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Fannie Jackson

Navajo Department of Health- Health Education Program/ HIV Prevention Program

HIV Health Educator Ft. Defiance Service Area

Fannie is from Ganado, Arizona, a small community just 32 miles from Window Rock, AZ, the Navajo Nation capital. She has been working for the Navajo Nation for the past 24 years, four of which have been dedicated to the Community Health Representative (CHR) Program and 20 years devoted to the Navajo Health Education Program. Starting as a Health Technician, Fannie worked her way up to be the HIV Health Educator for the Ft. Defiance Service Area.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannie’s main focus was providing sexual health and STI prevention education, and HIV screenings within the Ft. Defiance service area to community members, schools, worksites, and patients. She shifted gears once the pandemic struck the Navajo Nation. Fannie once was able to freely provide HIV health education and administer HIV rapid testing for individuals. Now, she is a part of the Navajo Health Command Operations Center's Strike Team, partnering with the local CHRs, giving assistance to those who are high-risk, and patients afflicted with COVID-19.

“It is amazing to see programs and individuals come together to help our people. I have seen individuals go out of their way to assist during this pandemic. It shows that we can defeat this virus with strength, confidence, and hope."

Fannie

Prayer is a contributing factor in keeping Fannie motivated. Being taught at a young age, she continues to pray daily, especially during these uncertain times. Knowing she is a part of a team assisting Navajo families in need of help, and seeing their genuine gratitude is another reason to keep moving forward.

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“Change can bring out the good and bad in people. During the past few months, I have seen both. It can be a challenge when people are resistant to change, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to adjust to change, whether we like it or not. Receiving both negative and positive vibes, helps me improve how I teach important precautionary behaviors to better help people adjust to the new changes. Seeing the good in people makes all it worth it. At the end of the day, as Frontline workers, we control our thoughts and attitudes.”

Fannie

On a typical workday, Fannie checks in with the Strike Team leader or the HCOC Warehouse for daily assignments, and helps identify high risk and COVID positive patients who need assistance post-haste. Along with a team member, they deliver food, water, and cleaning supplies to families in need. She also assists with the local chapters with food distributions donated by St. Mary’s Food Bank. Her role is collecting information from people receiving food. Fannie also translates public health messages into the Diné language.

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"We, as Diné people, have overcome many challenges since the beginning of time, and we can beat this monster again. We need to start with ourselves by having self-respect and respect others. Let us take care of our household, teach our families to practice good handwashing, wear cloth face coverings, and social distance from others when we are out in public. Accepting Change can make us a stronger Navajo Nation.”

Fannie
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