Health | National

Urban Indians in Oregon facing numerous health disparities





American Indians and Alaska Natives in the greater Portland area suffer asthma, obesity and other health problems at rates far higher than the general population, The Oregonian repots.

About 30,000 Native Americans live in metro Portland. Many rely on the services provided by the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest Inc., the only urban Indian organization in Oregon that receives funds from the Indian Health Service.

But IHS funding doesn't go very far. This year, NARA received $2.6 million, which comes to just $571 per patient.

"We know the need is bigger than we can meet," Jackie Mercer, NARA's chief executive officer, told the Oregonian.

According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, 21 percent of Native Americans in metro Porland suffer from asthma, compared to 9 percent of general population. Some 31 percent are obese, compared to 24 percent of the general population.

Get the Story:
Portland-area Native Americans burdened by health hurdles generation after generation (The Oregonian 5/3)