Tester delivers $170,000 to Missoula Urban Indian Health Center’s Diabetes Initiative

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester today congratulated the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center after it was announced that the Center will receive $170,000 to expand their diabetes treatment initiative.

Last year, Tester helped pass legislation to authorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), which provides grants to support treatment efforts to Native Americans living with diabetes and helps fund prevention programs to stop the growth of this epidemic.

“Too many Native American families have been impacted by diabetes,” said Tester, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center is working hard to treat folks living with this terrible disease and these additional resources will allow them to continue their great work. This grant is an important step forward, and I will continue to fight to permanently fund this initiative.”

“I feel that diabetes, cardiovascular, and hypertension diseases are symptoms of the emotional and historical trauma felt by Native Americans,” said LeeAnn Bruised Head, Executive Director of the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center. “Our emotional health impacts our physical well-being, and the health center is utilizing cultural healing methods to address those issues. We also plan to use these resources to continue to promote the health and wellness of all Native American families”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, Native Americans are two times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than the rest of the nation.

Tester is continuing his efforts to permanently fund SDPI, which was reauthorized for two years and is set to expire in 2018.

The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center offers diabetes treatment, immunization, disease prevention, and behavioral health services to Native Americans in western Montana.

The grant is administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.