United Health Foundation Awards $2 Million Grant to Native American Connections for Mobile Health Initiative

The all-new Native American Connections Mobile Health Initiative in partnership with United Health Foundation has already been providing services to individuals in NAC's care. The goal is for the initiative to travel to individuals, as opposed to individuals finding transportation to receive healthcare services.

Since 1972, the nonprofit Native American Connections (NAC) has been working to improve the health of tribal members living in the Phoenix area. The organization promotes healthy living for the betterment of Indigenous communities by providing affordable housing, healthcare and community development. Currently, NAC owns and operates 24 sites across metro Phoenix at which Indigenous community members can receive services.

To further improve the overall health and well-being of individuals under NAC’s care, the United Health Foundation awarded NAC a $2 million grant, which was utilized to create a mobile health van to provide healthcare to NAC clients where they are.

On April 23, representatives from NAC, the Phoenix City Council and the United Health Foundation gathered at NAC’s Encanto Pointe property for the official unveiling of the mobile health unit.

The vehicle is equipped with one hospital bed, a private restroom, a biohazard station for syringes and a space for one-on-one health consultations. It is accessible by wheelchair. The mobile health initiative also provides primary care wellness checkups and behavioral health services with a medical provider.

“Thank you to United Health Foundation for your generous support and commitment,” said NAC President and CEO Trula Breuninger. “With the new mobile health initiative, we are breaking down barriers and closing the gaps, ensuring that every person receives the comprehensive care they deserve.”

“Native American communities in Arizona face unique challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare services, including geographical isolation, lack of transportation and inefficient healthcare infrastructure,” said Phoenix City Council member Laura Pastor. Her speech highlighted the holistic and culturally competent care individuals will receive inside the mobile health unit. “Thank you to the tribal leaders, organizations and healthcare providers who have worked tirelessly to make this initiative a reality,” she added.

Following Pastor’s speech, Anne Yau, president of United Health Foundation, said a few words at the podium and shared her joy regarding the mobile health unit.

“We are so pleased to provide support,” Yau said. “We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best life, and that includes the ability for folks to receive high-quality healthcare where they are.”

She added that the three-year grant will establish healthcare, wellness checks and whole-person care. “This initiative will improve so many people’s health, including those here living on the [NAC’s] Encanto Pointe property,” she said.

The vice-chair of NAC, Dana Schmidt, provided closing remarks and thanked the executives, staff and board members of both United Health Foundation and Native American Connections for collaborating to pursue one unified goal. “This mobile health initiative will save a lot of lives,” said Schmidt.

If you or someone you know would like to begin receiving services from Native American Connections, they can be reached at (602) 254-3247, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Video by OAN News Reporter Juan Ysaguirre.

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