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Lanea Desiderio Jim

Navajo Health Education Program

Gallup Service Area

Lanea Desiderio Jim is from Sanders, AZ, a small community along the historic route 66 highway. She works 41 miles east of her hometown in Gallup, NM. Lanea has been working as a Health Educator since March 2019 for the Navajo Health Education Program. As a health educator her primary job is to provide public health education in the communities, schools, worksites and patients throughout the Gallup Service Area.

During the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Navajo Nation, Lanea was a part of the first response team to assist the Health Command Center as a support staff operating the Navajo Nation Coronavirus hotline. In due time, she was reassigned to the Gallup Strike Team.

“My duties began with street outreach as a Strike team Leader. My colleague and I shared COVID-19 prevention education at various businesses in Gallup. I have also assisted at the staging post in both Thoreau and Standing Rock, NM. I now assist at COVID-19 drive-up testing sites throughout the Gallup Service Area and provide patient education to those who receive testing.”

Lanea

A typical day for Lanea is similar to other front-line workers, laboring tirelessly to help the Navajo Nation in the response to COVID-19 pandemic. Long days are full of inventory, sanitizing, separating food, packaging boxes, loading them for pick up or delivery, and curbside deliveries. She also participates in various trainings on how better to help the communities she serves.

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“Faith keeps me motivated. It is the head of everything I do. I chose this profession because I truly value my Diné People, to protect them from health disparities that continue to harm the livelihood of our existence. Through this pandemic, God showed me that this is my purpose in life. I believe we all have a path that is set for us, and this is what I am meant to do.”

Lanea

Being a frontline worker is not frightening for Lanea. Her faith helps her stay vigilant and courageous. The notes of appreciation and words of inspiration shared by community members helps Lanea keep doing the work she has been tasked with. It makes it all worthwhile when she hears a grandma say, “Ahe’hee’ shiyazhi”. Lanea is certain her purpose in life is helping others before herself.

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“A memorable moment that touched my heart is when a mother prepared a sage tea remedy for me. She prepared it hot early in the morning and said a prayer, this shows the respect and love our Diné People have for others. No matter the stress and the overwhelming exhaustion that we as frontline workers face, it is so heartwarming to know that someone out there is praying for our safety. Everything good begins with a prayer. This is something I am going to remember even after this pandemic.”

Lanea

“Many of our Navajo people live in harsh conditions and lack resources to provide for large families. Those living in generational homes make it difficult to practice social distancing. The world is experiencing a new virus, and we are learning as we go. It has shed a light on these areas of poverty among our people. Though many live in harsh conditions, we have managed to bring COVID-19 cases down on Navajo Nation. It is amazing! It proves we are a very rich in teachings and respect. We were once a Nation recording the highest numbers of cases and now we are showing a decline. It is the people’s unity that is making this happen.”

Lanea

Lanea encourages everyone to be strong in heart and mind, and not to let fear take over during these unparalleled times. Keep following health prevention guidelines. Ask questions to stay informed. She implores people to help keep their families safe by sharing prevention information with them.

“One of the most important things to do is pray! Pray God protects you, your family, and our Navajo Nation. No greater cure than the protection from God Himself.”

Lanea
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