CEO of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board Jerilyn Church and the board continues negotiations with Indian Health Services (IHS), but a tentative date has been set for the administrative takeover of Sioux San Hospital by the Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. According to the Rapid City Journal, the change will take place in February 2019.
The Oglala, Cheyenne River, and Rosebud tribes all passed resolutions approving the transfer of hospital administration from IHS to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. The board would then act as Sioux San’s main managing entity. Negotiations continue over funding and the specifics of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
Some, including former Oglala Sioux Tribe Treasurer and current Sioux Nation Treaty Council spokesperson Charmaine White Face, fear that this change, and turning the administration of the hospital over to tribal governments, could lead to corruption. White Face and other opponents filed an injunction in the Oglala Sioux tribal courts to delay the expected administrative transfer.
Church countered with examples of similar projects in other tribes, including the Winnebago Tribe in Nebraska and the Spirit Lake Tribe in North Dakota. She also said that the three tribes coming together to pass the approvals for the project is also telling of their belief that the Tribal Chairmen’s board will be a good steward for Native healthcare at Sioux San.
Details concerning the proposal for a new Native healthcare facility in east Rapid City is still under consideration, and a decision will likely not be reached before the February transfer.
Learn more about Indian Health Services at the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.