Mary Kay Inc. is helping Native American populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, in an effort to help slow the spread of the pandemic and support frontline workers, Mary Kay Inc. announced it would donate nearly $10 million in monetary and distribution support in the communities where it operates around the globe. As the world continues to battle the virus, Mary Kay has expanded that commitment to over $10 million while also broadening its partnerships with support organizations and targeting those populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
One such population is the Navajo Nation, which is experiencing some of the most COVID-19 cases per capita in the United States. Stretching 25,000 square miles of land across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, approximately 244,000 people call Navajo Nation home. The community has an infection rate higher than most communities and nearly 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“Big, sweeping efforts to help fight this virus are important—and impactful—but we also must focus in on our most vulnerable communities,” said David Holl, chairman and chief executive officer of Mary Kay Inc. “The countless stories of families affected in our country’s great Native American population are devastating. It’s our hope that organizations continue to support the Indian Health Service so frontline workers can safely stop the spread and provide care for those already affected by the virus.”
Mary Kay has donated nearly 75,000 units of hand sanitizer to the Indian Health Service (IHS), an operating division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. IHS is responsible for providing direct medical and public health services to members of federally recognized Native American tribes and Alaska Native people. The network is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people, providing a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. The donated hand sanitizer units were used to stock 26 hospitals, 59 health centers, and 32 health stations within the nationwide IHS network.
The company also supplied hand sanitizer units to the Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC) to help support their efforts to create home hygiene care kits and promote health through educational materials. The GIMC Community Response team is standardizing the distribution of health promotion and hygiene materials at patient access points such as drive-through testing sites. Health promotion will be provided via in-person conversations with medical professionals and distribution of written information available in English and Navajo.
“The Indian Health Service, along with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners, are delivering crucial services under extraordinary circumstances,” said IHS Director Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee. “Hand sanitizer is an important resource for stopping the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful for this donation and for all the donations that we are receiving from different sources. They make a real difference in our ability to better serve our communities and fulfill the IHS mission of raising the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives during this pandemic.”