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The Navajo Nation is fraught with infrastructural inadequacies and health disparities that were a set-up for such spread and devastation at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health inequities that exist on the Navajo Nation are plenty and posed many barriers to quick, safe and effective quarantining, isolation and recovery. However, throughout the pandemic, the Navajo Nation has kept its spirits up and worked together to overcome and move forward. Dr. Calderon will tell the Diné story of resilience through this pandemic.
Dr. Sophina Manheimer Calderon is Diné (Navajo) from Tuba City, Arizona and is a graduate of Dartmouth College. She obtained her medical degree at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She completed her residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. She trained as a family physician with an emphasis on women’s health and global health. Dr. Calderon currently serves as the Chief of Staff at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) on the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. She is the HIV officer for TCRHCC providing subspecialized HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention for adults and adolescents on the Western Navajo Nation. With a commitment to global health, Dr. Calderon also serves on medical brigades to Honduras with her University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency Program.
The program teaches its resident physicians the skills necessary to help other communities improve their health, a skill that Dr. Calderon is grateful to bring back to her hometown community of Tuba City. Dr. Calderon received the 2017 Humanitarian Award from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry which recognizes dedication to providing medical care to the underprivileged and underserved. She recently received the 2021 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award as a Community Builder from the Center for the Future of Arizona. She was also named the 2021 Exceptional Rural Health Professional of the Year by the Arizona Rural Health Association.
Since the pandemic, she has been assisting the Epi Response Team at TCRHCC with their COVID-19 response to the pandemic. Her focus has been on community education and outreach.
By the end of the webinar participants will be able to:
1) understand the health inequities that exist on the Navajo Nation
2) identify challenges in health care delivery specific to the Navajo Nation
3) understand Navajo resilience in the context of COVID on the Navajo Nation