The Navajo Nation has the highest rate of healthcare provider vacancies within the Indian Health Service—a critical gap that you are helping to fill by investing in the Indigenous-led fellowship program of our trusted partner, the HEAL Initiative.
Less than 0.4% physicians in this country are Indigenous. To increase the number of Indigenous providers serving Indigenous communities, the HEAL Initiative hosts a fellowship on the Navajo Nation that encourages and equips doctors, nurses, and providers—many of whom are Indigenous—to serve underserved communities. Out of all the Navajo health professionals that have gone through the fellowship, 33% have gone on to take permanent positions on the Navajo Nation.
In 2020, amid record COVID-19 cases, we invested $50,000 in the HEAL Initiative. In the face of those COVID surges, Navajo providers and the Navajo government cared for their community with remarkable leadership, and HEAL steadfastly supported their incredible wisdom and commitment.
Since then, the HEAL Initiative has:
•Brought on Indigenous leadership—HEAL Alumni Dr. Adriann Begay (pictured in the first photo) and Dr. Cristina Rivera Carpenter (pictured on the left in the second photo)—to expand programs, and mentor fellows,
•Hosted workshops to build the advocacy, structural competency, and leadership skills of fellows
The impact has been robust: “[Together Rising’s grant] has impacted the lives of innumerable patients and caregivers in Navajo Nation,” said our partner.
In honor of Native American Heritage Day on Friday, we are proud to announce an additional $107,250 investment in the HEAL Initiative to continue their vital work by:
•Doubling the number of Indigenous fellows; and
•Continuing to provide critical peer mentorship to retain healthcare providers
To date, you have invested $630,963.65 to support Navajo Nation families and communities. Navajo leaders are caring for their people with the sensitivity and understanding that only their lived experience and representation can provide.
Thank you for investing in Together Rising so we can invest in them.