American Indian Advocacy
Aida Winona Strom, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, (Sisseton South Dakota), is the American Indian Patient Advocate. Strom is available for the direct advocacy for American Indian patients, which includes providing emotional and spiritual support for both patient and visiting family members by assisting with arrangements for American Indian Spiritual leaders to meet with families; maintaining communication with the families regarding their patient’s status; providing clarification regarding medical terminology and systems to families and outside American Indian organizations; advocating for the patient/family in resolving complaints/concerns; and collaborating with Social Workers and Chaplaincy regarding referrals for American Indian patients to appropriate American Indian community resources.
Additionally, she is developing an ongoing curriculum for Hennepin Healthcare staff regarding the cultural and spiritual customs of American Indian people to provide understanding and to assist in the development of a safe environment in which they can practice their beliefs. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has contributed financially to Social Services to assist American Indian patients for several years and the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Committee acts as a community support group.
Strom is a graduate of Carleton College and has been working in the Twin Cities American Indian community for several years in the social service field and active with the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis and the Minnesota Indian Women's’ Sexual Assault Coalition.