NATIVE HEALTH started in 1978 as a small community nursing program. The agency has grown over its forty year history to offer a full array of health care and social services throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Highlights from NATIVE HEALTH’s History:


  • “Phoenix Urban Indian Health Board, Inc.” (the agency’s original name) initiated as a Community Health Nursing Project. Personnel included an executive director, a secretary, a registered nurse supervisor, two licensed practical nurses and two advocates, October, 1978.


  • Agency’s name changed to “Indian Community Health Service, Inc.”


  • A Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Nutrition program was added through a subcontract with the Salt River Indian Community


  • HIV/AIDS prevention services initiated through funding from Indian Health Service (I.H.S.)


  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse treatment services initiated through I.H.S. funding


  • Mental Health Services initiated with I.H.S. funding


  • Agency’s name changed to “Native American Community Health Center, Inc.”
  • Family medical practice began with funds from Arizona Tobacco Tax and I.H.S.
  • Long Term Care Case (ALTCS) Management services initiated under Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)


  • Dental services initiated by NATIVE HEALTH


  • Special Diabetes Program (SDPI) continued through fiscal year 2011 with an I.H.S. grant


  • Agency’s name changed to NATIVE HEALTH. 


  • Prenatal services began through Bethany Women’s Healthcare
  • HIV Youth Targeted Prevention Services provided from a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) grant


  • Youth and Family Substance Abuse Treatment Services provided with a grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


  • Women’s Services and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Services begin through I.H.S. grants


  • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status for NATIVE HEALTH and NHW Community Health Center


  • Walter Murillo selected by the Board of Directors as the new CEO of NATIVE HEALTH
  • Diabetes Prevention Program received I.H.S. Advocacy Award for Living Well Traditionally Youth Diabetes Prevention Summer Camp
  • NATIVE HEALTH and NHW Community Health Center re-accredited for three years by Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)


  • NATIVE HEALTH Information and Referral Center opened at MetroCenter Mall
  • Native Talk Arizona, a weekly radio show about health activities and community events produced and hosted by NATIVE HEALTH on Radio Phoenix, begins broadcasting
  • NATIVE HEALTH entered into an agreement with the Mexican Consulate
  • Integrated Behavioral Health Services added to NATIVE HEALTH and NHW Community Health Center.
  • Podiatry services added to NATIVE HEALTH and NHW Community Health Center.
  • Home Visiting Program for Native American families with children under five residing off reservation begins. The program concentrates on school readiness.
  • Grant for Native Americans with chronic homelessness and health concerns initiated with community partners.
  • Centers for Medicaid/Medicare (CMS) and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) added.
  • Partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank to begin Summer Food Service Program.


  • Moved into new location at 4041 N. Central Avenue, Building C,  27,000 feet of clinical/office space.
  • Expansion of NHW Community Health Center to include behavioral health services.
  • Received “Innovation Award” from the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers for unique community outreach.


  • First integrated (Medical and Behavioral Health) outpatient license in the State of Arizona.
  • Received “Big Shot for Arizona” by The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI).
  • NHW Community Health Center begins expanded hours.
  • Wellbearto, NATIVE HEALTH’s mascot, begins touring the world!
  • NATIVE HEALTH  begins new Community Garden
  • NATIVE HEALTH begins Wellness Warriors program, funded through the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.


  • Provided prenatal services through Phoenix Perinatal Associates
  • Hosted First Annual NATIVE HEALTH Bike Rodeo
  • Healthy Living classes instituted
  • Community Garden started with City of Phoenix/KeepPhoenixBeautiful
  • Wellness Warriors, youth and family healthy living program begins
  • New WIC Clinic in Guadalupe
  • NATIVE HEALTH Living Well Traditionally Youth Diabetes Prevention Camp moves to Camp Colley in Happy Jack, AZ
  • Received award – 36th National Indian and Native American Employment Training Conference – NH receives Outstanding Employer
  • First Annual NATIVE HEALTH Laughter is the Best Medicine Fundraiser
  • GRIC dental donation
  • ACA Healthcare Options Program


  • NHW Dental clinic opens
  • New USDA program begins – children’s meals each day
  • Read it and Eat begins
  • Phoenix Perinatal Associates begins
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility (DBME) begins at NH
  • 100th newsletter published
  • Traditional Garden at KeepPhoenixBeautiful begins
  • Native STAND begins
  • Cooking Matters begins
  • PBS Vitality Garden interview


  • Psychiatry services begin
  • Children’s food backpack program begins
  • Recognized by National Association of Community Health Centers as one of top three CHC’s in addressing food insecurity
  • Car seat give-away in conjunction with Gila River Injury Prevention
  • NATIVE HEALTH Mesa opens
  • White House Drug Czar visits NATIVE HEALTH
  • Accreditation
  • Monthly Community Gathering and Dinners begin
  • New website uveiled
  • NextGen implemented
  • New NATIVE HEALTH Traditional Garden at Pierson
  • New Mexico PBS interview on new Traditional Garden and WW
  • Read it and Eat begins at NATIVE HEALTH Mesa


  • New NATIVE HEALTH Community Garden (and grand opening) at Agave Farms
  • NATIVE HEALTH celebrates 40th Anniversary
  • Tele-psychiatry begins
  • Art therapy groups instituted
  • PIMC WIC Open House
  • Native Talk Arizona revamped
  • Arizona@Work opens at NATIVE HEALTH Central
  • Commodity Senior Food Program begins at NATIVE HEALTH Central, NHW Community Health Center and NATIVE HEALTH Mesa
  • NATIVE HEALTH Opens new Medical Clinic in partnership with Chicanos Por La Causa in Maryvale
  • NATIVE HEALTH Central extended hours begin
  • Culture through Art classes
    Regalia classes
    1st Annual Open House at NH Mesa


  • United Healthcare collaborates with NATIVE HEALTH for a paid public health internship for Native American students 
  • Health and Human Services Directors visit NATIVE HEALTH Central for the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) 
  • NATIVE HEALTH Mesa Medical Clinic Grand Opening Celebration 
  • NATIVE HEALTH Mesa Medical Clinic Opens 
  • Brandon Lipps, Acting Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jesus Mendoza and Bill Ludwig of the USDA visited NATIVE HEALTH Maryvale 
  • NATIVE HEALTH recognized nationally for being one of five national Summer Meals Heroes from No Kid Hungry
  • 1st Annual Youth Resiliency YouthFest Event 
  • 11th Anniversary of Native Talk Arizona
  • Red Out Benefit Concert 
  • Once Monthly Saturday Pediatric Dental Clinics kick off 
  • Special Native Families Connect Support Group kicks off
  • Increased food distribution
  • Virtual cultural classes
  • Telehealth appointments
  • Weekend COVID testing
  • Opening of NATIVE HEALTH Mesa clinic
  • NHW 10-year Anniversary
  • NHW expanded pediatric services
  • Re-introduction of Native STAND
  • MMIW events
  • Started online cultural classes
  • Recognition from NACHC
  • 6th Annual “Laughter is the Best Medicine”


  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona MobilizeAZ funds Food for Thought Diabetes Food Pantry and Food Coordinator 
  • NATIVE HEALTH CEO, Walter Murillo, receives Health Equity Consumer Health Advocate Award from Families USA
  • Telephonic visits implemented
  • Developed COVID-19 resource page
  • Food programs expanded due to COVID-19
  • Virtual care implemented
  • NATIVE HEALTH provides COVID-19 testing blitz events in partnership with Arizona Department of Health Services
  • Native Talk Arizona was added to Spotify and iTunes Podcasts
  • Talking Circles start with Arizona State University’s American Indian Student Support Services students
  • Drive thru flu shot events begin in partnership with Maricopa County Department of Public Health due to COVID-19
  • Virtual Classes
  • Expanded food programs
  • Delivered groceries to elders
  • Telehealth appointments
  • COVID-19 Testing events
  • COVID-19 Vaccine events
  • Saturday Wellness Clinics: Pediatrics and Well Women exams
  • Pediatric “More than Masks” campaign
  • Return of Native Talk AZ
  • Indigenous Kindergarten Bootcamp
  • STEM Classes
  • Indigenous Food box
  • Indigenous Cook Off
  • Virtual Open House
  • Drive thru Flu shots


  • Saturday Pediatric Clinics
  • At home HIV testing kits available to the public
  • Urban Native American Senior Food Box program developed
  • Virtual Walk in Your Mocs Programming
  • Virtual Prayer Walk 
  • Resilient Youth Talking Circles
  • Virtual AIDS Walk Participation
  • Food programs expanded due to COVID-19
  • Implemented UberHealth Transportation 
  • 1,000 food boxes distributed in partnership with Hopi Relief
  • Verizon’s Native American People of Verizon donated thousands of toiletry items for community 
  • Continued expansion of virtual cultural classes 
  • Expansion food programs
  • NATIVE HEALTH  Mesa COVID vaccine stand-up clinic begins
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobilize AZ Public Health Case Management Program
  • Walter Murillo, NATIVE HEALTH CEO, testifies before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on COVID-19 impacts in Indian Country
  • At Home Garden Warriors Program begins
  • Positive Indian Parenting program begins
  • 250 Indigenous food boxes distributed
  • 400 holiday food boxes distributed 
  • Indigenous Cook Off
  • Virtual Open House
  • Drive thru Flu shots
  • Virtual Traditional Pageant 
  • 1,000 Native Talk Arizona podcast downloads in 6 months
  • NATIVE HEALTH’s Community Garden closes as Agave Farms is sold
  • Large toy giveaway by A.C. Green Foundation at NATIVE HEALTH Mesa
  • House Rules Committee Chairman, James McGovern, visits NATIVE HEALTH
  • Arizona@Work begins at NATIVE HEALTH Mesa
  • Over 120,000 meals distributed since COVID began
  • NATIVE HEALTH Central receives Silver Certification as an Adolescent Centered Environment
  • NATIVE HEALTH Central introduces partnership with Arizona State University’s students with “Helping Hands” concierge program. 
  • NATIVE HEALTH CEO, Walter Murillo, testifies before the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States in support of H.R. 5221
  • Indigenous Kindergarten Math Scholars Program (funded by Piper Foundation)
  • Urban Native American Senior Food Box program kicks off
  • Indigenous Preschool and Kindergarten STEM Program 
  • 17,000 COVID vaccines distributed
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility provides services at NATIVE HEALTH Central five days per week
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Arizona@Work begins at NATIVE HEALTH Mesa


  • Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Veterans Services begins at NATIVE HEALTH Central
  • Walk for the Land and the People Prayer Walk resumes 
  • Virtual Tea with the Tooth Fairy
  • Community Virtual Talking Circles begin Sundays 
  • DUI Classes begin
  • Read it and Eat resumes in person
  • NATIVE HEALTH’s 50/50 Raffle
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital Breathmobile partners with NATIVE HEALTH
  • NATIVE HEALTH receives Gold Certification as an Adolescent Centered Environment
  • Received funds from Maricopa County to renovate NATIVE HEALTH Mesa to include expansion of dental, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, and telehealth
  • HRSA Review
  • Community Legal Services begins at NATIVE HEALTH Central
  • Native Talk Arizona begins airing on KRDP 90.7 FM
  • NATIVE HEALTH launches Mobile Unit
  • NATIVE HEALTH receives HRSA Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Badge
  • CEO participated in White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health


  • 11,000 Native Talk Arizona downloads on Apple Podcasts, Google, and Spotify
  • Native Talk Arizona moves to KRDP 90.7 FM
  • 23,000 followers on Facebook
  • MPox vaccines available 
  • NATIVE HEALTH Mesa sign unveiling and NATIVE HEALTH Business Center (new name of plaza announced)
  • NATIVE HEALTH Mesa partnered with NFL Green with the Super Bowl Host Committee
  • Arizona@Work expands to NATIVE HEALTH Mesa on Tuesday mornings
  • Hosted Congressman Gallego’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples and Trafficking Roundtable
  • Worked with community, partners, and agencies on Sober Living Crisis
  • Visits with Congressman Stanton
  • Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) visit
  • Reaccreditation by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
  • NATIVE HEALTH receives National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Designation
  • NVRA formal presentation by Arizona Secretary Fontes and I.H.S. officials
  • Tweet (X) by Vice President Kamala Harris about NATIVE HEALTH NVRA Designation 
  • HHS Region 9 Director, Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, visits NATIVE HEALTH
  • Congressman Stanton participates in NATIVE HEALTH’s Urban Senior Food Box Turkey Distribution
  • NATIVE HEALTH featured in Arizona Republic/AZ Central’s “Spanish Speaking Therapists, Therapists of Color are in Short Supply.” 
  • NATIVE HEALTH hosted ASU’s Indian Legal Program for Wills and Estates Q & A community presentations 
  • Purchased 8800 Building