NATIVE HEALTH started in 1978 as a small community nursing program. The agency has grown over its thirty-five 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


  • 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


  • 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 Bike Rodeo for families and children


  • Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) opens the first community based On the Spot office at NATIVE HEALTH
  • Dental Clinic opens at NHW Community Health Center.
  • Medical Legal Partnership begins with Community Legal Services at NATIVE HEALTH.
  • NATIVE HEALTH Traditional Garden begins at KeepPhoenixBeautiful site.
  • USDA Dinner Program begins at NATIVE HEALTH. The daily “dinner” program begins distributing meals to children to address food insecurity.
  • Increased partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank. Over 30,000 meals served in 2016.
  • Creation of successful Read it and Eat program focusing on early literacy and healthy cooking.
  • New site for Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program which focuses on healthy cooking on a budget.


  • Purchased additional building in Mesa, NATIVE HEALTH East.  Services began June 2017.
  • Received additional three year accreditation by Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care
  • Recognition by National Association of Community Health Centers as one of top three Community Health Centers addressing food insecurity in the United States
  • Expansion of Arizona Department of Economic Security services to five days per week
  • Began “BackPack” program from St. Mary’s Food Bank which provides “BackPacks” of food on the weekends for hungry families
  • NATIVE HEALTH began providing psychiatry and tele-psychiatry services