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2015-02-05 / Front Page

Construction complete for LaCreek Clinic

Open House & blessing scheduled
By Tom Crash
Times Correspondent

MARTIN – Construction of the new $1 million LaCreek Clinic has been completed; the 5,100 square foot facility is located just south of the fire hall in Martin. An open house and blessing of the building ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5 from 10am to 2pm, following the opportunity to walk through the building and the blessing, a light lunch will be served at the American Legion building in Martin with addresses from keynote speakers.

“We’re really happy to announce that the construction of the new clinic in Martin has been completed,” said the Allen Davis, IHS CEO when addressing the OST council Friday at the casino conference room, “we will spend February installing equipment and furniture and finalizing the staff and open in March where we will start with a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist, a nurse, a medical staff assistant for appointments, a medical staff assistant for registration and records and a custodial worker and IHS staff will come to provide Public Health Nursing, Clinical Nurse Midwife, Behavioral Health and Pediatrics.”

The clinic was built through a 93-638 contract with the Wild Horse Butte CDC, a joint venture of Scull/Carlow Construction was the contractor. The building will be owned by the CDC and leased to the Indian Health Service. We’re looking at being open Monday through Friday 12noon to 8pm, added Kim Clausen, executive director of the Wild Horse Butte CDC, we have a number of young families in our area that work and these hours will help deliver services to them.

“This is a dream come true,” said Craig Dillon, council representative from LaCreek district, “we’ve been struggling for 30-40 years to get a clinic in Martin, this will cut travel time for tribal members, it’ll be an added convenience for LaCreek residents and tribal members from the surrounding area, it’ll help us get away from large medical costs that IHS doesn’t cover; it’s a long time coming.”

The Wild Horse Butte Community Development Corporation and LaCreek District Board of Directors extend an invitation to the public to attend the LaCreek District Clinic Open House/ Blessing of the Building on Thursday from 10am-2pm.

The site of the Open House/ Blessing of the Building will be held at the new clinic south of the Martin Fire Department on US highway 73, Robert Two Crow will do the blessing. All LaCreek members are invited with a special invitation extended to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, OST HHS Committee, LaCreek Executive Board and the Indian Health Service of Pine Ridge and Aberdeen.

The keynote speakers will be Ronald Cornelius, Director of Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service, John Yellow Bird Steel, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the OST HHS Committee, LaCreek District Council Representatives and the Wild Horse Butte CDC Board of Directors.

The LaCreek District Clinic is a project that has been in the planning stages for many years. The 5,000 square foot clinic will offer, through the Indian Health Service, daily outpatient care, a pharmacy, a lab, and clinics for OBGYN, diabetic, and children and adult mental health.

“We have a beautiful building,” said Clausen, “the clinic will provide needed services to LaCreek District and surrounding areas; in the past tribal members had to travel to the nearest I.H.S. facilities, in Pine Ridge, 90 miles round trip, Kyle which is 72 miles round trip or Wanblee, 70 miles round trip, often making it difficult for tribal members to get adequate health care that they need.”

The Wild Horse Butte Community Development Corporation is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Martin, the Corporation through a P.L. 638 contract designed, and built the facility with input for the local community members. In addition to the development of the clinic, WHBCDC seeks to plan, develop, and implement comprehensive plans, proposals and studies that are designed to secure or increase financial resources available for economic development and business activity for the LaCreek District of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The corporation serves 2,500 Oglala Sioux Tribal members. The Corporation is looking forward to working on appropriate and affording housing. The WHBCDC’s board includes Pearl Cottier chair, Charles Cummings, Lois Gotheridge, Stephanie Brown Bull(district chair), Alvina Dubray and the twoLaCreek council representatives, Craig Dillon and Donn Fire Thunder who serve in an ad hoc capacity.

“This is just the beginning, we want to put together a complete health and wellness center,” said Claussen, “for the clinic we want to add an x-ray unit and dental and vision services; this is an exciting time.”

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