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HHS Secretary winds up visit to Navajo Nation

Outgoing Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson wound up his two-day visit to the Navajo Nation on Tuesday with a visit to a hospital and a home.

According to The Farmington Daily Times, tribal leaders made repeated references to statistics which show the government spends twice as much money on health care for prisoners than Native Americans. Neither Thompson, nor Dr. Charles grim, the director of the Indian Health Service, addressed the issue, the paper reported.

�It is better today to be incarcerated in terms of health care than it is to be a Native American,� Navajo Vice President Frank Dayish Jr. was quoted as saying.

Thompson visited the IHS hospital in Chinle. He also spent time at the home of Charley Todacheenie, 84, and his wife Rose, 74, of Nazlini, which is near Chinle.

The Farmington Daily Times praised Thompson for coming to the reservation. "Thompson broke ground in many ways when he visited the Navajo Nation," the paper said. "He sent a signal to the Navajo people that they do count and he sent a signal to Native Americans and minorities in general that they will no longer take a back seat when it comes to essential services such as health care."

Get the Story:
Navajos seek equality (The Farmington Daily Times 7/21)
Editorial: A ground breaking visit to Navajoland (The Farmington Daily Times 7/21)
Tommy Thompson visits Navajo treatment center (AP 7/20)

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HHS Secretary pledges more funds for Navajo Nation (7/20)