In this hour, we create space for the resilient stories and reflections of three Indigenous, Women healthcare workers and leaders who are deeply committed to advocating for health equity and health justice in the Navajo Communities they serve and call home.
All of our guests are affiliated with The UCSF HEAL Initiative (Health, Equity, Action, Leadership), a global health fellowship and community of health professionals striving to bridge barriers to care in deeply marginalized, resource denied communities around the world.
While all of our guests are dedicated to improving the health of their patients and their communities, as well as supporting one another, they come to this work with different backgrounds, specialties, and relationships to the communities they serve. Here to share their experiences and insights with us are Dr. Adriann Begay, MD, Cristina Rivera Carpenter, PhD, MSN, RN-BC and Denee Bex, MPH, RD, LD, CDCES.
Dr. Begay was raised on the Navajo Reservation and is the Daughter of a strong Navajo Woman, the Mother of three, and the Grandmother of nine beautiful grandchildren. Now retired from the Indian Health Service after 21 years of service in Family Medicine and Urgent Care, she currently works with HEAL as a Senior Officer advocating for policy and programs to further Native American Health Care Equity. A long time mentor in and advocate for her community, she has dedicated her career to elevating healthcare for American Indians and Alaskan Natives and increasing the pipeline of AI/AN students who can come home and care for their people.
Cristina Rivera Carpenter is the Grandaughter of Lipan Apache and Indigenous Grandmothers from the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico on her Matrilineal side and is the Mother of five. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, and recently finished her PhD in Nursing with a Minor in American Indian Studies. She continues to work clinically, as well as with HEAL, and teaches a class in Sociology at the University of Arizona. She is passionate about addressing health inequities in local and global settings with foci on community, solidarity, and supporting current and future health professionals in pursuing equity-focused careers.
Denee Bex was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation and is currently a registered Dietician employed with Tsehootsooi Medical Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Master of Public Health with a focus on Community Health Education. She is an advocate for healthy traditional Navajo diets and believes that Nutrition Education in the Navajo Community must include the customs, values, and beliefs of Navajo people for it to be impactful. Denee also writes gardening articles for a local Native newspaper and works with community organizations to encourage families to start growing their own food.
Join us, as they share where they draw their strengths from, how they are bridging Indigenous Knowledge Systems with the Conventional Biomedical models they are moving through, and, as they share their visions for what a future centering the needs of Navajo Communities looks like, as well as reflections on how we think about growing Native Leadership in Health.