Health Status among American Indian and Alaska Natives
Grand Canyon University: NRS-429V
April 19th, 2105
Indian American/Alaska Native
Indian American/Alaska Natives are one of the minority groups that struggle daily for improvement in cultural status, providing for their families, and living a healthy life. The percentage of Indian American/Alaska Natives who lacked health insurance in 2013 was 2.6% (CDC Feb 3rd, 2015). This paper will discuss the Indian American/Alaska Natives current health status, health promotion among this diverse minority group, and how this group relates to health disparities. Lastly, this paper will discuss three levels of health prevention that is likely to be the most effective given the unique needs of the Indian American/Alaska Native minority group. Health promotion of the Indian American/Alaska Natives
It is said that in 2013, 26.9% of Indian/Alaskan Americans lacked health insurance. There were 14 states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residence, of these states the highest percentage of American Indian and Alaska native population were Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Montana (CDC, Feb 3rd, 2015). According to the CDC (2015) the projected population for the AI/ANs by 2060 is estimated to be 11.2 million, constituting 2.7% of the U.S. population.
“The AI/AN have a unique relationship with the federal government due to historic
conflict and subsequent treaties. Tribes exist as sovereign entities, but federally
recognized tribes are entitled to health and educational services provided by the federal
government” (CDC, 2015). More than half AI/ANs do not permanently reside on a reservation, leaving a great majority of people limited to the benefits of the IHS services. The National Indian Health Board, (NIHB, 2015) a non-profit organization, provides a variety of services to Indian minority, Area Health Boards, federal agencies, and private foundations. The board continually represents the minority group. Along with opening networking opportunities with other large health care agencies to help engage their support on Indian health care issues. Health Status of Indian American/Alaska Natives
One way to define the health status of the Indian American/Alaska natives is to consider their culture, social economics, and sociopolitical barriers; along with race, ethnicity, and education. According to the CDC, some health disparities the IA/ANs face today are cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic liver disease. In comparing the IA/ANs to the non-IA/ANs white population, IA/ANs have a higher rate of mortality in cancer than any other population. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among the AI/ANs. Smoking was slightly higher among AI/ANs than those among Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (CDC, 2015). And this trend keeps increasing among women of reproductive age in the Indian American- Alaska Native population, more so than white American women of the same reproductive age.
Social economics also plays a role in the health status of the IA/ANs. Demographics, culture, and education define what socioeconomics the Indian American/Alaska Natives are categorized into. For example, low class, middle class, high class economics. The difficulties for equal employment and educational opportunities is key to pointing out these problems. The Leadership conference states, that as of 2004, thegraduation rate for American Indian high school students was less than 50 percent, and Native people were twice as likely as whites to have less than a 9th grade education. How is a person of a minority group able to provide health care and health maintenance to their family, if one can never increase or better themselves in a job that is unstable and low paying? Poverty, decreased access to healthcare, and low educational levels hinder the environmental growth for Native American children (TLC, 2015)....
References: Artiga. S., Arguello. R., Duckett. P. (Oct. 7th, 2103). Health coverage and care for American I Indians and Alaska natives. Retrieved from
http://kff.org/disparities-policy/issue- brief/health-coverage-and-care-for-american indians-and-alaska-natives/
National Indian Health Board (January 19th, 2015). Retrieved from http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs190/1110714960954/archive/1119922673743.html
Potter, P., Perry Griffin, A. Fundamentals of Nursing. (2005) 6th edition. Mosby Elsevier.
The leadership conference: Socioeconomic Disparities & Civic Participation. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.civilrights.org/indigenous/disparities/
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