‘American Diagnosis’ Episode 1: On the Navajo Nation, Root Causes Complicated the Covid Fight

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Episode 1: It’s Up to You — T’áá hwó’ ají t’éego

Travel to the forests outside the Grand Canyon to follow Dr. Sophina Calderon and other Navajo Nation leaders as covid-19 tests the Diné people.

Roughly 30% of the homes on the Navajo Nation rely on wood-burning stoves for heat. Many of those households haul wood from nearby forests. That’s what Calderon was doing when she realized the pandemic’s reach wouldn’t stop at the hospital — it was going to create a heating crisis too.

This episode explores root causes behind why some citizens of the Navajo Nation lack access to electricity and other infrastructure, and how so-called social determinants of health made the Diné so vulnerable to the first surges of the pandemic.

Voices from the episode:

Dr. Sophina Calderon — @calderonsophinaJill Jim, Ph.D. — LinkedInDr. Ernestine Chaco — @Ernestine_Chaco

Episode 1 includes audio of pine siskin birds recorded in Coconino, Arizona, courtesy of contributor Parker Davis via the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML153777441).

A transcript of the episode will available 4-5 days after the episode posts.

Season 4 of “American Diagnosis” is a co-production of KHN and Just Human Productions.

To hear all KHN podcasts, click here.

Listen and follow “American Diagnosis” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google or Stitcher.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


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