Jerilyn Church is the Chief Executive Officer of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. Church joined GPTCHB in 2012, ushering in an organizational restructuring to meet the health-related needs of the tribal nations the organization serves through the provision of technical assistance, policy analysis and advocacy, as well as acting as a liaison between the health board and Indian Health Service to help identify and meet the needs of GPTCHB constituents.
Born and raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, one of the reservations served by GPTCHB, Church obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work with an emphasis in American Indian studies from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. From there, Church pursued her master’s degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving a full fellowship in child welfare with an emphasis in human services management.
Upon completion of her education, Church became the Executive Director for the American Indian Health and Family Services center in Southeast Michigan, which provided behavioral health, social services, health education and youth programming to an estimated 57,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives. Under her leadership, the organization was able to triple its budget and double its staff to further expand and meet the needs of those it served.