The Kayenta Service Area encompasses 4,500 square miles of beautiful red rock country on the northern portion of the Navajo Reservation. The name Kayenta is a White Trader’s pronunciation of the Navajo Phrase “Tèè’nidèèh” referring to a Diversion Dam that was built in the 1930s just northwest of the Present Township where people used to get stuck in the mossy pasture.
Kayenta is the gateway to the “Eighth Wonder of the World” – MONUMENT VALLEY, and the nearby Goosenecks carved by the San Juan River, and the breathtaking Valley of the Gods. The sandstone monoliths in Monument Valley designed by rain and wind over thousands of years is home to the Navajo people. The scenic landscape has also been a backdrop for many classic western movies such as “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” “Fort Apache,” “Cheyenne Autumn,” as well as scientific films such as “Broken Arrow.”
The population that we serve is 18,000 members of the Navajo and San Juan Southern Paiute tribes.
There are many miles between these communities, but our dedicated staff which include Health Education Technicians, Senior Community Health Workers, and Nutritionist enjoy traveling to these communities to provide the needed services.
We provide information, resources on diabetes, and prevention activities with coordination from other health educators and providers for the overall health of all people living within the northern portion of the Navajo reservation. These activities are carried out through health fairs at the chapters, schools, housing areas, and health facilities.
Some of the regular events we initiated in our Service Area include Health Fairs, Fun Walks and Runs, community-based education and prevention of diabetes. Our annual “Raising the Bar to Exercise” in Monument Valley has attracted a lot of attention which includes 10 mile bike ride, wheel chair relay, 13 mile horseback ride, fun walk and run, and capped off with a health fair with support from local health entities and businesses from the area.
We enjoy working with Burger King, Sacred Monument Tours, Monument Valley Tours, Bennett Tours, Goulding's Monument Valley Trading Post & Lodge, Monument Valley High School, Monument Navajo Nation Tribal Park, Kayenta Public Health Nurse Program, Tohdennashai Disability Support Group & staff members of Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project.
The people in this area are into riding horses. Last year there was a horseback ride in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Navajo Monument Valley Tribal Park and our Service Area was involved. There were over 200 riders that participated. It was a grandeur site to see that many horses going through the valley. When we have our activities, we try to include horseback riding as part of the event. The schools even permit students to participate and they get health credits for their participation, which makes it nice for us because we get to work with students and educate them about diabetes.
We have had many, positive feedback from community members about our activities. They tell us how those educational materials and presentations helped to change their lifestyles from cutting back on drinking sodas to eating less and exercising more. This has encouraged our staff to do more and to get involved with community members at all levels.