Published July 20, 2019
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Beginning Saturday, July 21, 2019, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board will assume operation of the Rapid City Indian Health Service (IHS) Service Unit.
Below is a Statement by IHS Great Plains Area Director James Driving Hawk:
On Sunday, July 21, 2019, the Indian Health Service will transfer management and operation of the majority of the Rapid City Service Unit, also known as Sioux San, to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.
The health board has been authorized by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe to provide services on their behalf under a contract with the IHS under Title I of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
The IHS will continue to operate a federal direct-service ambulatory care facility providing health services in Rapid City to anyone eligible for IHS services, including preventive care, wellness care, health risk appraisal and assessment, and chronic illness management. Patients who require care beyond the capabilities of the Rapid City Service Unit will be referred to outside providers. Patients in need of emergency services will be transferred to the Rapid City Regional Hospital, which is approximately four miles away.
The IHS respects tribal sovereignty and is committed to tribal self-governance and self-determination. The IHS recognizes that tribal leaders and members are in the best position to understand the health care needs and priorities of their communities. Today, over 60 percent of the IHS appropriation is administered by tribes, primarily through self-determination contracts or self-governance compacts. The number of success stories grows each year, and the IHS supports this success by offering information, technical assistance, and policy coordination.
We value our partnership with the tribes we serve and look forward to continuing to work together to provide access to comprehensive, high quality health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the Rapid City metropolitan area.