Recently, Better Health Together had the pleasure of having CEO of The NATIVE Project, Toni Lodge, give a presentation to our Board of Directors about Urban Indian Healthcare and the services that The NATIVE Project offers.
Established in 1989, The NATIVE Project has been vital in providing healthcare to the community for 30 years. As a non-profit 501c(3), Federally Qualified Health Care Center, and an IHS Urban Indian Health Services Contract and Community Health 330 Clinic, their mission is to provide quality services that promote wellness and balance of mind, body, and spirit for individuals, staff, families, and communities. Focusing on “Sacred Hospitality”, The NATIVE Project has helped provide services for all people who are seeking medical, dental, behavioral health, or wellness and prevention services.
“Sacred Hospitality is an intentionally created practice where our compassion meets the needs of our patients, staff, and community; where they are welcomed, cherished, and respected as human beings; where stories are shared and valued; and where healing of the body, mind, and spirit can happen.”
One common misconception that some might have about The NATIVE Project, is that they only serve the American Indian/Alaskan Native populations. While their area of expertise might be Indian Health, Toni reiterated the fact that they are here to serve all. In 2018 alone they had 6,500 patients. This however created a problem, as the ideal capacity is 5,700 patients. The need is there for a new building, and one that they are hoping to eventually fund.
One of the standout points during her presentation was highlighting the top Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Diagnoses that Native people face in our community. Toni would go on to elaborate of on some of the challenges of integration of Medical and Behavioral Health while continuing to educate some of our board members on some of the care coordination processes that they use. The NATIVE Project has also implemented programs for their youth such as the Healthy Heart Powwow and India Youth Summer Camp, knowing that preventative healthcare starts when you are young.
We can’t thank Toni enough for her presentation and look forward to hearing from her again. To continue and learn more about The NATIVE Project and all that they’re doing click here.