New and upgraded health care facilities for Native Americans open in Arizona

Navajo Health Foundation. Supai Health Station

The Navajo Nation is one of the largest Native American reservations in the U.S. and delivers health services to nearly a quarter million people.

It also a medically underserved area, facing significant health disparities and lower life expectancy due to high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

That has begun to change for the better. Three new and upgraded health facilities opening in Arizona will provide Native Americans with better access to health care, and more are in the works.

  • The Supai Health Station is located on tribal lands at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Accessible only by helicopter, mule or on foot, the 12,700-square-foot facility provides space for primary care, dental, pharmacy and medication dispensing, lab, and radiology services.
  • Dilkon Medical Center, a new facility run by the Indian Health Service (IHS), offers 12 in-patient beds, as well as primary care, eye care, dental care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, behavioral health and support services.
  • Sage Memorial Hospital is scheduled to open a new 90,000-square-foot, 25-bed hospital in late May, 2024. The hospital and medical, dental and field clinics are operated by a private, nonprofit corporation, Navajo Health Foundation-Sage Memorial, and provide health care for about 23,000 people in the area.

Staffing remain an issue. To encourage people to work for the Navajo facilities, IHS is providing incentives such as loan repayment and scholarship programs to encourage people of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent to pursue health care careers.

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