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Judith K. Jake

Navajo Special Diabetes Program - Program Supervisor I

Chinle Service Unit

Judith K. Jake is the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Program (NSDP) Supervisor 1 for the Chinle Service Area and oversees two Health Educators and an Office Aide. Their mission is "to provide healthy lifestyle changes to reduce and prevent diabetes affecting Navajo People," by providing opportunities for clients to make healthy lifestyle choices through enjoyable physical activities and exercise programs. Since March, Judith and her team have assisted in the COVID-19 response on the Navajo Nation. She considers Toyei, AZ, her hometown, but has relocated to Chinle, AZ for work. Judith’s clans are, Naakaii Dine'é (Mexican clan) and Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House) and her grandparent’s clans are Tábaahá (Edge Water) and Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter water).

"In the beginning, we were assigned to the Navajo Health Command Operations Center's Strike Team, and then reassigned to the Response Support Team. I was recently appointed as the Point of Contact for the Chinle Point of Distribution Site. Our site is industrious, and works diligently to fulfill the ICS 213 orders, which inquire about requests to respond to the coronavirus."

Judith

The distribution site, partners with Community Health Workers, and the Health Education Program, and manages the food, water, and cleaning supplies for COVID-19 patients. On occasion, isolation tents are packed for the health responders. It is vital to make sure the exact amount of items are packed, so the patients and recipients are not deficient in needed supplies and food.

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"There's never a dull moment when one is busy; I have two priorities, filling the Point of Contact and the NSDP supervisory duties, which keeps me plenty busy. When I'm not attending to tasks for the COVID-19 response, I am busy attending to my program responsibilities."

Judith

Challenges come when doing something for the first time, like new, unexpected tasks and responsibilities. When Judith began working with the health command center, she had to face her feelings of fear of delivering items to COVID-19 positive patients. Her apprehensions subsided as she took proper safety measures when distributing supplies.

As Judith reflects on memorable moments, she contemplates a moment when she delivered food and supplies to a gentleman. "He watched out for us to make sure we reached the right home. He waved until we arrived. He stepped into his home, so we could safely deliver his supplies. 'I can't wait to eat,' he explained. A couple of days later, I conducted a follow-up call with him. He told me he hadn't any water for cleaning and bathing. I contacted the chapter, and they delivered the water. He called me back and conveyed how appreciative he was." - Judith

"When I educate people on COVID-19 prevention behaviors, I find that there are folks that still do not understand the effects of COVID-19. Because of this, I continue to educate our elders about the symptoms of coronavirus. Please be careful when out and about, especially watch over our elders, and be aware that they are vulnerable. We should think twice before we visit them. We love our family and want them with us, but remember all people are potentially contagious, and we should be careful who we allow visiting our homes."

Judith
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"Thank you to all the Support Staff here, at the Chinle POD Site, as well as all the CHRs, Health Education Program, and HCOC staff whom assist me."

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