IHS Blog: The Indian Health Service Division of Behavioral Health has awarded $600,000 through the Youth Regional Treatment Center (YRTC) Aftercare Program to the Cherokee Nation’s Jack Brown Center,  a tribal YRTC in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to support American Indian and Alaska Native youth to pursue and sustain safety, sobriety, and employability after release from a YRTC residential treatment program. The YRTC Aftercare Program will enhance our commitment and partnership with the Cherokee Nation to provide effective and responsive aftercare and recovery services to American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

The Jack Brown Center provides residential chemical dependency treatment for Native youth between the ages of 13-18 who are experiencing substance use problems. The center will use the funds to create a trauma-informed aftercare program for Native youth leaving residential substance use disorder treatment, including the design and mobilization of an Aftercare Service Network that builds recovery-ready communities that support youth in recovery. The program will create a culturally connected community of youth in recovery.

The IHS currently funds 13 Youth Regional Treatment Centers nationally. IHS operates seven of the YRTCs and contracts with tribes to operate six of the centers, including the Jack Brown Center. YRTCs address the ongoing issues of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders among American Indian and Alaska Native youth by providing a range of clinical services rooted in a culturally relevant, holistic model of care.

The IHS supports effective and responsive solutions for American Indian and Alaska Native youth behavioral health treatment requirements by administering safe and effective therapies to best manage sobriety and provide continued educational, vocational, and employment opportunities.

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

The YRTC Aftercare Program was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 as a pilot project to build an aftercare component for the YRTCs. The IHS supported two grantees in the pilot phase and evaluated the pilot project in FY 2022. The IHS has continued to receive funding support from Congress and is using the funds to initiate a five-year YRTC Aftercare Program starting in FY 2023.

JB Kinlacheeny, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is the public health advisor –alcohol and substance abuse national lead for the Indian Health Service. Mr. Kinlacheeny is responsible for providing leadership in the administration of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, which aims to reduce the incidence and prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse among American Indians and Alaska Natives.


Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online.