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City discusses goals for IHS grant

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Expand the outreach of preventing ALCOHOL-RELATED deaths

The prevention of alcohol-­related deaths is a main focus of a $1.5 million grant to the City of Gallup.

The grant comes from the Indian Health Service Office of Grants Management. Councilors listened to City Procurement Specialist Debra Martinez Oct. 8 as she talked about the different areas that would benefit from the funding.

Martinez told the City Council the money will support expanded and enhanced social detox, treatment, transportation and case management services. The funding will also cover the salary of one full-time employee along with benefits.

This is the third year the city has been awarded these funds, according to Mayor Jackie McKinney.

Martinez said about $1.26 million of the grant funding has been designated for the Administration of Social Detox and Expanded Shelter and Treatment Services. The contract is effective from September 2019 to September 2020.

Dist. 2 Councilor Allan Landavazo asked what plans are in place to increase the awareness of the city’s services to combat alcohol related deaths, especially with winter approaching.

“We have a new intake coordinator at [Na’ Nizhoozhi Center, Inc.] and she’s good at spreading the word,” Martinez said. “There’s a health fair at Gallup Indian Medical Center. We met with some programs like Hozho to let them know our shelter is open.”

Dist. 4 Councilor Fran Palochak mentioned a flyer distributed by Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services in 2018 that suggested people call Metro Dispatch or 911 if they needed a ride to the shelter. The flyer was part of the hospital’s assistance program “One Exposure Death is Too Many.”

“I thought it was great when I saw that flyer last year, and I thought, ‘I hope they have that all over town again’ because if someone’s cold, they can see one of those flyers and call,” Palochak said.

Lastly, $80,000 will be designated for the Administration of Evaluation Services, as part of a contract that will last until October 2020 with Sindy Sacoman, of SBS Consulting in Albuquerque.

All new programs require an evaluation as part of fulfilling the grant requirements, Martinez said.

“I love the work Sacoman does, because she provides you with details, pictures, graphs,” Palochak said. “We know more about what we’re doing with Detox because of her data collection. She paints the entire picture from beginning to end.”

McKinney also voiced his appreciation for Sacoman’s work, equating her to an efficient computer with the data she is given and then presents to the City of Gallup.

“The information is only as good as what’s being fed in,” he said.

All three items were approved with a 5–0 vote.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent