Benewah Medical and Wellness Center
Coeur d'Alene Tribe
Prior to the Indian Self-determination Act, during the 1970s and early 80s, the Coeur d'Alene people (Indian and non-Indian populations) were experiencing high levels of poverty and poor health care. A third of the population was 200% below the Federal poverty line, with approximately 56% with no health insurance. Unemployment was typically the highest in the nation and twice the national average. For the tribally enrolled members, the Indian Health Service provided a full-time nurse practitioner, a monthly visit by a doctor and dental service every few months. The nearest other health services for Indian or non-Indian was over 60 miles away.
In 1990, a combined City of Plummer and Coeur d'Alene Tribe endeavor, the Benewah Medical and Wellness Center was opened. It serves over 8,000 Indian and non-Indian patients, with five full-time physicians, full-time dentists, and a full range of technical assistants, and complete, state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapy services. All residents of the community, regardless of tribal affiliation or not, paying on a sliding scale.
Future Home for the $11.8 million facility to open Fall 2012
In addition to health careers, employment opportunities have readily increased through the Coeur d'Alene Casino and Golf operations, Natural Resources programs and other Tribal business enterprises, virtually rendering 0% unemployment rate.
Official Web Page of the facility: http://www.bmcwc.com/
For an historical review of the facilities and interviews: http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/L3/ShowOneObjectSiteID50ObjectID761.htm
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