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May 2018

AIH&S Medical Director, Dr. Bradley Hope, Receives Honor From Chumash Elder

This month, at American Indian Health & Services in Santa Barbara, Medical Director Dr. Bradley Hope was honored by a local Chumash elder. It is always a proud moment when staff at one of the Urban Indian Health Programs we represent receives acknowledgement for their hard work in bringing quality care to the American Indian community. Thank you, Dr. Hope!

From the AIH&S Newsletter: ‘Our Medical Director, Dr. Hope, was honored with a Native American Blanket by Chumash elder, Miss Regina Lopez. Each side of the blanket was stitched with one of the four colors of the medicine wheel and the stitching around the blanket symbolizes a powerful song that was provided by Creator to Miss Regina, protecting Dr. Hope. Each colored tie symbolizes Miss Regina’s gratitude for Dr. Hope and the care he has given her over many years. In the center of the blanket is one special colorful tie that represents Miss Regina’s spirit, so that whenever Dr. Hope is nestled in the blanket, Miss Regina’s spirit will always be with Dr. Hope, protecting him.

“I am proudly honoring Dr. Hope with an Indian blanket. I highly respect and love him. He’s intelligent and compassionate for everything. I am so glad he is my doctor, as he has taken excellent care of me for many years. This blanket is handmade. Every black, white, red, and yellow stitch represent the colors of the medicine wheel. Around the blanket is a powerful song for him, which was given to me by the Creator. As you can see, there are many assorted colors of ties and yarn throughout the blanket—they represent a love of Dr. Hope and all his family members. I also put a different colored one on the back of the blanket that represent my spirit. Dr. Hope can wrap himself in it and can hear my chanting of prayers and songs.”‘
— Miss Regina.

SNAHC Receives Award to Grow Child Abuse Treatment Among Native American/Alaskan Native Youth

On September 13th, Sacramento Native American Health Center received a $225,000 grant from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to enhance the treatment of Native American/Alaska Native (AIAN) child victims of abuse.

SNAHC will provide comprehensive services to minors who are or have been victims of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and bullying. Nicole Bozzo, SNAHC’s Behavioral Health Manager said that “child abuse is a difficult but important topic to address; however, culturally appropriate youth mental health services are always necessary,” and that “this funding will allow us to link vulnerable community members for comprehensive services in a health home environment where they can begin their healing process.”

This award arrives in the wake of two others received by SNAHC and aimed at preventing behavioral health issues among Native youth. Together, over $2.4 million has ben secured for prevention and treatment of mental health suicide, and substance use over the next five years.

As a member of CCUIH, SNAHC has been an exemplary case of a Native American clinic providing the culturally competent and effective services needed by this specific community. SNAHC has made great strides to pioneer innovative services and remain dedicated to providing for the AIAN community at large.

Fresno American Indian Health Project Awarded Native Connections Grant

The Fresno American Indian Health Project (FAIHP) has been awarded a grant of $1 million over the next five years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the Native Connections project a cooperative agreement for tribal behavioral health services.

As a member of CCUIH, we are excited to see FAIHP’s capacity to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of its community increase over the course of this grant. This award is not only a boon to FAIHP, but also for the Native American community across the state of California.

This grant will allow FAIHP to implement interventions that directly address suicide ideation and risk among Native American transitional-aged youth in Fresno. The first year of the project will be dedicated to affirming the most appropriate and culturally relevant interventions with the help of the local community, youth and SAMHSA’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center. This will include a system analysis, community needs assessment, and community readiness assessment focused on the needs and experiences of transitional-aged Native American youth in Fresno.

The goals of the project include reducing suicidal behavior among Native youth, reducing the impact of mental health and substance abuse disorders on the community through culturally responsive interventions to respond to the impact of trauma, and to support transitioning youth into adulthood.

“Our community advisory board and youth council identified the need for more support for transitional-aged Native American youth and made this a priority for our agency and community in early 2017. I am pleased that we are able to bring more resources to the community to begin to better meet this important need,” Said Jennifer Ruiz, the Chief Executive Officer of FAIHP.

Join us for the California Urban Indian Health Conference

The Annual California Urban Indian Health Conference will be held on Friday, June 23rd and Saturday, June 24th at the Hyatt Regency (Capitol View Room), Sacramento. CCUIH will host a dinner reception on Friday night.

Pre Conference Event: Urban Indian Health Day at the Capitol, Thursday, June 22nd.

Hotel Room Block Reservations

Reservations at the Hyatt for June 21-24 can be made at this web address:



Click here to view the Conference Agenda


Steps for Registration:

There are two registrations for this conference. If you plan to attend both the Day at the Capitol on Thursday June 22nd, as well as the Friday and Saturday on sessions on June 23rd and 24th, please complete both registrations. 

1.) To register for the Urban Indian Health Day at the Capitol, please fill out the registration form below. Scheduled time for this event is yet to be finalized:

2.) To register for the Urban Indian Health Conference sessions on June 23rd and 24th, please fill out the registration form below:


NAHC Celebrates Grand Opening of New Health Center

Native American Health Center (NAHC) has announced their plans for a celebration of their new facility expansion on Thursday, February 2nd. The three-story building, a newly renovated furniture store, represents not only a physical expansion of NAHC’s capacity to deliver care to its community members, but an expansion of their institutional commitment to Oakland as well.

Native American Health Center has been a dedicated servant of the Native communities in the Bay Area since 1972, offering medical, dental, behavioral health, diabetes and substance abuse prevention, as well as HIV/HCV care coordination and prevention. This expansion will allow NAHC to immediately enhance its administrative capacity, while also allow it to look forward to the eventual expansion of its clinical capacity and increase its already profound impact on the Oakland community.

The celebration will take place at 2950 International Boulevard between 3pm and 7pm and includes both an open house and reception with guest speakers, Native American dance and drumming performances, and unique Native American-inspired fusion cuisine courtesy of Wahpepah’s Kitchen, the first Native American woman-owned catering business in California.


SNAHC receives Accreditation from AAAHC

On August 20th, 2016, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) awarded Sacramento Native American Health Center (SNAHC) with its accreditation. SNAHC also received Patient Centered Health Home (PCHH) Certification in addition to their accreditation. Accreditation distinguishes this community health center from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. As a member of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health, SNAHC embodies the high standards of quality care that we strive to promote.

Since 2007, when SNAHC received its Federally Qualified Health Home (FQHC) status, it has treated patients in the Sacramento area, bringing high quality, compassionate, and culturally relevant health care to the Sacramento area. Their medical department consists of four providers specializing in the diagnosis and evaluation of both acute and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer. Their behavioral health department, consisting of counselors, doctors, and therapists, offers integrated behavioral health services that combine substance abuse and mental health treatment with traditional Native American practices.

AAAHC requires ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation to undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors – physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

“We believe our patients deserve the absolute best,” stated Britta Guerrero, CEO “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

In order to earn accreditation, Sacramento Native American Health Center, as a health care organization, had to demonstrate its ability to meet or exceed nationally-recognized AAAHC standards of health care and sufficiently adhere to its own policies, procedures, processes and their desired patient outcomes.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 5,000 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accredits a variety of organizations including, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, endoscopy centers, student health centers, military health care clinics, and large medical and dental practices. AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers,

NAHC Announces New Chief Medical Officer


CCUIH member, Native American Health Center, is excited to introduce their new Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Marquis (Ohlone, Navajo, Chumash).

Dr. Marquis holds a medical degree (Doctor of Medicine) from Albany Medical College and an MA in Molecular and Microbiology from San Jose State.

As CMO, he represents NAHC’s clinical departments on an executive level, driving high quality patient-centered care and supports a holistic and cooperative environment.

In collaboration with NAHC’s Executive Leadership Team, Dr. Marquis will strive to improve access and quality of care provided to NAHC’s members. He will provide administrative oversight of the integration of NAHC’s medical, dental, and behavioral health programs. He will also collaborate with the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to move NAHC toward Patient Centered Medical Home Certification and agency accreditation.

Dr. Marquis comes to NAHC from Tuoloumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center, where he served as Medical Director and Internal medicine Physician.

Dr. Marquis was born and raised in San Jose and is excited to be back in the bay area. He enjoys spending time with his wife and five year old daughter. To stay healthy, he runs and rides his mountain bike.

AIH&S and SDAIHC receive HHS New Access Point Awards

Two members of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health, American Indian Health & Services and San Diego American Indian Health Center, are new recipients of the Health & Human Services’ New Access Point Awards.

The purpose of the Health Center Program New Access Point (NAP) funding opportunity is to improve the health of underserved communities and vulnerable populations by increasing access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.

This news came through Health & Human Services’ Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell’s announcement today regarding the distribution of $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 new health center sites, including 48 California community health centers. These new health center sites are projected to increase access to health care services for over 1.2 million patients.

“Across the country, health centers have provided a source of high-quality primary care for people in rural and urban communities for 50 years,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield. “These Affordable Care Act funds build on the strong legacy of the health center program and provide even more individuals and families with access to the care they need the most.”

To see a list of award winners, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/NAP/0815awards/index.html.

NAHC Wins Bid as Lead Health Provider for San Leandro Health & Wellness Center

Native American Health Center (NAHC), CCUIH member clinic serving the San Francisco Bay Area, has won a bid to serve as the lead health provider at a new, cutting edge facility –The San Leandro Health & Wellness Center.

NAHC’s School-Based Health Center staff and leadership team as well as senior management made a successful presentation to Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and San Leandro Unified School District for this bid, which will add a ninth (9th) school-based clinic to NAHC’s repertoire. Bonnie Trinclisti and Tamar Kurlaender have harnessed their years of clinical and management experience for adolescent health and made a dynamic presentation to county officials who commented their presentation “hit it out of the park.” The presentation also included a youth Peer Health Educator, Kathleen Fong, as well as NAHC’s all-around Health Education Superstar, Atziri Rodriguez.

Not only are Bonnie and Tamar seasoned professionals who are driven by NAHC’s core value of health care as a right and not a privilege—they have cultivated strong teams and impactful service delivery at all their clinics. Young students look up to and confide in NAHC school-based staff like Topaz Persons, and Louise Torres (just to name a couple) for health issues and mentorship.

The San Leandro Wellness Center will be located on E. 14th Street and Bancroft in San Leandro, and will feature health and fitness classes (self-defense, martial arts, yoga); classes in 3-D printing, coding and computer engineering; and artistic expression classes (Dance, spoken word, graffiti art), in addition to medical, dental and behavioral health services that will be led and delivered by NAHC staff. The San Leandro Wellness Center will be open to all youth and young adults.

Established in 1992, NAHC School-Based Health provides services on school campuses and works in collaboration with school districts and several community-based organizations. The NAHC school-based health centers emphasize prevention, integrated care and the removal of access barriers. They aim to improve adolescent health, well-being and success in school by increasing access to comprehensive, high-quality health care services. Services provided include medical care, dental care, behavioral health, health education, youth development, insurance enrollment and family engagement.


CEO of Sacramento Native American Health Center Joins CPCA Board

CCUIH is pleased to announce that Britta Guerrero, CEO of Sacramento Native American Health Center, has accepted a seat on the board of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA).

The CPCA is a statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California community clinics and health centers and their patients. CCUIH works closely with CPCA to ensure that Urban Indians are included in planning efforts to increase health care access and reduce health disparities of marginalized groups.

Britta will be the first Urban Indian Health Organization leader to serve on the Board of CPCA, which will be great for Urban Indian health programs’ exposure and collaboration with the community health center network.

FAIHP & Tule River Tribe Receive $4 M System of Care Grant

The Tule River Yokuts tribe, located near Porterville California, and the Fresno American Indian Health Project (FAIHP), a member of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health, was awarded a grant of $4 million over the next four years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The grant will allow the tribe and FAIHP to implement a trauma-informed comprehensive and holistic system of care for American Indian youth and families in the San Joaquin Valley, California. It will increase the availability of direct mental health and substance abuse services available for American Indian and Alaska Native people in the region. The project will also provide greater outreach and prevention services to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health care, as well as promote information about the importance of accessing services. The service system will integrate traditional health practices and cultural services as well as a culture-based wraparound approach for working with youth and families in need.

This project represents an unprecedented partnership between a tribal government and an urban Indian health program in the delivery of a system of care for behavioral health services for Native American families that will serve an eight county region. With over 93,000 estimated Native Americans in the San Joaquin Valley, this funding is critical to meet the needs of these rural and urban Native communities. The grant proposal was developed in response to a comprehensive needs assessment of the Native American community, conducted by FAIHP and published in 2013, which found that 77% of respondents reported they did not know how to access mental health services in their community. While access to care is clearly a barrier, 55% of American Indian youth reported having a friend or family member that used drugs/alcohol, and 43% knew a friend or family member who tried to end their own life.

“Despite the benefits of health care reform including Medi-Cal expansion, American Indian communities face some of the highest rates of health disparities, chronic disease, and lack of access to care, in the nation. Inaccurate public assumptions that tribal gaming revenues and the limited funding available through the Indian Health Service should be sufficient to meet the health needs of tribal and urban Indian communities can create barriers to securing the resources necessary to raise the quality and quantity of available care.” said Jennifer Ruiz, the Executive Director of FAIHP. For these reasons, the tribe and FAIHP are optimistic about this cooperative agreement with SAMHSA, and the partnership’s ability to sustain the services once the grant program is complete. For more information, please visit http://www.faihp.org.

AIH&S earns National Recognition for Patient Centered Care

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on September 10, 2014, announced that American Indian Health & Services of Santa Barbara, has received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships. American Indian Health & Services (AIH&S)  is the first organization in Santa Barbara County to receive Level 3 PCMH recognition from NCQA and is also a member of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health.

For 20 years, AIH&S has been committed to empowering the Santa Barbara community by delivering accessible, socially responsive, and culturally appropriate health care. Their medical department consists of seven providers offering services in pediatrics, endocrinology, family practice, and care coordination. Their dental clinic has four operatories, which are home to three dentists and one registered dental hygienist offering preventative and restorative care for adults and children. The behavioral health department consists of two licensed clinical social workers providing individual and group counseling and case management. CCUIH is very proud of their achievement of Level 3 PCMH recognition through NCQA.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that American Indian Health & Services has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”

To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, American Indian Health & Services demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
To find clinicians and their practices with NCQA PCMH Recognition, visit http://recognition.ncqa.org.

About NCQA
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

AIH&S Medical Director Featured in UCLA Magazine



American Indian Health & Services’ Medical Director, Hollanda Leon, MD, has been featured in UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine’s U Magazine. You can read the article at U Magazine’s website or here:

In Her Own Words: Hollanda Leon, MD ’99

Hollanda Leon, MD ’99, is a board-certified family-practice physician and the medical director at the American Indian Health & Services Clinic in Santa Barbara, California. She has worked with the Native American community and medically underserved populations of Santa Barbara for more than 10 years. In 2007, she served as executive director and medical director during a transition phase of the clinic. Since then, the clinic has expanded from two providers to more than 13 healthcare professionals, including those in family practice, pediatrics, dentistry, mental health and endocrinology. The clinic serves Native Americans and non-Native Americans.

My interest in working with medically underserved populations began with my involvement with the Flying Samaritans at the University of California, Irvine during my undergraduate years. Over the course of my medical education at UCLA, I was involved in externships that sent me to various rural areas, including Yelapa, Mexico. I then took it a step further and decided to take a year off from medical school to explore different parts of the world and work on a project with Patrick Dowling, MD, MPH, chair of family medicine at UCLA, on Health Professional Shortage Areas in Los Angeles. These experiences showed me that even though there is a huge medical need in other countries, sometimes the medical need is greatest in our own backyard.

During my residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, I decided to set up a rotation at the American Indian Health & Services Clinic. I was very excited to be offered a position when I completed my residency, and so my journey began in Native American health. Since I enjoyed working with an underserved population, this was a natural progression for me. Working with the Native American population has taught me a lot about patient care and treating patients respectfully by addressing their physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being. We have a very busy clinic that serves a high-risk population with complicated medical and socioeconomic issues. Most of our patients are uninsured or have Medi-Cal or Medicare. Even though we are a small clinic, we are working on becoming a patient-centered medical home and are into our fourth year of electronic health records. We are very involved with the community and have a clinic on wheels that is used for health fairs and events. Our clinic is considered a model for many of the federally qualified health centers and urban Native American clinics. We have a great team of providers who all have the same passion to provide quality healthcare for our patients in the community.

IHCSCV hires new Chief Executive Officer

The Indian Health of Santa Clara Valley, a member of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH), has hired a new Chief Executive Officer, Sonya Tetnowski.

“We are very happy that Sonya is coming on board because she understands the diverse culture in San Jose and Santa Clara County, and is committed to building and maintaining the cohesion we have developed over all these years,” said Liz Hunt, current CEO of the Indian Health Center and one of CCUIH’s Board Directors. Liz will be stepping down into the Chief Operations Officer (COO) position.

Previously, Sonya was the CEO of the Lower Elwan tribe, located north of Seattle, Washington. She was responsible for overseeing a $27 million budget with a workforce of 398 staff and multiple functions including health, social services, and education. The Lower Elwan tribe serves both Indians and non-Indians, and employs a diverse workforce.

Soya is a member of the Makah tribe from Eastern Washington is also an army veteran. She grew up on her reservation until she was 18. Sonya understands from first-hand experience what it is like to relocate to an urban area after being raise on a reservation. She brings a wealth of knowledge with her to the Indian Health Center.

Sonya says, “You have to trust the people who are on your team. In most cases people can do it. We can tend to underestimate thevalue people bring to the table. I excel at leveraging off the strength of my team members.”

“The Board of Directors is confident that Sonya Tetnowski will take the Indian Health Center to the next level in providing high-quality health care to the American Indian and broader community,” said Chris Mele, M.D., Vice-Chair of the Indian Health Center’s Board of Directors.

CCUIH also looks forward to working with Sonya Tetnowski.

American Indian Health & Services wins United Way Award

One of the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health’s members, American Indian Health & Services (AIHS) was awarded the “United for Health Partner of the Year” by the United Way of Santa Barbara County, during its 91st Annual Awards Celebration on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. This annual event recognizes local organizations and individuals for contributing to the community and United Way activities.



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Scott Black, Executive Director of AIHS and CCUIH’s Board President, accepts the award for AIHS from Paul Didier, President and CEO of United Way.

SDAIHC to provide Prevention and Early Intervention Behavioral Health Services



CCUIH’s member clinic, San Diego American Indian Health Center will receive funding for prevention and early intervention programs for Urban Indians in San Diego County. Prevention and early intervention programs have been instrumental in allowing Indian health organizations to use cultural practices.

Read the following article, “Supervisors approve behavioral health contracts,” for more information:

The County of San Diego will be entering into contracts with four Indian health agencies to provide prevention and early intervention behavioral health services for the county’s Native American population.

On March 11 the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0, with Ron Roberts in Washington, DC, to approve sole source contracts with Indian Health Council, Inc., San Diego American Indian Health Center, Southern Indian Health Council, and Sycuan Medical Dental Center.

“We have a vibrant Native American community in San Diego County, and it is important that this population receives the services needed to ensure they are able to lead productive and healthy lives,” said Supervisor Bill Horn.

The county’s annual $2,090,000 cost for the contracts was budgeted in the operational plan for the county’s Health and Human Services Agency. The four Indian health agencies comprised the Dream Weaver Consortium that was the recipient of the county’s previous single contract, so all four agencies have experience working with the county’s Indian population.

Prevention and early intervention programs are design to provide access to services for identified unserved and underserved county residents who are either at risk of developing what is defined as a mental illness or are in the early stages of a mental illness. The previous contract for prevention and early intervention programs for Native Americans was authorized by the Board of Supervisors in November 2008 and executed in April 2009; Indian Health Council, Inc., was the fiscal and administrative agent and the county’s primary point of contact for the consortium while the other three Dream Weaver Consortium members were considered subcontractors.

The Health and Human Services Agency determined that separate contracts would be more suitable than a consortium contract. Indian Health Council will serve North County reservations, San Diego American Indian Health Center will serve urban Native Americans, Sycuan Medical Dental Center will serve the Sycuan tribal community, and Southern Indian Health Council will serve the other East County reservations. The clinics will offer specialized culturally-designed health and behavior health prevention and early intervention services.

The new contracts are for a period of one year with six additional one-year options.

This article was written by Joe Naiman, posted by the Valley Roadrunner on March 26, 2014.