Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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FavianFavian Kennedy, MSW, Executive Director

Favian Kennedy graduated with a double major in sociology and psychology from Black Hills State University in 2001, and received a Masters degree from Howard University in macro social work in 2003.


Favian's primary research interests include: socio-cultural dimensions of health; elucidating population health and risk factors; social stratification, and population-based health surveillance. Favian has served as the principal investigator and provided technical support for a number of surveillance studies including the American Indian Adult Tobacco Survey (AI-ATS), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and Community Health and Wellbeing Survey (CHWS) which have been implemented across more than a dozen tribes across the Northern Plains. Favian has provided epidemiological assistance to the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Services (AA-IHS) by: 1. completing needs assessments related to clinic capacity for health promotion/disease prevention; and 2. conducting secondary analysis of clinic data to identify prevalence of select health conditions among the AA-IHS user population. Favian has been a member of research teams that investigated expert opinion regard child welfare legislation, explored protective factors associated with cultural maintenance, and elucidated traditional Lakota protocol and oral history surrounding differences in traditional and commercial tobacco among American Indian populations.

Technical Assistance

Favian has experience conducting needs and asset assessments of health care and education systems in order to promote congruency with best practice models. Favian is committed to the development of initiatives that synchronize cultural competence with evidence-based practice. Favian continues to lead efforts to plan, implement, and evaluate training and technical assistance to both professionals and community members. Through evaluation support, Favian assists the mission driven organization to maximize its effectiveness and demonstrate the benefits of programs and services.

KendraKendra Red Shirt, Research Assistant

Kendra Fast Horse - Red Shirt is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and a proud graduate of United Tribes Technical College located in Bismarck, North Dakota. She has experience leading large data collection efforts for health surveillance and monitoring.She currently serves as a Research Assistant Level II for the Health Education and Promotion Council and is responsible for overseeing the quality and management of data.

Kendra is familiar with a number of statistical software packages and is the co-author of several health surveillance reports. She is particularly skilled at making epidemiological data useful for tribal leadership and developing strategies to communicate study results back to the community.

Kobi Ebert, Project CoordinatorKobi

Kobi Ebert is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and came directly to the Health Education and Promotion Council (HEAPC) from the Keepseagle Lawsuit, where she helped Native American farmers and ranchers file their claim in the landmark lawsuit against the USDA.

Kobi earned certification as a Respiratory Therapist from Minot Hospital and is an honorary graduate of the University of Missouri –Columbia School of Journalism. She worked for many years as a news reporter at KOTA-TV and the Rapid City Journal.

Kobi is the Coordinator and a Prevention Specialist for the Takoja Niwicayapi Program which incorporates the 12 Oyate Values as a guide to help young adults - 18-25 – avoid binge and problem drinking. She also oversees the day to day operation of the Oyate Community Center.

LindaLinda M. (Sandy) White Eyes, Administrative Assistant

Linda is from the Pine Ridge Reservation and a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe. Linda Graduated from Pius II High School in Milwaukee WI, continued her three year college education at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE; which she aspires to finish her B.S. in Human Services. Linda completed a certificate of attendance and completion from Oglala Lakota College for Drug and Alcohol workshop.
Linda is a contributing member to the community; she works for the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) and is an Office Assistant for the Health Education Promotion Council. Linda aides in many other daily tasks for the Oyate Center. She helps with afternoon meals, snacks and various other tasks.
Linda has been drug and alcohol free for 23 years and has been advocating for alcohol and drug free environments.

Trivia D Afraid of Lightning-Randle, Resource and Development Coordinator, Administrative AssistantTrivia

Trivia is of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Miniconju Band of Lakota in Eagle Butte, S.D. She was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, where she received her secondary education and obtained a B.A. in Literature and Communication, which gives her the skills and expertise of Public Speaking, Program Development, Community Outreach, Volunteer Management, Fundraising, Research, Event Planning, Policy, Strategic Planning and Leadership.
Trivia is now focusing on a Master’s of Science in Strategic Leadership (MSSL); which has lead Trivia to Health Education Promotion Council to focus her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organization to build a well-organized, quality system of care for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people.
Her life experiences have taught her that there is a need in this world for cultural awareness, understanding, compassion and truth. Trivia lives each day expressing these parameters in the hopes of one day touching people’s lives.


Noella Folkes, RN, IBCLC Maternal Child Health Consultant

Noella Folkes has more than 30 years of nursing experience with specialization in maternal child health. Noella has provided direct patient services within the hospital setting (labor and delivery, post partum, nursery) as well as for social services agencies (Women Infant and Children - WIC).
Noella is absolutely passionate about assisting mothers with breastfeeding in order to improve breastfeeding success. Noella is a committed advocate for systems and environmental changes that support breastfeeding and has worked with the Health Education and Promotion Council to deliver high quality breastfeeding education to women in Western South Dakota.

Lois Wuestewald, BSW Licensed Social Worker/Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

Lois Wuestewald arrived at the Health Education and Promotion Council as a Social Work Intern in the spring of 2013. After successfully obtaining a Bachelors of Social Work from Presentation College and state licensing, Lois transitioned to position of fulltime Resident Social Worker and Prevention Specialist.

Lois provides a variety of services through HEAPC’s Center for Family Services including, employment assistance, treatment planning and case management, clinical evaluations, crisis intervention, prevention education, and external service coordination.

When not at her desk, Lois spends her time developing relationships with people within the community.

Mary Moberg, Head Cook

Mary Moberg has volunteered her time, love, and culinary expertise to the Oyate Community Center’s  youth programs for more than a year. Mary is dedicated to providing youth that participate in the Oyate Community Center with well balanced nutrition essential for growing bodies.

Mary works with her co-workers, volunteers, and external agencies to ensure that meals are ready, available, and meet the highest quality standards. Mary is a member of the Reverb Church, which has come along side the Health Education and Promotion Council to implement programming for the Oyate Community Center.
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