RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two United States senators have announced nearly half of a million dollars will be made available to Virginia Native American tribes to expand access to diabetes treatment and prevention.

The $417,983 was awarded through the Indian Health Services’ (IHS) Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). Legislation championed by U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine to federally recognize six Virginia tribes — the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond tribes — made it possible for them to receive funding through SDPI for the first time after being signed into law January 2018.

“This program is important to help our nation’s tribes access the health care they need,” said the senators in a joint statement. “We’re glad Virginia’s tribes are receiving this support to help treat and prevent diabetes in their communities.”

Funding distribution

  • $180,550 for Mid-Atlantic Service Unit in Richmond, which serves the Pamunkey Tribe, the Chickahominy Tribe, the Chickahominy Tribe Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe Inc., the Monacan Nation, and the Nansemond Tribe
  • $102,659 for the Monacan Nation in Madison Heights
  • $84,984 for the Chickahominy Tribe in Providence Forge
  • $49,790 for the Upper Mattaponi Tribe in King William