Wellness Around Traditional Community Health (WATCH)

WATCH is designed to improve the health and quality of life for children ages 3 to 5 years living in American Indian communities and focuses on health, wellness, and community. Our program provides resources to our 3Ps: Parents, Preschool teachers, and Providers at the clinics. The resources we offer provide education on healthy eating practices as well as physical activity that will lower children’s risk of obesity and other long-term diseases.


To develop, implement and evaluate a culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder intervention for tribal early childcare, education programs and tribal clinics to:

  • Create healthy spaces for young children to learn and grow
  • Increase communication and relationships with our 3 Ps: Parents, Preschool teachers, and Providers at the Clinics
  • Reduce BMI of preschool children
  • Increase healthy behaviors of families


  1. Develop a culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder program with tribal clinics and Early Care and Education (ECE) to improve obesity prevention behaviors in American Indian preschool children in the Wyandotte Nation and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Cheyenne and Arapaho communities.
  2. Evaluate the feasibility and ability to implement this culturally relevant, multi-stakeholder program with tribal clinics and ECEs.


WATCH provides resources and materials to improve health with each of our stakeholders by allowing the tribal community to pick their areas of focus:

Preschool Teachers receive the OrganWise Guys®(OWG) curriculum, lesson plans, Foods of the Month education from the OWG curriculum, and training on responsive feeding. Each center will receive best practice menu modification recommendations.

PROVIDERS in the CLINICS receive OWG education materials to display in waiting room, OWG videos to play in waiting area, OWG patient education and health trackers, and training topics with Dr. Ashley Weedn includes obesity sensitivity, clinic efficiency, and motivational interviewing.

PARENTS are encouraged to participate in Family WATCH nights that utilizes the National Institutes of Health’s EatPlayGrow™ curriculum. We have developed a parent toolkit meant to increase nutrition and physical activity in the home.

WATCH has many components and resources for our stakeholders, they will have the option to select and modify the components available to them and implement based on the wants and needs of their community.

Year 1: September 2018- May 2019, we partnered with Wyandotte Nation, Eastern Shawnee, and Bearskin Clinic in Northeastern Oklahoma. This year we utilized the OWG curriculum in the ECEs during the 16-week Spring semester and provided the clinic with materials to display and play an OWG video in their waiting room. We learned to effective communication varies with tribal leadership and being responsive and flexible to the individual community needs are more important. Currently, the Eastern Shawnee Learning Center is still utilizing the curriculum and materials provided from WATCH.

Year 2, October 2019-April 2020, WATCH expanded into the Cheyenne and Arapaho community in western Oklahoma. This expansion was the first time implementing in multiple head starts, multiple clinics, and with increased parent engagement. Learning from year 1, Teachers were given a modified curriculum with 8 lessons over 16 weeks, providers were given materials for all 3 clinics, and our staff developed and presented family WATCH nights for parents at the Concho and Canton Head Starts. COVID-19 restrictions created barriers and limited community engagement, but mid-way through implementation we were able to provide two WATCH nights and teachers enjoyed the curriculum given. In addition, WATCH provided 138 take home Parent toolkits to help families remain physically active and gave insight on healthy nutrition practices.

As we head into year 3 of implementation we hope to expand into another tribal community and continue to serve the Wyandotte, Eastern Shawnee, and Cheyenne Arapahoe Tribes.


WATCH is a program collaboration of Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, Oklahoma Tribal Epidemiology Center, and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. WATCH is funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) TECHPHI grant. WATCH creates consistent healthy messaging for American Indian children in our communities and helps build a bridge in communication by implementing the OWG curriculum at the ECEs and in the tribal pediatric clinics.

Project Coordinator – Denny MedicineBird
Phone: (405) 816-1248
Fax: (405) 652-9205
Email: dmedicinebird@spthb.org

Public Health Specialist – Francesca Toledo-Alexander
Phone: (405) 823-1280
Fax: (405) 652-9205
Email: ftoledo-alexander@spthb.org