Wednesday, October 24, 2018
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board is seeking community input for a tribal run hospital on the north east side of Rapid City.
The organization presented processes taken thus far to open a self-governed healthcare system.
In 2017, the Oglala, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes voted to transfer authority of management of the IHS run Sioux San hospital, over to the authority of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.
Part of that transfer of authority, includes seeking a self-governance status with the federal government.
That allows the health board to capture those federal dollars associated with IHS operations, but gives tribes more operational authority.
Jerilyn Church is the CEO of the organization. She says the tribe is out growing the Sioux San facility.
“We need to expand services,” Church says. “We need to expand substance use disorder services, we need to expand mental health services, and we need to expand our clinical services.”
Church says the new site will give the tribes a chance to build that new health center.
The organization wants input on what services are needed at a new center, as well as design and naming the facility
A Rapid City developer donated 20 acres to the health board to build the facility. Plus, Church says the health board is concerned about building or expanding at the Sioux San campus.
“Given that we know there are unmarked graves there, we don’t know that there aren’t more,” Church says. “That land is very historic, not just the building, but the land itself. It holds a very reverent space for us and the histories of our families and the history of Rapid City.”
Church says given that, the health board plans on transforming the current hospital into a campus for mental health and spiritual health services. She says that seems most fitting for the next era of Sioux San.
Article originally published at South Dakota Public Broadcasting.