Role of Hospitals: Sanford Health

Native American Community Outreach (NACO)logo of buffalo skull with ceremonial feathers on horns

Sanford Health is working together with tribal nations to ensure that Native Americans in the North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota communities it serves have access to quality health care.

The Native American Community Outreach (NACO) initiative at Sanford Health is designed to address health disparities, improve health care and engage tribal leaders on health issues that matter. NACO prioritizes four areas:

  • Patient care management, which includes bringing health services “close to home” for Native American patients and providing the best care and spiritual services during a hospital stay.
  • Tribal community engagement, which focuses on building and strengthening trust by identifying and supporting tribal community events; offering long-term, affordable health insurance to tribal entities; and planning a tribal health conference that addresses current health care challenges, opportunities, policies and partnerships. 
  • Operations, which seeks innovative ways to improve health care such as establishing a dedicated internal team and an advisory committee; creating an endowment fund; and providing educational opportunities in diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency. 
  • Workforce development, to improve connections with tribal colleges and local universities, strengthen provider recruitment programs and focus on hiring tribal members.

Resources on the Role of Hospitals