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Navajo Mom Elisa Nakai with her daughter and niece. In the background is the Montezuma Creek Community Health Center in Utah’s remote Four Corners region.

A Dream Fulfilled: According to legend, Holy People created the Navajo Nation. It seems they, too, may inspire the dedicated staff of the Montezuma Creek Health Center, who dreamed of healthier lives for countless Navajo moms, dads, and children in their vast Southern Utah home.

Investing in Health Care

Health Care (19%)
$26.6 million

See list of grants

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Total Foundation Grants
2000-04: $137.8 Million

Grant-Making Goals

New health-care challenges and opportunities present themselves almost daily as Americans focus on living longer, healthier, and better lives. Improved methods for diagnosis, drug delivery and patient care are emerging, and the development of programs to foster healthy lifestyles are at an all-time high.

In these areas and others, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is proud to carry on a tradition of enhancing the quality and availability of health care throughout Utah. Among its grants are those for patient education, hospital facilities and equipment, medical education, and access to health care for those especially at risk for illness and injury, including low-income families and the homeless.

“Our goal is to help make a difference in the health and well-being of all Utahns,” says Foundation Secretary, General Counsel, and Treasurer Robert M. Graham. “It’s an important part of what we do.”

Grant-Making Guidelines

Foundation gifts in this area are directed to qualified charitable organizations offering health-care services and information in Utah’s urban and rural areas, including grants for equipment, facilities, and program support for those involved in medical diagnosis, treatment and education, disease prevention, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and the development of creative new ways to address health-care challenges.

Grant Highlight
Montezuma Creek Community Health Center, Montezuma Creek, Utah

In a small building nestled in the remote Four Corners area of Utah, Elisa Nakai – a Navajo mom – has just arrived for a doctor’s appointment with her young daughter and niece in tow. It’s taken her two hours on unpaved roads to get to the Montezuma Creek Community Health Center. “A shorter trip than usual,” she says in her native language. “... good weather.”

This clinic, once housed in a small trailer, today has a modest but permanent building to call home. With help from grants from the Foundation and others, it provides the only health care for more than 7,000 people who live at or below poverty level in the area’s vast 10,000 square miles. Fewer than 800 residents have homes with running water, electricity, or a central source of heat. And almost half of them have Type II diabetes. “This type of diabetes occurs most often in adults,” says Donna Singer, CEO of the health center. “But among the Navajos, we see it in children as young as eight years old.”

What began as the Diabetes Control Project for the area is today a thriving health-care facility with dreams of doing even more. “We’re not just about dispensing pills here,” says Nettie Prack, one of the center’s founders, “we’re about life and death.”