The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) was originally founded in 1986 as the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (AATCHB). Established by the chairpersons and presidents of the 18 member tribes and tribal communities, GPTCHB sought to serve as a liaison between the Great Plains Area Indian Health Service (GPAIHS), formerly known as the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service (AAIHS), and the Great Plains tribes.
The initial funding in 1991 of the Northern Plains Healthy Start (NPHS) Program enabled GPTCHB to achieve non-for-profit status and come into existence.
Through the determined efforts and accomplishments of former Executive Director Carole Anne Heart, Rosebud Sioux, the health board expanded by securing funding for the Northern Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (NPTEC) in 2003.
Subsequent expansion of GPTCHB services unfolded under the leadership of Dr. Donald Warne, Oglala Sioux, a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard University Master of Public Health Program. Upon his departure as Executive Director, Warne maintained a commitment to support GPTCHB as its Policy Analyst.
The health care concerns in the Great Plains evolved with the arrival of health reform, leading to the need for reevaluation of service priorities provided by the health board. Jerilyn Church, current Chief Executive Officer, implemented the most comprehensive reorganization of the health board to date. Born and raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, Church graduated with honors from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and American Indian specialization and obtained her master’s degree in social work with a specialization in management in human services from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a full child welfare fellowship.
Please visit the CEO Biography page for more information on Jerilyn Church.
Today, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board continues to work toward reducing public health disparities and improving the health and wellness of the American Indian peoples who are members of the 18 tribal nations and communities we serve.