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Elijah A. Begay

Navajo Department of Health

Health Education Technician - Tuba City, AZ Service Area

Elijah is from Tuba City, AZ, a community located within the western region of the Navajo Nation. He has been a Health Education Technician with the Navajo Health Education Program for the past six months when the pandemic hit the Navajo Nation. As a Health Education Technician, Elijah provides health education and prevention guidance to community members within the Tuba City service area.

Elijah spent a short time in this position when his role changed to taking a part of the Navajo Health Command Operations Center's Strike Team. As a strike team member, a person offers his/her assistance in making life easily manageable for those at high risk for COVID-19 and for those who are positive and isolated. The mission of each member is to provide services to keep all of the Navajo residents safe.

"What keeps me motivated is knowing that my team is delivering to the high risk, elderly, and COVID-19 patients and letting them know that we are there to help them during these hard times. No one should overcome this battle alone, and we need to be there for one another."

Elijah

On a typical day, Elijah delivers dry food boxes of food, water hygiene kits, and cleaning supplies to community members within the Tuba City service area. He also provides public education and prevention tips to combat COVID-19.

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"Being in the public health field is very vigorous and rewarding, especially when you know you are helping your community. Interacting with elderly community members when delivering food has been the most memorable experience. Elders are grateful for receiving the essential supplies they need – especially those who live in rural areas. Seeing them smile lights up my day and reminds me of why I chose to be in the public health field."

Elijah

Elijah and his team are working hard to reach community members who live in the more rural areas of the Tuba City service area. He stated that most rural families and individuals do not have the same opportunities and resources as residents who live near towns.

"Remember to be patient and remain firm to our Diné teachings, traditional values, and beliefs, and we will beat COVID-19. Stay home, stay safe. We all have to do our best for ourselves, family, and entire Diné Nation. Wearing face masks, following given curfew hours, maintaining social distancing, and proper handwashing are the best prevention against COVID-19. We are strong and resilient Diné People."

Elijah
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