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Indian Health Service

Picture of Dana Ferguson
The stories are horrendous: babies born in hospital lobbies, doctors needlessly amputating limbs, and dying patients diverted from emergency rooms.
Picture of Debra Krol
In Indian Country, generational poverty, poor schools and a lack of health care all contribute to chronically high rates of stress during childhood.
Picture of Susan  Abram

The Affordable Care Act is stirring up confusion and anger among the patients who visit a Los Angeles clinic dedicated to serving urban-based Native Americans. That's because President Barack Obama's reform has raised a painful question: which tribes get free health care and which have to pay?

Picture of Cindy Uken

A mom recounts the story of how she and her grandchildren witnessed the suicide of her son. “I was hoping there wouldn’t be too much damage," she said. "We tried to sit him up so he didn’t choke. Then I reached over and felt his pulse. I knew he was gone."

Picture of Allie  Hostler

Journalist Allie Hostler examines the devastating impact of drug and alcohol addiction on the Hoopa Valley Tribe in California.

Picture of Allie  Hostler

Journalists Allie Hostler and Jacob Simas examine how people on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation are dealing with rampant methamphetamine addiction.

Picture of Mary Pember

The National Library of Medicine plans an exhibit of Native American healing practices this fall. In preparation, its physician-director met and questioned nine renowned Indian medicine men in Bismark, ND, a rare encounter.

Picture of Lisa Jones

The construction of a dam near an Indian reservation on the Missouri River forced residents to less fertile land and put an end to their farming habits. Since then, American Indians have experienced a lack of nutrition, leading to diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

Picture of Megan Chao

This racial group includes any of the original peoples of North, South and Central America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. The five leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, diabetes and chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. Native Americans suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, infant mortality, mental health problems and substance abuse.

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