The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Shares Health
Health awareness and education are most effective when fostered over time within a community. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Southern California and the American Diabetes Association have just that kind of successful collaboration.
The ADA and San Manuel, an American Indian tribe near Highland, California, have worked together for nearly 10 years to help people in communities that face some difficult challenges due to diabetes. Adult American Indians have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes (15.9 percent) among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.
The ADA and San Manuel bring diabetes education and support to American Indian communities in a way that is culturally respectful and relevant to everyday life. The tribe has invited the ADA to bring its Awakening the Spirit: Pathway to Diabetes Prevention and Control® program to San Manuel events. To support the important research and education efforts of the Association, the tribe has walked the walk, participating in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes® fund-raising events. The tribe also has provided funding for outreach and staffing to focus on people in need.
Kelly Concho-Hayes, MEd, associate director of the ADA’s high-risk and health disparities department, knows well the benefits of this collaboration. A grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians brought her to her first job with the Association. She previously served as the ADA’s Native American outreach manager for Greater San Diego. “We are truly grateful for all the support that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has given to launch the Awakening the Spirit program in the greater San Diego area,” Concho-Hayes says.