In addition to higher case rates and more severe disease and death, during this pandemic, Native communities have suffered from increased food and water insecurity, a lack of PPE and household supplies, and intense social isolation that has led to fear, anxiety, depression and untold grief and trauma—whose lasting effects have yet to be realized.
Since March, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has been embedded with tribal organizations and the Indian Health Service in comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation strategies. We have learned important lessons about how to interpret data with tribal leaders to inform policies about lockdowns or re-openings. In addition, we have developed community-based outreach systems that pair contact-tracing with wrap-around services to help families quarantine and isolate safely - delivering water, food, medicines and hygiene kits directly to their homes.
As the pandemic continues, we must continue to give strong support to our well-skilled and courageous Native American workforce and find resources to support families to stay safe physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In response to this public health crisis, many individuals, foundations and corporations have made contributions to the Center for American Indian Health's COVID-19 Fund. We are tremendously grateful for every critical contribution.
While we address COVID-19, we are also working to meet the lasting family-based physical, behavioral and mental health needs of families through our core programs prior to the pandemic. And we are striving to expand our scholarship and training programs to enable more Native Americans to pursue careers in public health, so that in the future tribes will have the capacity and autonomy to mount their own culturally congruent health solutions.
Below please find more details on all of these efforts.
JHU Tax ID/EIN#: 52-0595110
Materials Development for Tribal Use
Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health is producing materials related to COVID-19 for tribes to distribute. Some materials can be customized with tribal name and local contact number. Read more.
Covid-19 Emergency Food, Water, and Household Supplies
As rural tribal communities grapple with COVID-19, our team is working to help contain the virus, protect families from infection, and get urgently needed food, cleaning supplies, and other materials to families in need. Read more.
Disease Prevention, Surveillance and Contact Tracing
Native Americans are the most vulnerable population in the U.S., with a history of being decimated by respiratory illnesses. Our Center has deployed over 40 technical specialists in infectious disease, mental health, behavioral health, training, and communications, as well as more than 200 boots on the ground—Native American health workers in their own communities serving courageously during this time. Read more.
Our Smallest Warriors, Our Strong Medicine: Overcoming Covid-19
This children’s storybook is a re-telling of My Hero is You, developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG). An intertribal workgroup convened to re-write this story and create illustrations that represent Indigenous peoples, values, and communities. The adapted story seeks to reach Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and portray a sense of communal efficacy, strength and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.