Chapa-De was founded in 1974 after a study showed American Indians in California suffered from a higher incidence of diabetes, depression, and substance abuse. American Indians were also found to suffer from higher rates of infant mortality and have drastically shorter life expectancy rates. This study also revealed that American Indians had not had regular access to healthcare services, including basic dental care, since the 1950s.
These findings compelled a group of local American Indians to open Northern Sierra Indian Health, later to be renamed Chapa-De Indian Health. At that time, Chapa-De had one dental chair in a rented office space and our sole purpose was to provide care to the local American Indians in Placer, Nevada and Sierra counties.
Today Chapa-De operates two private, non-profit community health centers and is governed by an American Indian Board of Directors. The Board of Directors includes members of the United Auburn Indian Community, which is Chapa-De’s supporting Tribe. Under UAIC’s authority, Chapa-De contracts with Indian Health Services (IHS) to provide no-cost or low-cost services and medications to verified American Indians and Alaska Natives from federally recognized tribes. We also now welcome low-income individuals and families.