The Department of Health & Human Services announced the theme of this year’s National Native American Heritage Month yesterday – “Native Families Moving Ahead: Together We Strengthen Our Nations.” The focus is on continuing to build healthy families and communities.
At VIA we’re committed to furthering health literacy to help bridge healthcare disparities across all cultures and communities. Reading yesterday’s announcement, I was thrilled to see that IHS reported the Special Diabetes Program has done a tremendous job of fighting this disease by increasing awareness, preventive services and access to treatment in Tribal communities. Diabetes is one of the conditions where awareness and subsequent education and treatment can significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for the millions affected. Historically, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have been more likely to die from diabetes than other racial and ethnic groups. Getting the word out about community access for programs like this is an extremely important step in reaching the goal of healthy communities.
Read more here on Kathleen Sebelius’ statement regarding this year’s theme: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/11/20121101a.html
About the author: Karen Donovan is the VP of Healthcare for VIA. Her background encompasses working with stakeholders across a wide range of the spectrum, providing strategic solutions for health systems, providers, vendors and insurers in today’s ever evolving US healthcare delivery system. Read more from this author