New Chief Medical Officer Brings Experience and Knowledge
RAPID CITY –When the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe chose to take control of the Rapid City Service Unit from the Indian Health Service, it made a promise to seek out the best and the brightest healthcare providers.
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board and the Oyate Health Center have announced the hiring of Dr. Mark Harlow as its new Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Mark Harlow is an orthopedic surgeon who moved to Rapid City, South Dakota in 1991. Harlow was a star high school football who served as a back-up for legendary strongman Bill Kazmaier during his youth in Racine County, Wisconsin. Harlow would go on to play college football for Northwestern University where he competed against the likes of Joe Montana.
He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has received a “very positive” rating from U.S. News. U.S. News publishes patient experience ratings from Fountain Analytics, which aggregates patient reviews from over a hundred sites to compile information that reflects patients’ feedback on factors such as good communication, clarity of instructions, etc.
As an Orthopedic surgeon, he diagnosed and treated ailments affecting muscles, bones and joints, treated sports injuries, degenerative diseases, tumors, infections, and birth defects. As a Chief Medical Officer, he will be responsible for overseeing the management of the Oyate Health Center’s clinical operations, work as a liaison between hospital administration and the staff, and most importantly –ensure the highest standards of medical care are achieved.
Dr. Harlow also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, Medical Director for the Special Olympics of South Dakota, and the Board of Directors for the South Dakota State Medical Association. He is a faculty member at the Sanford School of Medicine and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The hire comes as the GPTCHB is integrating a brand new approach to healthcare in Rapid City.
The introduction of the Nuka model was made possible by the decision of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to take over management responsibilities of the Rapid City Service Unit from the federal government through the 638-contracting process.
This exercise of tribal sovereignty and self-determination is part of a trend where tribal-nations are taking control over mismanaged federal programs that were designed to provide services to Native American people. This effort was recently documented in the New York Times.