Montana Gov. Martz: Reduce health disparities

"Disproportionate poverty is a barrier that has kept many Americans Indians from living longer and healthier lives. The life expectancy of our Indian population is an astounding 16 years lower than that of the state population as a whole. Our American Indian neighbors also are three times as likely to get diabetes and have a very high risk of heart disease.

That is why my office and DPHHS have also been working hard, under the guidance of the Native American Advisory Council, to eliminate these cultural health disparities. For the past four years, we have been focusing specifically on Indian health needs.

For example, the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, working through community based coalitions, has committed to and succeeded in increasing the number of American Indian women who are screened for breast and cervical cancer. The state Diabetes Control Program has been working with several American Indian health organizations to prevent diabetes and improve the quality of care for diabetes victims."

Get the Story:
Guest opinion: Montana must eliminate disparities in health care (The Billings Gazette 4/9)

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