Health center welcomes new physician

Julianna Reece (right) from Ft. Defiance, AZ has focused her entire career in Indian health. She hopes to bring quality care for folks within the community, while networking with other departments in providing the best needs for tribal patients.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

The newest physician at the Southern Ute Health Center has always had a passion for treating the Native community, and she hopes her expertise and passion will bring positive change to the Health Center.

“My entire career I have focused on Indian health, my mission is to improve health care and wellness for the Native population.”

Reece is Diné, born and raised in Ft. Defiance, AZ. She attended medical school at the University of New Mexico and completed her residency at UC Davis Redding Family Medicine.

She began working primarily with the Native population at Northern Valley Indian Health in Chico, Calif. Reece was there five years before moving home to work at the Ft. Defiance Indian Hospital – where she was the chief of family medicine for the last five years.

When asked what appealed to her most about the Southern Ute job – she had numerous offers – she said something about the Health Center made her feel like she could do the most here.

“I just saw so much potential here,” she said. “The Tribe is very progressive, and I wanted to use my expertise to help this clinic become a high quality facility.”

Reece will be spending half of her time seeing patients, and the other half as the chief of community health.

When working in community health, she plans to network with various tribal departments to develop a comprehensive quality care plan that caters to the specific needs of the community, she said.

“Quality care is not just going to the doctor; it consists of prevention, management, dealing will illness, as well as general well checks,” Reece said.

Branching out to other departments will help her gain an understanding of the community as well as the culture of the Ute people, she said.

According to Reece, plenty of changes are on the way but patients shouldn’t be alarmed.

“There is plenty of room for improvement, and we’ll be making lots of changes, but all the changes are evidence based to improve health care,” she said.

Reece said she understands how important it is to patients to have a permanent provider and she wants the community to know that she is here for the long run.

“I’m not the type to bounce around, I envision myself here permanently,” she said.

On her down time, Reece said you can find her spending time with her two children and her husband.

Reece enjoys the outdoors and lives an active lifestyle. Both Reece and her husband are Cross Fit certified level-one trainers.

Reece began seeing patients at the Health Center earlier this week.

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