The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded one of three, nationwide, federal grants to Parents Reaching Out (NM) in partnership with Raising Special Kids (AZ), both well-established Family-to-Family Health Information Center Centers in New Mexico and Arizona.
The four year grant award provides funding for Project CARES (Cultivating American Indian Resource Expansion in the Southwest), a multi-state collaboration with the focus to work in and with tribal communities to address health inequities and the reality that Native American families often have to navigate multi-state and multi-system entities in order to receive health care services for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).
Collectively, the area of Arizona and New Mexico is home to 41 tribal entities comprised of pueblos, reservations and Native Americans living in urban areas representing approximately 515,000 individuals. Furthermore, geographic isolation and the rural nature of many Native American communities in Arizona and New Mexico place an additional burden upon families who often have to travel hundreds of miles in order to access services within the 234,000 square miles that comprise both states.
“We are incredibly honored for this opportunity, in partnership with Parents Reaching Out, to strengthen health information services in Native American communities in the Southwest” – Christopher Tiffany, Executive Director, Raising Special Kids
Parents Reaching Out and Raising Special Kids are parent-led nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services, at no charge, to families of children with disabilities up to age 26. By leveraging the expertise of both organizations, the project is intended to provide opportunities for family and community gatherings, resource sharing and conferences that transcend state lines in order to promote good treatment decisions, cost effectiveness and improved health outcomes for Native American Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN).