Since it’s presidential proclamation in 1990, the U.S. has recognized November as Native American Heritage Month1 where we celebrate the traditions, languages, and cultural contributions of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.
Goodside Health is proud to serve over a million students through our school partnerships, including Texas, which is home to over 148,000 American Indian and Alaska Natives2.
Historically, Native Americans have faced health disparities likely stemming from disproportionate poverty, education, discrimination, cultural differences, and a lack of access to nearby quality care3. Those who live on or near reservations and rural areas may have to travel far to access a hospital or clinic to receive care.
Due to a lack of access to care and other factors, Native Americans have a life expectancy that is over 5 years lower compared to the average life expectancyibid. As well as having higher mortality rates for several preventable illnesses like chronic liver disease, diabetes, and chronic lower respiratory diseases4.
Adequate funding to lessen health disparities in Native American communities is essential to achieve health equity5. A few examples to aide:
- Building health centers closer to remote reservations and rural areas
- More diversity in the healthcare workforce to prevent unintended bias and help with language barriers
- Proper funding to chronically underfunded Indian Education schools
To learn more about Native American health disparities and how you can help, here are a few 501(c)3 non-profit organizations:
- Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX)
- National Council of Urban Indian Health (Nationwide)
Goodside Health is committed to serving patients by providing appropriate, quality care that considers the cultural and ethnic backgrounds, lived experiences, and values of every individual. We understand that:
Culturally Competent care starts by acknowledging that every racial and ethnic group as well as every person is inherently unique.
The way that someone receives, processes, and reacts in a healthcare setting is both rooted in their culture and their own lived experience.
‘What is important to you?’ and ‘How can we be helpful?’ are always appropriate questions for the patient and family.
Patients and partners trust Goodside Care to care for their families because of our expertise as well as our capacity to adjust recommendations to best meet the patient’s and family’s life circumstances.
Goodside Health is proud to serve a growing number of increasingly diverse communities through our school-based and virtual care services as well as across our Urgent Care for Kids clinics.
Stay tuned to our Good News page as we celebrate important cultural and diversity observances throughout 2023.
About Goodside Health
Goodside Health is advancing the delivery of pediatric care by partnering with communities to provide access to telehealth, mental health, and well-care services at school, at home, and in the clinic. Relentless advocates for expanding access to care and promoting health equity, Goodside Health leverages a Whole-Child Approach to care and lives our mission of closing gaps in children’s healthcare through innovation and execution. To learn more about Goodside Health, please visit www.goodsidehealth.com.
About National Native American Heritage Month. (n.d.). The Library of Congress.
Population American Indian or Alaska Native Alone. 2021. Timelines Explorer – Data Commons | United States Census Bureau.
Disparities: Fact Sheets. 2019. Indian Health Service – The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Smith, Mary. Native Americans: A Crisis in Health Equity. 2023. American Bar Association.
American Indian Health Disparities. (n.d.). NICOA – National Indian Council on Aging, Inc.