Asuris employee nominates nonprofit to reduce health disparities in Native American community

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Regence Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant today to the Native Project in Spokane to expand its holistic wellness programs, which are geared specifically toward the Native American population in Spokane County.  Asuris employee Angela Dubay nominated the Native Project as part of Asuris’ third annual employee-nominated Transformation Grant program.

According to the Urban Indian Health Commission, urban Native Americans are a significantly underserved community facing serious health disparities, including high rates of depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  In addition, there are very few health clinics dedicated to serving the urban Native American population, and about half of the community has incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

“I nominated the Native Project for a Regence Foundation Transformation grant because it provides important health care safety net services in our community,” said Dubay.  “With this grant, they will be able to expand their wellness program to help prevent disease, promote healthy living, and reduce health disparities in the local Native population.”

The Native Project was founded in 1989 by 15 friends who wanted to make a difference in the health of Spokane’s Native communities.  Today, the Native Project provides medical, mental health, and drug and alcohol treatment services to the entire community, and specializes in Indian health issues.  The organization also provides holistic wellness programs and believes that people must take care of their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health in order to be truly healthy.

“Our mission is to fund collaborative and innovative health care programs making positive changes in the community,” Michael Alexander, Regence Foundation board chairman. “We applaud the Native Project for the work it is doing to improve access to care in Spokane County.”

About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation affiliated with Asuris Northwest Health, an eastern Washington community-based, nonprofit health plan. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also supports organizations advancing quality palliative and end-of-life care. For more information visit or