Community Health Assessment & Tribal Health

Sep 26, 2018 | Alyson Jordan

Navajo County is in the process of capturing an equitable assessment of our community’s health needs. To assist us in the development of a cohesive, county wide Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), we have partnered with many agencies, organizations and community members, within and outside of the health care industry. Our goal is to accurately reflect the health needs and gaps in the communities we serve and this includes Tribal Lands.

Navajo county consists of 50 percent White (alone), 46 percent Native American, 2 percent two or more races, 1 percent Black, while the remainder consist of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. 11 percent considers themselves to be of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. 66 percent of the county’s land is shared Indian reservation land with the Navajo, Hopi, and White Mountain Apache tribes. In regard to the social and cultural context, it seems as though trust and tensions between Caucasians and Native Americans is an ongoing phenomenon, perhaps as a result of historical trauma as well as current issues. We have very limited access to health data specific to our tribal communities. If we are truly going to have a cohesive Community Health Assessment (CHA), we must include the tribal population. This will strengthen our Community Health Improvement Plan and develop priorities and strategies inclusive of our tribal communities.

Navajo County Public Health Services District is currently working on developing and obtaining a resolution for the collection of tribal data to assess the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) of Tribal communities on the reservation. This data will be shared with the Tribal council and included in our Community Health Assessment (CHA) data update in 2020. This data will also allow us to build in priorities and strategies in our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that are specific to our tribal populations, and allow us to partner in address the SDOH issues.

We are currently in the process and will update this as we meet our objectives.


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