Jerilyn Church

Photo by Victoria Wicks

This weekend, July 20 and 21, people gathered at Sioux San in Rapid City to celebrate the opening of the Oyate Health Center.

At midnight Saturday, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board assumed primary control of management at the Indian Health Services facility.

The celebration started with a reception at 11 p.m. and a ribbon cutting and smudging ceremony an hour later.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Management of the Rapid City Indian Health Services Hospital is in the early stages of transferring from the federal government to area tribes. The Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes all authorize the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board to operate the facility. 

The Sioux San hospital is a secondary care unit for members of those three tribes. Poor federal inspection results and last year’s proposed closure of the inpatient and emergency departments prompted the tribes to investigate other management options.