Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic has received a $150,000 grant from Bank of America to open an Oklahoma City Indian Clinic and a Bank of America Resource Center to cater to American Indians in Oklahoma.
OKCIC is a non-profit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in Central Oklahoma.
According to recent Feeding America data, 1 in 4 American Indians are food insecure – a much higher percentage compared to the national average of 1 in 9 Americans. Oklahoma as a whole faces above-average rates of food insecurity, according to the USDA.
The new Food Resource Center will serve 4,000 American Indian families during the first year and provide food and health education through an evidence-based nutritional program. OKCIC is the largest urban Indian healthcare facility in the contiguous United States and the only Indian healthcare facility in the Oklahoma City area. OKCIC serves more than 22,000 patients from more than 200 federally recognized tribes and is uniquely positioned to address food insecurity among Oklahoma’s American Indians.
“OKCIC is dedicated to providing excellent health care to American Indians, and we know that food insecurity can lead to negative health outcomes,” said Robyn Sunday-Allen, CEO of OKCIC. “We are grateful for this Bank of America grant because it will allow us to connect patients to the resources they need and improve health outcomes for American Indian families throughout Oklahoma.”
People with chronic diseases may have specific nutritional needs, but are not able to access the best foods suitable for managing their conditions. By providing free, healthy food to patients, it will build the foundation for improving health outcomes directly related to chronic disease. In addition, OKCIC will include health diet education with support from in-house dietitians.
“Support for the Native American community is consistent with our continued commitment to promoting economic mobility and opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds,” said Tony Sheen, President, Bank of America, Oklahoma City. “To complement the culturally sensitive health and wellness work already provided by the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, the Food Resource Center will go a long way in addressing food insecurity in our indigenous communities.”
The goals of the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic and Bank of America Resource Center include:
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Improve nutritional knowledge and behaviour
- Encourage healthy shopping and cooking
- Promote a healthy body weight
- Preventing or managing diabetes and other diet-related health conditions
- Provide an environment free of stigma for food insecurity
Food assistance is OKCIC’s most requested resource. OKCIC officials said the addition of this food resource center should have a significant impact on the health of American Indians.