Local Impact - New Mexico

Elsie R. Pino, Navajo

Ramah Navajo Heart Saver Project

"If it wasn’t for the Heart Saver Project, we would be suffering."
- Elsie R. Pino

“It was hard for me for the first few months but the program is helping me. I am herding sheep and eating more vegetables. Before, I had no energy, just laying here. I like the service. It helped me be more on my feet.” (As told to an interpreter)

Elsie is 75 years old and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1987. She is a native Navajo speaker, lives alone in a one room house, and raises her own sheep, dyes the wool, and weaves beautiful rugs. Since joining the Heart Saver Project she has been able to lower her cholesterol and get better control of her blood sugar, which is helping reduce her risk for heart attack and stroke.

Through Heart Saver funding, we have the resources to go to Elsie’s home, bring her to the clinic for diabetes case management, and provide her with a Navajo-speaking case manager who has been trained in Navajo interpretation of diabetes medical terminology. Without these valuable resources, Elsie is one of many of our Navajo elders living with diabetes who would not be able to receive the quality diabetes care they so deserve. Beyond improving the health of our Navajo elders who, like Elsie, are living with diabetes, SDPI resources are helping our community preserve valuable Navajo traditions and culture. (Submitted by Heart Saver Project Staff)

Diabetes in New Mexico

According to 2008 CDC data, approximately 115,000 people in New Mexico – 7.5% of the population – had diagnosed diabetes, and many suffer from serious diabetes related complications or conditions. In addition to the human toll diabetes places on the people in New Mexico, the financial burden diabetes places on the health system in the state is staggering – in 2007, the direct and indirect cost of diabetes in New Mexico was approximately $1.25 billion.

Stories & Progams

Diabetes Program Participants
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Diabetes Care Providers
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The Poarch Creek Indian Community
Community Diabetes Support Group


Charlotte McConnell
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Lifestyle Balance and Diabetes Prevention Program

Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
Annual Diabetes Walk

Southcentral Foundation Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Celia Milner
CHR Department, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians

Marlene Valentine -
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

Rudy Clark
Hualapai Healthy Heart Project


Case Manager
United American Indian Involvement

Jackie Patton
Chapa-De Indian Clinic

Amy Lemmer
Sonoma County Indian Health Project

Alberta Manuel
Sonoma County Indian Health


Mohegan Tribe
Uncasville, CT


Anela Lautalo


Christie Lussoro
Nimiipuu Health Diabetes Program


Becky Youngbear-Alvarado
Meskwaki Diabetes Prevention Program


Stephanie Crawford
Haskell Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program


Jena Band of Choctaw Indians


Aroostook Band of MicMac


Tracy L. Sagataw
Hannahville Indian Community Clinic Diabetes Program

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Rebecca Price
Pokagon Health Services Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Arne Vainio, MD
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Pastor Thomas Ben
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program

Samuel Amos
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Faye Filesteel
Fort Belknap Healthy Heart Project


Clarissa Hoffman
Ho-Chunk Hope Diabetes Prevention

New Mexico

Judy Reuter
Santa Ana Pueblo
Elsie R. Pino
Ramah Navajo Heart Saver Project
Erlene Sandoval
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

New York

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Let’s Get Healthy Program

North Carolina

Ulela Harris
Cherokee Diabetes Program

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee, NC

North Dakota

Cheryl Donoven
On Eagles Wings Diabetes Prevention Program


Terry Williams
Black Hawk Health Center

Allen Dale
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) Get SET & Fight Diabetes program

Read more about OKCIC (PDF)

Glendine Blanchard
Absentee Shawnee Tribe Healthy Heart Program


Dylan Jones
NARA Northwest

Taylor David
Klamath Diabetes Prevention Program Cow Creek Consortium

Shirley Heath
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Jennifer Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Larry Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Rhode Island

Mary Lou Stanton
Narangansett Indian Health Clinic-Diabetes Program

South Carolina

Catawba Indian Nation
Special Diabetes Program for Indians

South Dakota

Pete Fills the Pipe
Pine Ridge IHS Diabetes Prevention Program


Reggie Martinez
Uintah & Ouray IHS Clinic - Healthy Heart Project


Christina Hicks
SDPI-Community Direct Diabetes Grant
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Buddy and Les Hoptowit (Brothers)
Yakama Indian Health Center Healthy Heart Project


Marion Reynolds
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wanda McFaggen
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wendell Waukau
Menominee Diabetes Program


Regina Whiteplume
Eastern Shoshone Diabetes Program