2020 Intertribal Opioid Wellness Summit Offers Hope, Healing and Resiliency

Sandra Sulzer

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Tribal Community

The Utah State University Extension Tribal Opioid Resource Center in Roosevelt announces the 2020 Intertribal Opioid Wellness Summit: Hope, Healing and Resiliency July 28 through 31. The first-ever intertribal wellness summit offers tools to improve overall wellness, hope, coping strategies and opioid harm reduction education through a series of live, online community gatherings. Leading Native American experts will present on spiritual, mental, physical and emotional wellness, with the goal of strengthening hope, healing and resiliency during difficult times. The free summit offers tools and training for adults and teens from all walks of life, specifically those from rural and tribal communities. 

International wellness specialist Maria A. Trevizo, of the Gathering of Native Americans, is featured keynote speaker, and J. Carlos Rivera, co-founder and CEO of Generation Red Road, Inc., will host daily teen/youth sessions. Utah tribal community health and wellness professionals will host daily presentations. A talking circle/resource fair breakout session offers a variety of topics on wellness, prevention, treatment and recovery for people affected by opioid use disorders. Daily sessions include naloxone training, wellness presentations, “Youth Mentorship with Carlos” and “Chat with Maria.”

 Sandy Sulzer, director of USU’s Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement and co-founder of the USU Extension Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative, said the summit is the first of its kind to use an online platform to situate the medicine wheel at the center of recovery, resilience and coping during difficult times.

“Led by an exceptional team of national leaders in Native American health, we will provide skills, resources and support designed to reach some of our most remote communities while bringing everyone together in the spirit of healing,” she said.

The Tribal Opioid Resource Center was created in 2018 as an opioid harm and fatality reduction resource to serve the tribal communities throughout Utah. Located in the USU Extension office in Roosevelt, it is a unit of the Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative. Michelle C. Chapoose, Tribal Opioid Resource Center senior coordinator, serves rural Utah’s tribally affiliated members with opioid and naloxone education.

All registered Utah summit participants will receive a summit wellness box that includes presenter materials, wellness activities and community resources. To register for the Intertribal Opioid Wellness Summit, visit https://tinyurl.com/2020IntertribalSummit.

Additional programs provided by TROI, in conjunction with the Tribal Opioid Resource Center and the USU Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement, include a monthly harm reduction-focused podcast, @debunkedpod, stigma and harm reduction education for treatment professionals in rural counties, a community consortium that provides science-based harm reduction education and resources to rural residents, life skills/reintroduction classes for individuals in recovery and more.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and donations are welcome for support of the Tribal and Rural Opioid Initiative, Tribal Opioid Resource Center and for USU Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement programs. For more information about the programs currently available or to learn about program sponsorship opportunities, contact healthequity@aggies.usu.edu.

Media Contact: Sandra Sulzer, 435-797-2925, sandra.sulzer@usu.edu

Program Contact: Michelle Q. Chapoose, 435-722-1200, michelle.chapoose@usu.edu