tribe. Since then, we have been back several times and have vaccinated the tribal members and the city of Perkins for two years. The Iowa Tribe has made an impact with us, as they are indeed a tribe that wants to take care of all their tribal members.

  • Increased services and outreach to tribal communities.
  • Continued education and promotion that allows us to better utilize the Caring Van.

The Caring Van was first awarded to SPTHB in 2015.

Southern Plains Tribal Health Board
Phone: (405) 652-9200
Fax: (405) 840-7052