Contact: Ned Johnson at

The National Indian Health Board celebrates the 2023 Heroes in Health

ANCHORAGE, AK - May 4, 2023 - Each year during the National Tribal Health Conference, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) hosts an evening to honor and recognize outstanding individuals, programs, and organizations from across Indian Country. Their service and selfless work have resulted in major contributions to improving American Indian and Alaska Native health.

The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Valerie Nurr’araluk Davidson, Yup’ik, an enrolled Tribal citizen of the Orutsararmiut Traditional Native Council in Bethel, and President and CEO of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. NIHB presented the Outstanding Service Awards at the 2023 NIHB Heroes in Health Awards Gala at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center. NIHB recognized several individuals from across Indian Country in Area and Regional Impact, National Impact, Youth Leadership, and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Jake Whitecrow Award.

Jake Whitecrow Awardee:

  • Alida Montiel  (Pascua Yaqui Tribe), a long-time advocate for American Indian/Alaska Native rights, land, culture, and Tribal Sovereignty.

Youth Leadership Awardee:

Kathleen Beltran (Southeastern Pomo and Lake Miwok California Native of the Koi People of Lower Lake Rancheria and Lake Miwok People of Middletown Rancheria), a professional at Lake County Tribal Health Consortium

National Impact Awardees:

  • Joshua Franks (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior), Indian Health Service
  • Angela Michaud (Huna Tlingit)
  • Katy Kozhimannil (Anishinaabe Descendant)
  • Shannon Zullo (Navajo)
  • Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee)

Area/Regional Impact Awardees:

  • Charles Akers
  • Opioid Overdose Team- BBAHC (Curyung)
  • Belin Marcus (Tewa- Ohka Owingeh)
  • Tribal PRAMS (Navajo)
  • Brandi Meyer
  • St Croix Tribal Health Center (St Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin)
  • Danielle Antelope (Blackfeet)
  • Dale Four Bear (Fort Peck Tribes)
  • John D Green (Elk Valley Rancheria)
  • Native Tobacco Project
  • Hailey Wade (Catawba Indian Nation)
  • Cedric Woods (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina)
  • Shawnell Damon (Navajo)
  • Michael Jensen
  • Ashley Byfield (Cherokee Nation)
  • Amanda Chisum-Price (Choctaw)
  • Stacy Briscoe
  • San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (San Carlos Apache)
  • Marie Natrall-Ackles (Canadian First Nations: Squamish/Northern Tutchine)
  • Ann Penn-Charles (Quileute)
  • Dr. Felina Cordova-Marks (Hopi Tribe)
  • Tohono O'odham Vaccination Clinic (Tohono O'odham)


Thank you to the Outstanding Service Awards at the Heroes in Health Awards Gala sponsor AARP.

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