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Bridging Traditions and Technology

November 28 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm PST

Hear healthcare leaders from indigenous communities discuss strategies to improve access to healthcare innovations and care.

According to the American Indian Policy Institute, 18 percent of reservation residents lack internet access, 33 percent rely on cell phone service only, 49 percent utilize a land-based internet provider and 31 percent have spotty internet connection. The limited access to services presents major barriers to access to innovative healthcare solutions to improve health disparities such as diabetes, chronic liver diseases and more.

With native american and indigenous territories spanning across the nation, the data depicts the breadth of the impact that the digital divide plays in exacerbating existing disparities. During this conversation, Rafael Tapia, vice president of programs at Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA), will speak with John Achoukian, healthcare management consultant with CWH Advisors, to discuss the role of the digital divide in Native American and indigenous communities, how to increase access to innovative solutions to improve health outcomes and share strategies for innovators who are developing solutions to support Native American and indigenous communities while respecting and preserving their rich cultural heritage.


2:30pm CT | Opening remarks

2:35pm CT | Discussion

3:20pm CT | Audience Q&A


Rafael Tapia

Director of Tribal Community Connections at Local First Arizona

Rafael F. Tapia, Jr., is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and the Director of Tribal Community Connections at Local First Arizona (LFA) serving Arizona’s 22 Federally Recognized Tribes/Nations. LFA is a 20-year-old nonprofit focused on building vibrant, inclusive and prosperous economies in rural and tribal communities. LFA services include business, workforce, community, and infrastructure development resources and advocacy. Rafael’s experience includes being the Vice President of a national native non-profit serving hundreds of tribal communities and Director of Outpatient Treatment Centers focusing on alcohol addiction, behavioral health, social, and residential treatment services. Rafael has an MBA from the University of Arizona and an Economic Development certificate from the University of Oklahoma.


John Achoukian, MHI, PMP

Healthcare Management Consultant at CWH Advisors

John Achoukian is a healthcare management consultant with CWH Advisors and serves as a biomedical mentor in residence at the University of Arizona FORGE (Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs). He has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including health tech, health plans and provider spaces. Throughout his career he has been a tireless champion for healthcare equity, dedicating his career to providing underserved populations with access to quality, affordable care. John has led multiple initiatives to address care fragmentation, coordination between providers, improved patient engagement, and social determinants of health. He has a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare journey and deep insights into the healthcare needs and perspectives of both consumers and providers. John lives in Tucson, Arizona, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a Master of Healthcare Innovation (MHI) from Arizona State University.


November 28
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm PST
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