Combating high RA prevalence in Navajo Nation requires ‘position of humble inquiry’

The Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah has a high prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, with a long waiting list to see a rheumatologist. Factors such as poor funding, lack of political will, and patient mistrust due to historical trauma have impeded efforts to improve access to care. Initiatives like the Rheumatology Access Expansion (RAE) Initiative aim to address these challenges by providing training programs for primary care physicians in underserved Native communities. Building trust, addressing social determinants of health, and advocating for policy changes are crucial steps in improving care for Native populations with rheumatic diseases.

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