Kendall Ray Brune, PhD, MBA, LNHA, FACHCA

While working for Dr. Stan Ingman at the Center for Aging Studies, at the University of Missouri-Columbia I served as a Research Associate on a grant centered on “Culture Change, replicating a program called the “Eden Alternative”. Dr. Ingman, the Center and the Project Life Board had received funds from Lieutenant Governor Rodger Wilson to support the Eden Alternative work, resulting in a book publication (The Eden Alternative).

My role as a licensed healthcare administrator was to develop a new senior care campus, called Ashland Healthcare. This facility had a contract with the state of Missouri and Department Mental Health. Ashland Healthcare in Ashland, Missouri was charged to care for individuals with chronic and long-term mental healthcare diagnosis. The Eden alternative program created a very biodiverse living environment, including growing our own plants, raising our own animals, and finally having intergenerational Child Care Center within the campus community. Eden Alternative has been extremely successful and engaged and over 3,000 communities. I was part of the research team that developed the certification process of healthcare persons working within the Post-Acute Care industry. Having family ties to Indian Country, this last model of care, integrating the entire community and Elders within the care and housing of our seniors, was naturally aligned with Native Ways of Knowing. (http://www.edenalt.org/)

In 2009, Dr. Ingman challenged me to create a National Training chapter in the retirement Housing Industry centered on culture change, and naturopathic ways of care. I wrote a chapter for the National Retired Housing Certification Program, based out of the Leading Age Organization. (https://www.leadingage.org/) This program started the basis of my research on a second doctorate in Native ways of Aging. Under this work, I have worked with the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, and now with the Spokane tribe of Indians.

In 2016, I was part of incubating a veteran’s organization called Arise Veterans Foundation. (http://ariseveteranfoundation.org/) We have a contract with Southwest Airlines to repurpose their leather from receipts of the airplane. The Native American tribes particularly loved this program, as leather was a natural craft material that they used and there are some projects. The elders that were in there 17 nationally-known facilities have all gravitated to participate in this program.

In 2018, Indian Health Services contracted with me to assess and evaluate the Mental and Behavioral Health programs offered throughout Indian Country. Indian Health Services also extended this grant to include proposing “Best Practice Models” delivered in the United States but are not affiliated with Indian Health Services.

My personal and professional caring, healthcare administrator model of care has built a strong relationship with the Senior Administrative Directors of Indian Health Services. I have worked or networked with 38 tribes. The inter-connectiveness or affiliations of these Tribes create a network of 131 Nations, located throughout the United States.

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