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HPOG Promising Practice: Cankdeska Cikana Community College–Education, Training, & Support Services; Partnership

Published: August 31, 2020
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Promising Practices

Fort Totten, ND

HPOG training in North Dakota bridges the gaps in generational care.

The Spirit Lake Reservation is located in rural North Dakota. The reservation has limited access to employment opportunities and quality healthcare putting residents at risk. Jobs usually come by way of the Tribally operated casino and resort or Tribal government social and education agencies. High school dropout rates are high; unemployment rates are even higher.

Access to quality healthcare is Tribally operated with options for enrolled tribal members to be referred to off reservation providers. The reservation has a large elder population who culturally prefer to remain in their home as opposed to being placed in a traditional nursing home facility. This leads to a high demand in certified home care services.

In early 2019, the Cankdeska Cikana Community College Next Steps program partnered with the Spirit Lake Employment and Training Center (ETC) to create a dual training program. The dual program provides youth interested in healthcare the opportunity for additional skill development and employment potential while enhancing the reservation’s quality of healthcare services for its elder population. The collaboration offers participants of Next Steps’ existing certified nursing assistant (CNA) training and Spirit Lake’s individual qualified service provider (QSP) program to complete either or both certifications at the same time.

Thanks to the dual training partnership, more of the reservation has access to the two training courses and additional supportive services. Next Steps and Spirit Lake ETC provide dual participants with Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) support services and more. The Next Steps program provides tuition, fees, and case management support for enrolled participants. They also cover the cost of books, equipment, uniforms, shoes and equipment necessary for CNA certification. Spirit Lake ETC provides on-site daycare services for dependent children of program participants, transportation, and access to the Native Employment Works program.

This collaborative dual certification program is providing hope and a pathway to a career in the growing healthcare sector for a vulnerable Tribal population. Equally important, the initiative has demonstrated an improvement in home healthcare for the elder population of the Spirit Lake Reservation, allowing them to maintain their dignity and remain in their homes in the twilight of their life.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: August 31, 2020