Yá’át’ééh (Hello). My name is Charlene Blindman. I am of the Hashk’aa hadzohí (Yucca-fruit-strung-out-on-a-line) clan, born for Naa ła nii (Lakota, Sioux). My maternal clan is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitterwater people) and my paternal clan is Naa ła nii (Lakota, Sioux). I was raised near Kaibeto, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. I have been working as a nurse for seven years. Currently, I am working as a public health manager at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation in Tuba City, Arizona, and have been collaborating with the PIH-affiliated COPE Project for the past few years.
As a child, my goals were to help and influence people in a positive way. In doing so, I wanted to find a way to serve and give back to the Native American community. My decision to become a nurse was encouraged and supported by my high school teachers and family members. I was determined to pursue a higher education and return to the Navajo Reservation to help my people. Knowing this, I tailored my studies at Arizona State University and earned degrees in nursing and American Indian Studies. The opportunity to return to the Navajo Reservation and work with the Tuba City Health Care team was exciting.
Public health nursing is my passion. Working with the Tuba City Public Health Nursing Department allows me to work closely with an entire team dedicated to improving the health of individuals and the entire community. Many of our efforts are focused on raising awareness and community education.
We strive to empower the community by working directly with community members, whether through outreach events, health screenings, or similar programs. Because many of the team’s nurses have been in Tuba City for years, we have a strong connection to the people and know the pulse of the community.
The Tuba City Public Health Nursing Department has partnered with other programs in the community, including COPE, the community health center, and community health representatives. It takes a team to serve a community, and by collaborating with these programs it allows us to bridge the gap between the community and health care.
It’s this kind of teamwork that helps make up the backbone of community workers. It is exciting to know we’re raising the standard of care and improving how an entire community approaches health. I look forward to seeing the difference we will make in the community and individual lives in the years to come.