IHS Meets with Tribal Leaders to Announce the Closure of Sioux San Emergency Room

Rapid City Indian Health Service Unit

Rapid City Indian Health Service Unit

Published September 14, 2016

RAPID  CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA – Tribal leaders were called to a meeting to “discuss” Sioux San IHS hospital in Rapid City. There was no other information given to the Tribal leaders regarding the meeting. Upon arrival to the facility the acting area Director informed the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier that the meeting would be moving into an “executive” status. This would remove everyone from the room but the IHS staff and Tribal Leaders.

The meeting was called without an agenda or any material for the Tribal leaders to consider. The IHS staff then informed the individuals attending the meeting that the emergency room would be “temporarily” shut down. The IHS then proceeded to describe the transition from a hospital to an “urgent care” clinic. This transition would eliminate the possibility of the Emergency room department from opening.

Chairman Frazier said, “I do not support the closing of any emergency room department. This is another example of poor consultation with Tribes that have members immediately affected by the Federal government’s failure to abide by the trust responsibilities provided by treaty.”

Tribal Leaders from the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Rosebud Sioux Tribe were also present during the meeting and adamantly oppose the closure of the Sioux San emergency room.  Willie Bear Shield stated, “What happened today reminded me of early this year when IHS came to Rosebud and the outcome was in the media before the meeting was over!”

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