Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye
with U.S. Congressman Tom OHalleran
Published August 25, 2017
TUBA CITY, ARIZONA To gain firsthand accounts
of concerns in areas of specialized health care services, expanded
and improved broadband coverage, and housing needs for health care
staff, Congressman Tom OHalleran joined President Russell Begaye in
touring two facilities in Tuba City on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
These visits are not part of a listening tour, said President
Begaye. We set up the visits to establish communication between the
facilities, departments, congressional representation and myself,
so that we can address these issues at a higher level.
The congressman toured the Tuba City Regional Health Care
Corporation (TCRHCC) and met with TCRHCC CEO Lynette Bonar who said
the facilitys senior leadership is comprised of 70 percent Native
Americans, primarily Navajo.
Bonar would like to see health care service improve throughout
the community through health education.
We do more than just primary care, she said. We also do public
health and environmental care.
The CEO said TCRHCC receives referrals from Hopi Health Care,
Kayenta Health Center and the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care
Facility. According to Bonar, if TCRHCC werent in place, a lot of
patients would have to travel further south for health care.
The Flagstaff Medical Center cannot absorb the overflow of
patients from the Navajo Nation, she said. If we didnt take the 140
patients referred, those patients would have gone south. We capture
this funding. In 2015, TCRHCCC received 371 inpatient admission
from these areas.
For TCRHCC, an Indian Health Service funding agreement covers 33
percent of their budget, third-party reimbursements cover 65
percent and grants make up the final two percent.
Bonar sees the need for fiber optic line to be put in to
increase reliable intranet connections within the health care
facility. Faster and more reliable intranet connection would
contribute to improved efficiency, greater training opportunities
and advancements in telemedicine.
Through Navajo Tribal Utility Authority this will cost $2
million dollars, she said.
The CEO advocated for a specialized treatment facility