Indian Health Service

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 In the race for herd immunity, New Mexico is being heralded around the country as an unlikely frontrunner. Over half of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. But when it comes to some demographics hit hardest by the virus, vaccination rates are falling short. The numbers continue to highlight what the pandemic put into sharp relief—structural racism interfering with public health efforts.

Denver Indian Health and Family Services

This is the second in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part one looks at the success of the rollout on rural reservations.

 

The Indian Health Service has delivered coronavirus vaccine doses to the most far-flung corners of the country. From remote villages in Alaska to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Indigenous Americans as young as 16 have had access to the shot for weeks.

Amanda Fehring

 

This is the first in a two-part series about the vaccine rollout in Indian Country. Part two looks at the challenges of vaccinating our region's urban Native population. 

 

Native Vaccination Success with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Mar 5, 2021
NIH Image Gallery from Bethesda, Maryland, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

As vaccinations roll out across the country, tribal nations are doing particularly well. Antonia Gonzales with New Mexico PBS recently spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci about efforts in Indian Country and what lessons the rest of the country might learn.


The confirmation of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday raises concerns about preserving access to abortion and other reproductive health care. A new survey of Indigenous people in New Mexico found a vast majority support reproductive freedom and peoples’ right to make health care decisions without government interference. Krystal Curley, who’s Diné and the director of Indigenous Life Ways, a nonprofit that works with communities impacted by uranium mining as well as violence against women. She says the report released this week is the largest known study of Native Americans’ views on reproductive health care.

Ed Williams / KUNM

As the U.S. prepared to detonate the first atomic bomb in New Mexico in the ’40s, the federal government sought uranium on Navajo land. Decades later, hundreds of mines still haven’t been contained, and the health impacts are severe and sometimes fatal. New research is showing some babies there are being born with the radioactive metal in their bodies. Chief Medical Officer of Navajo Area Indian Health Service Dr. Loretta Christensen spoke with KUNM about the study and what researchers are finding so far.

Rawpixel VIA Unsplash / Unsplash License

Among the federal agencies left unfunded by the partial government shutdown is the Indian Health Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Aaron Cantú, a staff reporter for the Santa Fe Reporter, has been trying to understand how that’s affecting Native American health care in northern New Mexico. 

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

The Indian Health Service—the federal agency tasked with providing health services to Native American communities—has long been the go-to health care provider for tribes in New Mexico and across the country.

But in recent years, that has started to change, and a growing number of tribes are deciding that managing their own clinics and behavioral health programs will help build healthier, more resilient communities.

Indian Health Service

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act is expected to bring in much needed dollars to the chronically underfunded Indian Health Service or IHS.  But tribal health experts say the main game changer in Indian country will be new health insurance exchanges.  For the first time ever, the IHS, a system traditionally open only to Native Americans, will be competing for non-Indian patients in order to survive. KUNM’s Tristan Ahtone reports.

Indian Health Service Could See Budget Increase

Apr 19, 2013

Obama’s proposed budget for Indian Health Services is up from FY 2012 by $124 million.. The White House’s focus on increased funding to IHS programs, it’s now up to congress to make a decision on the President’s budget.

Indian Health Service

Around 25-thousand Native Americans in New Mexico will become eligible for Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect next year.  The change translates to more money for the Indian Health Service. But as KUNM’s Poverty and Public Health Reporter Tristan Ahtone explains: in Albuquerque, Medicaid expansion will also force Native health providers to deal with something they’ve never faced before: competition from non-tribal health programs.

TRANSCRIPT:

A bill that would prohibit the mandatory enrollment of Native Americans in the states Medicaid managed care program, Centennial Care, has passed through the House Judiciary Committee unanimously.

Indian Health Service Prepares For Sequestration

Feb 15, 2013

With the possibility of sequestration two weeks away, the Indian Health Services says they could be facing large cuts to program funding. Those cuts could be disastrous for the Indian Health Service which is already dealing with a massively underfunded budget.