Photo Credit: Urban Indian Health Institute
Published January 25, 2019
Grant allows Seattle Indian Health Board to provide traditional Indian medicine services for additional 15 weeks as shutdown continues
SEATTLE — Seattle Indian Health Board received a grant from Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) to fund the organization’s Traditional Medicine program, which includes traditional Indian medicine services susceptible to cuts if the government shutdown continues.
Seattle Indian Health Board is a Native non-profit organization that operates a community health clinic and serves more than 6,000 patients in the greater Seattle area, and 4,000 of those identify as American Indian and/or Alaska Native.
Twenty-five percent of Seattle Indian Health Board’s operating budget comes from the Indian Health Service (IHS), which has put 50 out of its 180 employees, and numerous programs and services, at risk of furloughs or cuts.
“We are doing everything we can to minimize the impacts on our patients, staff, and services, so we are grateful to PPGNHI for their support during a time in which the health of Native people is unfairly in jeopardy,” said Esther Lucero, CEO of Seattle Indian Health Board.
Seattle Indian Health Board recently announced that it was going to reduce the number of beds at its in-patient substance use treatment center and close the medical clinic on Saturdays, starting January 26.
The organization’s Elders program, which provides a space for American Indian and Alaska Native elders to receive health education, screenings, and referrals, as well as a space to socialize and stay connected to their community, is also at risk.
“We understand how important it is for patients to have access to the critical services that the Seattle Indian Health Board provides. We were honored to help and to support them as a community partner,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI.
PPGNHI provides reproductive health care to its patients in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and western Washington.
Seattle Indian Health Board’s traditional Indian medicine services incorporates traditional practices into the day-to-day health and human services it provides to its patients.
“Traditional Medicine is at the center of everything we do as an organization, and if we cannot provide the services that have been proven to be effective with our patients, then we are unable to provide the highest quality of holistic care that is needed for our community,” Lucero said.