Montana American Indian Women’s Health Coalition (MAIWHC)

MAIWHC History:

The Montana Cancer Control Programs (MCCP) established the American Indian Screening Initiative (AISI) in 2000 to increase the cancer screening of American Indian Women. As part of the AISI, the leadership of the MCCP (formerly the Breast and Cervical Health Program) initiated the Montana American Indian Women’s Health Coalition (MAIWHC), bringing together American Indian women representing Tribal Communities, Tribal Health Systems, Urban Health Programs and Urban Communities. MAIWHC is a grassroots coalition that was formed to assist the MCCP in recruitment and screening of American Indian women for breast and cervical cancer and has evolved into a coalition that addresses issues along the cancer continuum.

The MCCP has a liaison who specifically works with the American Indian population to support MAIWHC. MAIWHC meets annually and originally convened to address breast and cervical screening in American Indian women. MAIWHC now addresses the cancer continuum, and members are involved with the Montana Cancer Coalition and the Montana Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan implementation. Cross-culture meetings and trainings have take place to build trust and continually establish a productive working environment that is culturally competent and appropriate.

MAIWHC reaches its target audience of American Indian men and women through educational events, digital storytelling, and small media reflective of Montana’s tribal cultures. The MCCP regional contractors partner with MAIWHC members and events to reduce duplication of efforts to reach the American Indian target population. The MCCP contractors provide information and enrollment forms for the direct screening services available to American Indian men and women through the MCCP.

To view the current MAIWHC 5-year Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, please click on the ‘American Indian Partners’ tab.

For more information on MAIWHC and how to get involved, please contact MCCP Health Educator Nikki Campbell: ncampbell@mt.gov or by phone: 406-444-7858