Rosemary Cree Medicine, BA is Director of Blackfeet Nation’s Tribal Health Department and an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for her outstanding public health leadership for the Blackfeet community, including her supervision of 14 health programs and her advocacy for several public health initiatives on the Blackfeet Reservation.
“I care about my reservation and have a passion to help those in need,” shares Rosemary. “I go above and beyond my duties because I want a healthy community.”
Rosemary and CHEER work closely on a few of the projects which Rosemary oversees or participates in. These include the Blackfeet Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), a Tribal Health project funded by the State of Montana which will propose a plan to improve the health of Blackfeet in areas identified in the data-rich Blackfeet Community Health Assessment (CHA). CHEER provided technical assistance for the CHA and is now doing so for the CHIP.
Rosemary is also taking a major leadership role in the Blackfeet Opioid Project, including monthly meetings with the Opioid Prevention Taskforce (OPT). CHEER facilitates the OPT, which is working towards establishing a medication assisted therapy (MAT) clinic on the Blackfeet Reservation. The Blackfeet Tribe, Tribal Health, the Indian Health Service Blackfeet Community Hospital, the Silent Warriors, and many other community groups, with CHEER’s technical assistance, aim to launch the clinic in the coming year at the Southern Peigan Health Center in Browning, Montana. Rosemary went to the State of Montana requesting funds to start the MAT clinic, attended a two-day training, and put together a budget for the clinic.
Breastfeeding is another initiative dear to Rosemary’s heart. During one of Blackfeet’s Health Social Services meetings, Rosemary proposed a Breastfeeding Resolution to expressly give women in Blackfeet the right to breastfeed in public without fear of legal retribution. The Blackfeet Tribal Council met on and approved the proposal, and it is now an official Resolution on the Blackfeet Reservation since August 2017. Rosemary is also a member of the Blackfeet Breastfeeding Coalition, serving as a Tribal Health liaison between the Coalition and the Tribe and offering meeting space at the Tribal Health conference room.
Lastly, Rosemary has a new, exciting role representing the Blackfeet people on the state level. Since December 2016, she is part of the State Health Assessment (SHA)/State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) group for Montana. The group meets every other month in Helena, Montana and through webinars; works on various projects; advises on implementation, participates in annual assessments; strengthens the public health care system; and advises on preventive health and health services.
Congratulations, Rosemary! You are a true Champion!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each week, we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the work they have done for CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research)/CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices).