Tribes to assume control of all tribal healthcare in Pennington County

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Beginning February 26, healthcare for tribal citizens living in Pennington Country will be 100% controlled by tribal nations.

According to a release from the Oyate Health Center, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe have formally authorized the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board as the Indian Health Service will officially step aside.

The Health Board will assume complete control of the Rapid City Service Unit from the federal government on their behalf as the Indian Health Service will continue to provide funding for care. Decisions on utilizing the funding will be made locally.

The Oyate Health Center has been operated by the Health Board on behalf of the Oglala and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for the last two years with the Rosebud Sioux joining its sister tribes last year. The tribes then used the 638 Self-Determination process to move forward in taking control of its people’s healthcare future.

With the use of a 638-contract, the tribes or tribal organizations no longer need to reach out to area offices or Washington D.C. to adjust services on the ground. The 638-contract will also benefit the community with jobs, training and expanded community capacity as the Health Board and the Oyate Center combined employ 311 employees.

The IHS clinic will remain open until February 26.

The Oyate Health Center encourages patients who previously utilized providers at the IHS clinic to create a chart and sign a release of information at their campus. This is done so their new providers can access their healthcare history and assure a continuation of care for them.

Inquires about IHS issued PRC referrals before February 26 may be directed to the Great Plains Area IHS at (605) 718-4021 or (605) 721-4022.

For inquires about these referrals after February 26, you can call (605) 226-7286 or (605) 226-7405.

More information about the Oyate Health Center and their services can be found here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News