Monday, May 20, 2024

Sault Tribe Of Chippewa Launching Two-Year Effort To Enhance Health Services

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After working to analyze the health care needs of the community over the past several months, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is announcing that it will implement a two-year revitalization plan for the tribe’s health system.

“As one of the largest health systems in Indian Country and among the largest in the Upper Peninsula, we recognize the continuous need to revaluate and reassess the quality of care and services that our Health Division brings to tribal members. We are confident that implementing this plan will help make our community healthier and stronger,” said Sault Tribe Chairman Austin Lowes.

Lowes noted that the tribe spent the first several months of this year holding town hall discussions and meeting with Health Division staff throughout its service area to gather feedback on how to better align community needs with the health services it provides. Those insights will be combined with national best practices to develop and implement the Health Care Revitalization Plan, including:

  • Providing better access to care by increasing appointment availabilities and telehealth services;
  • Upgrading equipment throughout the tribe’s various health centers;
  • Aligning services to better meet local community needs;
  • Updating electronic medical record systems to increase efficiency and service coordination; and
  • Improving internal operations structures that will position the Sault Health Division as the employer of choice for the region, such as:
    • Increasing provider recruitment and retention efforts;
    • Enhancing leadership development and support;
    • Improving staff development and training opportunities; and
    • Ensuring market rate pay for Health Division staff.

“As a former medical social worker, I have a great appreciation for our Health Division staff and the important role they play in supporting a vibrant and prosperous community. I very much look forward to working with them to ensure this plan is a success,” said Lowes. “Together, we will build a healthier future for our tribe.”

The Sault Tribe Health Division is focused on providing high quality patient-centered health care that is responsive, courteous, and sensitive to individual, family, community and cultural needs with an emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion. The tribe operates nine health centers across the Upper Peninsula, including Detour, Gladstone, Grand Island, Hessel, Manistique, Marquette, Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace.

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