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Heroes of Public Health

Yolanda Nashio

As a member of the Apache tribe, Yolanda Nashio is keenly aware of the social, economic and health problems her people face daily. Health, she says, is the most important because without it, social and economic success are not possible. Introspective and reserved, she has enrolled more than 2,000 children in studies sponsored by the School's Center for American Indian and Alaskan Native Health.

Yolanda Nashio has chosen to devote her considerable efforts to the improvement of the health of Apache infants. They not only represent the future of her tribe but are at unusually high risk for many common infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, ear infections and meningitis.

Her work is done primarily in Apache homes. She readily learns the protocols of on-going studies and is able to present them effectively to wary parents. She is adept at assessing the health status of infants in the health studies and is a valuable team member at vaccination clinics. She also performs diagnostic laboratory procedures.

As an American Indian, a mother, and a member of the Hopkins team, Yolanda Nashio has played a role in the decrease of disease among apache children in the last decade.