Nevada Urban Indians offers vaccinations for Native, low-income populations | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Urban Indians offers vaccinations for Native, low-income populations

Nevada Appeal staff report

Reno-based Nevada Urban Indians provides health services to Native American and low-income individuals.

A vaccination drive for low-income families is going on at Nevada Urban Indians, a Reno nonprofit offering myriad services for physical and mental health.

Through the end of September, any youth who get immunized at the organization's clinic will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

"What's neat about our organization is we're open to everyone," said Kassandra Rutherford, NUI clinical administration coordinator. "As long as you can show your proof of descendancy or blood certificate we are able to provide to you those Native benefits, and for everyone else we have a sliding fee schedule."

NUI formed in 1975 to provide the urban Native American population with medical assistance. The organization operates with Title V funding from the federal Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which makes all services free to Native Americans.

However, in 2015, NUI began to receive other grants in order to serve all low-income individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity.

"We also have one of the lowest sliding fee schedules of all of the other facilities here," said Janet Reeves, NUI executive director.

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While services are free for Native Americans, the clinic will charge other patients anywhere from $25 to $85 depending on income.

Native Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so NUI offers a diabetes program, which takes a lifestyle approach to preventing and living with the disease.

The program includes free Zumba and yoga classes, in addition to nutritional support, screening and counseling.

Mental health services, suicide prevention, substance abuse treatment, and victim services are also available at the organization.

Nevada Urban Indians is located at 6512 S. McCarran Blvd., Suite A, in Reno. The medical clinic is open Tuesday-Thursday.