Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA


Success Stories

 Healthy Living

Exercises and activities
Healthy Living supports preventative healthcare and other care providers working within tribal communities.
Elder participating in our Healthy Living service
We are fortunate to work with partners who work directly with homebound Elders.

In the PWNA service area through our Southwest Indian Relief Council (SWIRC) program, the main source of health care is Indian Health Service (I.H.S.), but it is grossly underfunded. A 2016 I.H.S. fact sheet indicates their per capita health care expenditure rests at $3,688 for Native Americans, whereas the health expenditure for the U.S. population is $9,523. In addition, there are just 500 Indian health facilities serving the 567 federally recognized tribes with 2.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native members.

As a nation, America recognizes the importance of accessible, quality health care, and for those of us residing in urban areas, a plethora of urgent care clinics, specialty physicians and full-service hospitals exist. The National Institute for Health Care Reform reports nearly 9,000 of these centers exist across the U.S., yet very few are within reach of tribal communities.

For the remote and geographically-isolated populations we serve, our Program Partners and others working directly with tribal members are the link connecting important information and resources to individuals challenged with scarce access to health facilities. For Elders living in these areas with limited access to hospitals and specialists, the challenge to stay healthy and nourished is vast. Because resources are limited to house Elders, many choose to continue living independently. Early detection and intervention is critical for disease prevention, and is especially critical in our rural communities.

Photo of Elder participating in our Healthy Living Service
Through the Healthy Living service, we support on average about 300 partners on nearly 30 reservations and 5 states.

We are fortunate to work with partners who work directly with homebound Elders. Community Health Representatives (CHRs) and Senior Centers/Elderly Nutrition Centers are key components in tribal communities to promote health and wellness.

With service spanning 45 years, the CHR program serves 250 tribes with 1400 para-professional health care providers providing outreach services. Elderly Nutrition Centers are also imbedded in many tribal communities. They offer both congregate and home delivered meals to their aging population.

Our most frequently requested service, Healthy Living, supports preventative healthcare and other care providers working within tribal communities. Healthy Living helps these Program Partners engage and motivate community members to learn more about preventing diseases and making healthy choices. Through this service we support on average about 300 partners on nearly 30 reservations and 5 states, who are offering health classes, conducting home visits and assisting people with appointments.

Thank you for helping to make this service possible!


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