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Tribal Health welcomes new public health educator

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News from Tribal Health

ST. IGNATIUS — Introducing Frances Gates, Tribal Health’s new public health educator:


Bachelors of Science in Health Promotion and Education

What are the primary duties of your new position?

My primary duties include forming relationships with Tribal Health community stakeholders to improve and expand outreach efforts within the Public Health Division and to meet with community stakeholders to identify community / population educational needs.

Where did you receive your education? 

I received my education at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, with additional training as a CPR / First Aid Instructor through the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. I received further training in community health through internships in South Africa in community health, through the CSKT tribes as a Health Assistant as an undergraduate, and by working as an intern with Valley Aids Information Network in Corvallis, Oregon. My professional training in case management was acquired through the State of Oregon in Indian Child Welfare (ICWA), through the Head Start program, and in School Health through Multnomah Education Service District.

What is your prior experience relevant to your new position? 

My experience includes providing case management support in the Native American community in Portland, Oregon as an ICWA case manager and as a Family Service Provider with a Native American Indian Head Start. I have been a CPR / First Aid Instructor teaching life-saving skills for over 12 years and recently worked in School Health for two years providing first aid and emergency intervention to children and staff in Portland public schools.

Are you a Tribal Member?


Where are you from?

I grew up in Portland, Oregon during winter months and spent summer months with my Native American Indian grandparents residing in the Flathead Indian reservation.

Why did you choose a career in health?

I chose a career in public health because I wanted to make a positive impact in my Native American community and felt that improving health outcomes as a medical or nurse provider would be the best way to accomplish these goals.  I became interested in social services and since it was closely linked with Community Health, I felt this would help me serve people best through education, outreach and case management.  I enjoy teaching and found public health a perfect fit for my skills and interests with helping people and communities. My primary focus has been to improve health within underserved populations.

What are you excited about in your new position?

This new position lays groundwork for CSKT Tribal Public Health Education outreach and I will have an opportunity to participate in this effort. I am looking forward to meeting our tribal community, learning from Tribal Members about their health needs, and learning more about local tribal cultures. I am looking forward to integrating my skills to help families reach their health goals and to improve community health outcomes.

What activities and/or hobbies do you pursue in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy swimming, spending time with friends and family attending local events, enjoying the lake, attending exercise classes, hiking, reading and crafts.

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