Native American Community Outreach (NACO)

Improving Health Care for Native Americans

In our time of modern medicine and technology, it’s unacceptable that Native Americans still experience some of the highest health disparity rates.

The Native American Community Outreach (NACO) initiative at Sanford Health is seeking to change that. We’re dedicated to addressing disparities by improving access to health care for tribal members.

Our Outreach Initiatives

NACO helps build relationships and foster innovative thinking among our leaders. We’re pursuing opportunities to better meet the needs of Native Americans in our region.

NACO is prioritizing these four areas:

Patient care management
Tribal members should get the right care at the right time. We’re seeking to improve access at all levels of health care.

We’re working to:

  • Bring health services close to home for Native American patients
  • Refine how we care for and transition these patients
  • Provide the best care and spiritual services during their stay
  • Offer excellent coordination after discharge

Workforce development
Sanford Health is leveraging our relationships with tribal colleges and regional universities. We’re supporting and developing programs to recruit and maintain a skilled workforce.

Our objectives:

  • Improve current connections with tribal colleges and local universities
  • Identify workforce needs and existing programs at tribal colleges
  • Strengthen provider recruitment programs
  • Implement a Native American employer resource group and focus on hiring tribal members

Tribal community engagement
We’re actively engaging tribal leaders on health care issues that matter.

To build and strengthen trust, we’re:

  • Improving our dialysis services
  • Identifying and supporting tribal community events
  • Expanding Sanford POWER opportunities in tribal athletic and wellness programs
  • Offering long-term, affordable health insurance to various tribal entities
  • Planning a tribal health conference that addresses the latest health care issues, advances, challenges, opportunities, policies and partnerships

Operations
Sanford Health and tribal nations are seeking innovative ways to improve health care.

Through the Native American Community Outreach Office, we’re establishing:

  • A dedicated internal team
  • A Tribal Health Advisory Committee
  • An endowment fund to help support yearly operations and strategic plan costs
  • Educational opportunities in diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency

Connect with NACO

Scott Davis is the head of NACO and leads tribal relations for Sanford Health. Davis is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

He previously served as the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission executive director for 12 years.

Learn more by contacting Davis at (701) 323-8169.