Major Advancement in Cancer Care for Native Americans


In May 2019, a landmark visit to the House of Hope on the Navajo Nation included Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, former Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, and other tribal leaders and allies marked this effort as the first full-time cancer care center on an American Indian Reservation.

It garnered a national story from the Associated Press, front-page coverage in the Arizona Daily Sun and in Native American publications, and a story in Cancer Today, a magazine that reaches the oncology community, patients, and thought leaders.

The landmark achievement is symbol of successful collaboration between multiple organizations—starting with the facility that will provide this care. The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. TCRHCC contracts with the federal government to provide health care to Navajo, Hopi, and San Juan Southern Paiute patients on the Navajo Nation.

The culturally-adapted cancer care center at TCRHCC will provide oncology services to the Navajo and Hopi people. In addition, the programming will include patient- and caregiver-support and navigation TCRHCC developed in partnership with CSC through generous funding from the Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation.

The new center will fill a gap in cancer treatment that affects many American Indians, as the Indian Health Service provides primary medical care, but specialty care – including oncology – is beyond its mission.

Consequently, patients on the Navajo Nation—which is the size of West Virginia—must travel hundreds of miles from home to access cancer treatment and support services. Accessibility is an issue, as transportation costs of seeking off-reservation cancer care can be insurmountable barriers to treatment for American Indian patients who live in communities where unemployment rates are above 50% and household incomes are below the national poverty level.

"I don't drive much any more, so I would have had to get a relative to take me to Flagstaff for chemotherapy. I need to go twice a week right now. It's very convenient."

Michael D. Jackson
Red sandstone buttes under a blue sky in Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation

Impact on Patients

To date, 159 patients have already received care at the TCRHCC.

The Arizona Republic captured one patient’s story that illustrates the impact this new center is already making:

Tribal members, many of them living hours away from cancer centers in urban areas, have a history of delayed diagnoses and untreated cancer.

Michael D. Jackson, 71, a Navajo Nation member who is in treatment for colon cancer at the new clinic is a retired social services worker, lives in Tuba City, about 78 miles north of Flagstaff — a roughly three-hour round trip. He was diagnosed in June and was one of the clinic's first patients.

Thank You to Our Supporters

The Cancer Support Community is proud to recognize individual and corporate leaders who are providing essential support to our friends at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation on the Navajo Nation. Our community is deeply grateful to these champions of patients for their loving and generous support. Thank you!

Sapphire ($1,000 - $2,499)

Juliann BartlDavid DroullardMichael Fiorella
Matthew BesingerJill and Tom DurovsikFawwaz Shaw
Thomas ChinTan H. GouwTania Zeigler

Emerald ($500 - $999)

Joyce BerneyMartha EllingtonLynne O’Brien
Ellen ColemanDanny GiovaleElizabeth Young
Steven DanforthJoanna Isherwood 

Crimson ($250 - $499)

Stephen BurkeBrian GoldstoneShannon C Rosenblatt
Martha CasselmanIris HuRene Ryan
Linda CooperJill HuppertJennifer Tonnelli
Eric CornwellNina KruegerElise Wall
Laura EbbertTracy Lenartz 
Thomas ForanDavid Pugmire 


Patron ($1 - $249)

  • Jemeille Ackourey
  • Michael Amundson
  • Kathryn Ananda-Owens
  • Tammy Andrew
  • Ali Azeem
  • Terri Bauer
  • Justice Beard
  • Jared Beeton
  • Charletta Begody
  • Martha Bella
  • Rosemary Bell
  • Weasie Belone
  • Ursula Benward
  • Danielle Bessette
  • Charity Bishop
  • Esther Blanco
  • Eucharia Borden
  • Anna Brady
  • Martha Bressi
  • Laura Briggs
  • Danya Carroll
  • Carissa Cason
  • M Jennifer Chandler
  • Michelle Chapin
  • Marissa Chavez
  • Tanya Denckla Cobb
  • Suzanne Coffey
  • Kay Conrad
  • Linda Cooper
  • Susan Courtney
  • Elizabeth Covey
  • Madeline Cowen
  • Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado
  • Jesse Crabtree
  • James Cullen
  • Kim Czubaruk
  • Jim Dees
  • Lyndsey Denison
  • Sheila DeKosky
  • Katie Dimond
  • Michael Do
  • Tracy Drown
  • Heidi Dusseau
  • Dawn Ely
  • Michael Encinias
  • Ella Farrell
  • Jamie Folsom
  • Erica Fortune
  • Mark Fradkin
  • Elizabeth Franklin
  • Angela Francis
  • Thomas Frederick
  • Yolanda Fundora
  • Cynthia Gbolade
  • Sandy Gess
  • Sara Goldberger
  • Laura Gomes
  • Murray Goodman
  • Elouise Graham
  • Benjamin Groenhout
  • Jennifer Haase
  • Vanessa & Jeremy Hale
  • Kate Haller
  • Chuck Harris
  • Eliane El Hayek
  • Susan Henas
  • Maureen Hirthler
  • Jeanne Horne
  • Christin Hoschain
  • Alex Husted
  • Kelly Jenks
  • Ben Jennings
  • Harriett Jernigan
  • Elena Johnson
  • Seth Katz
  • Kevin Keppel
  • Erica Kiemele
  • Brehan King
  • Lisa Kirkwood
  • Iris Knox
  • Meghan Lane
  • Erik Lee
  • Julie Lindholm
  • Carol Maher
  • Bill Marker
  • Julie Marsh
  • Marie Mathews
  • Maya Maxym
  • Michael McBride
  • Lea McChesney
  • Colleen McClintock
  • Sheila Mehlem
  • Lizette Melis
  • Frank Meloi
  • Cynthia Merrill
  • Steve Michel
  • Moses Milazzo
  • Erika Narducci
  • Bradford Newquist
  • Linda Norrington
  • Elaine Novak
  • Elvira Orriz
  • Loralei Cruz Osborn
  • Judith Owens
  • Howard Pae
  • Laurie Parisi
  • Julius Parrella
  • Miggs Perez
  • Steve Petrie
  • My Piland
  • Ronald Posner
  • Kim Praitano
  • Susanne Principato
  • Hector Ramirez
  • Shannah Redmon
  • TJ Riggs
  • Elanor Rimassa
  • Miller Robinson
  • Alizanette Rodriguez
  • Lakesh Roopnarine
  • Blue Russ
  • Barbara Rylko-Bauer
  • Barbara K Sanders
  • Catherine Savage
  • Steve Schapiro
  • Sarah Sherman
  • Suzanne Singer
  • Violet Skinner
  • Natalie Spicyn
  • John Spurr
  • Barbara Summer
  • Maya Suzuki
  • Orit Tamir
  • Sharon Taylor
  • Kim Thiboldeaux
  • Michael Traylor
  • Georgia Tsingine
  • Mary Tucker
  • Brian Truglio
  • Carol Truglio
  • Alan Tull
  • Zachary Vandeveer
  • Syrophoenicia Whiterock
  • Brigitte Whitmire
  • Dorinda Wiley-Bradley
  • Constance Wilkins
  • Caitlin Williams
  • Suzanne Willner
  • Shari Wood
  • Shane Zatzariny

In-Kind Donations

Traverse City Whiskey Company