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Clara Caufield: A 'shout out' to the Crow Agency Indian Health Service hospital

As citizens, we love to complain about government, National, State, local and for Indians our favorite target is the Tribal Council, often easy pickings.

Along with that, there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service, which affects each of us personally and nearly all our relatives. There are many I.H.S. horror stories and a great deal of frustration with this chronically under-funded agency.

IMPORTANT PLEASE SHARE All Crow/Pryor/Lodge Grass IHS COVID-19 testing for individuals who are currently not exhibiting...

Posted by Crow Indian Health Service on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Thus, as an urban Indian with on over-inflated sense of my own immortality and infallibility, I have avoided the I.H.S., especially Lame Deer about which I’ve heard the most stories. Except for a few instances of physical trauma (broken bones, etc. all largely due to horse wrecks) I had not until last week seen a regular doctor for decades.

Last week, due to a mysterious malady which had been lingering for some weeks, I had to break down and see one. While Lame Deer is a clinic, with a very busy E.R. room, there is a full hospital at Crow Agency, formally called the Crow/Northern Cheyenne I.H.S. hospital, located at Crow, but primarily to serve both Tribes and it is geographically much closer to Sheridan, where I now live.

Though fully expecting a dreadful ordeal, I am writing to report that I had a very positive medical experience there. (Do those three words all go together?).

First, due to Lame Deer clinic, I anticipated a long wait to secure an appointment and a dreadfully session in the waiting room, especially as the COVID has hit the Crow reservation very hard, averaging 3-5 new cases per day. To my delight, I got one within two days: the front desk people very courteous. Only problem, they still have me listed by the last name of Spotted Elk, going back 36 years, when I was last there to deliver my last child.

When I arrived (for once, early), we parked in a special area, called reception and quickly a nurse came out, took my temperature and issued a mask. In the meanwhile, everyone on the streets was wearing masks, the Tribal President having issued an order to that effect. Bingo, at precisely 11:00 a.m., my appointment time, I was sitting in the doctor’s office.

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Read the rest of the story on Native Sun News Today: A “Shout Out” to the Crow Agency I.H.S. Hospital

Clara Caufield can be reached at acheyennevoice@gmail.com

Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

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