The History of Chapa-De



The Regional Medical Program of UC San Francisco awarded a grant of $33,900 to a group of American Indians from Auburn. The grant funded a community survey on the health status of American Indians residing in Placer, Sierra Nevada and El Dorado counties.


Northern Sierra Indian Health Program was established with a single dental chair in a rented office space in Auburn. The founding goal was to provide dental care to local American Indians.


Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act was passed. This federal policy reversed how the U.S. did business with Tribal nations. The government now recognized tribal sovereignty and self-control. This made way for tribal organizations to make decisions on many things including healthcare.


Congress passed the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act. Among its most notable features, it created a mechanism for the Indian Health Service and tribal programs to bill Medicare and Medicaid.


In June, we became formally incorporated and recognized by the state of California under the name Auburn Indian Health Project, Inc. Then, in October, we changed our name to Auburn Indian Health Program, Inc. Signatories on this document included Dan Potter (Chair), Hickey Murray (Vice Chair), Carolyne Foreman (Secretary/Treasurer) and Bernita Smith. Janet Rogers was the Director. It was also this year that we became a 501c3 nonprofit organization, moved to the Dewitt Center in Auburn, and added Medical Services.


1985: Our name changed to Chapa-De Indian Health Program. Linda Streeter (President) and Vi Hamil (Secretary) signed the certificate of amendment to change the name. James Thompson was the Director. The new name was suggested by Dalbert Castro through a patient contest. Chapa-De is part of a Nisenan term that loosely means where the valley meets the trees or foothills. We also opened a new clinic in El Dorado County this year.


We moved to our new Atwood Road location in Auburn. Dina Ossa was the Board Chair
then. It was also in the mid ‘90s that our Board of Directors approved welcoming non-Indian
patients in need at Chapa-De.


Services in El Dorado County transferred from Chapa-De to Shingle Springs Tribal Health and we opened a clinic in Woodland named Yocha-De-He.


Chapa-De received accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare organizations (JCAHO)


We opened a clinic in Grass Valley to make services more convenient for Nevada and Sierra County patients. We also received Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) funding from Indian Health Service and established our diabetes wellness and prevention programs.


A new building was added to our Atwood campus in Auburn to house Administration, Human Resources, and Information Technology.


We opened our newly built and much larger clinic at 1350 East Main Street in Grass Valley.


Chapa-De started the first of several renovations at our Auburn campus to expand patient care space and capacity.


The Indian Health Care Improvement Act was permanently reauthorized as part of the Affordable Care Act in March. Then, longtime CEO, Carol Ervin retired leaving a legacy of ensuring native people had access to high-quality healthcare in facilities that are welcoming, relaxing and representative of the beauty of native culture. It was also this year that recession and financial challenges led to a nearly 50% overall staff reduction.


In October, we were notified that our Auburn site was selected as one of 500 Community Clinics nationwide to participate in the three-year Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Patient-Centered Medical Home Demonstration Project.


The ongoing recession and financial challenges resulted in the sale of the Yocha-De-He clinic in Woodland. This year, April Moore stepped into the role of Board Chair. Chapa-De also contracted with Nevada County and began providing services to Medi-Cal patients under the Bridge to Reform program.

September 2013

Chapa-De signed a Title V Tribal Self-Governance Compact with Indian Health Service

October 2013

Chapa-De was selected to participate in Sierra Health Foundation’s Capacity Building Grant program

December 2013

Under the Leadership of CEO Lisa Davies, Chapa-De returned to pre-recession staffing and service levels and was poised for major growth in alignment with Medi-Cal expansion happening under the Affordable Care Act

April 2014

Started Chronic Pain Management Classes as part of a dedicated effort to reduce utilization and dependence on opioid pain medications

May 2014

Opened our Call Center in Grass Valley

December 2014

Became the first Tribal Health Program in California to receive Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

February 2015

Major renovation completed at Auburn location to expand dental, medical and pharmacy departments and add a large exercise space for patients. The new layout also integrated medical and behavioral health services and was designed to encourage collaboration

July 2015

Brenda Adams becomes Board Chair

August 2015

Established the April Moore Memorial Scholarship in memory of longtime Chapa-De Board Member and Chair

August 2015

Started partnership with Placer Food Bank to provide outreach and onsite registration assistance for CalFresh

July 2016

Chapa-De collaborated with Latino Leadership Council (LLC), through funding provided by Sutter Health, to create diabetes education curriculum for Spanish speaking community members

October 2016

First dental screening and education event offered at Rock Creek Elementary. This would be the first of many school and daycare-based events to serve thousands of students in Placer and Nevada Counties.

November 2016

Began offering Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Dependence.

February 2017

Added a Community Health Representative to support American Indian Patients

March 2017

Resumed offering prenatal care services and the Baby Luv Program at the Auburn Health Center in response to the lack of providers offering this service in the area for Medi-Cal patients

July 2017

Implemented a new and more robust Electronic Health Record system called eClincalWorks

May 2018


Chapa-De Telehealth Program featured by the Center for Care Innovations in video series and at telehealth conference

September 2018

Chapa-De receives Tribal Opioid Response Program grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

December 2018

Established Care Coordination Services to support patients to effectively navigate healthcare systems and address social needs

March 2019

Prenatal services expanded to Grass Valley Health Center

August 2019

Implemented Advanced Access Scheduling to reduce wait times for patient appointments

October 2019

Begin first discussions with Dignity Health on developing a Physician Residency Training Program in Grass Valley

February 2020

Established an Incident Response Team to respond to what would become the COVID-19 Pandemic. This team would help enact enhanced safety precautions, COVID-19 testing and drive-thru care services, expanded telehealth services, COVID-19 mass vaccination and education campaigns, and employee wellbeing efforts.

March 2020

Temporarily reduced dental services to emergency services only and instated Chapa-De’s first ever work from home arrangements for non-essential staff to slow the spread of COVID-19.

April 2020

Opened new Administration Office at 2485 Bell Road

February 2021

Restarted Chapa-De News, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to connecting with native community members and American Indian culture.

March 2021

Completed renovation of 17,000 square feet at the Auburn & Grass Valley Health Centers adding phlebotomy labs and further expanding medical, dental and diabetes wellness and prevention services

December 2021

Administered a total of 13,174 COVID-19 Vaccinations and 4,232 COVID-19 tests through the year

April 2022

Added Maternal Child Health Program to provide added support, education and health management for women and children

July 2022

Opened a newly built 10,000 square foot Administration Building in Grass Valley

October 2022

Patients started having easier access to Physical Therapy services. Chapa-De’s new Tribal FQHC designation under Medi-Cal established ability to contract directly with specialists for services.

Added Endodontic Services

Became a founding partner of the Sierra Nevada Family Residency Program

Chapa-De Celebrates our 50th Year

Preparations are underway to break ground on a new Rocklin Health Center

Chapa-De surpassed 300 employees serving over 25,000 active patients