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Historic alliance is formed in pursuit of improved Native American healthcare

Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe passed a resolution recently to join the current partnership between the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to provide health care for eligible patients who reside in Pennington County.

These tribes are three of the country’s largest tribal nations, and they say the partnership marks a historic alliance in their pursuit to improve healthcare.

The three tribes can contract to provide their own services under the Indian Self Determination Act from the U.S. government at the Rapid City Service Unit, formerly known as Sioux San Health Care Facility. The act allows tribes to take control over government institutions that provide services to tribal citizens, while retaining federal funding.

For the last two years, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board has been operating the Oyate Health Center in Rapid City with cooperation from the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The addition of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe gives Oyate Health Center the authority to assume full responsibility for all services for Indian Health Services eligible beneficiaries.

It also means that the new $120 million Oyate Health Center, currently under construction, will no longer be divided into separate clinics or controlled by the U.S. government.

Current IHS employees at Sioux San are being offered jobs with the organization.