Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

New Van Ready to Serve Community Medical Transportation Needs

By Richard D. Ackley, Jr.
Efforts to acquire a much-needed van to transport community members to and from medical appointments came to fruition this past week.
Jamie Zarda, Sokaogon Chippewa Clinic Health Director, recently met with the Health Board to gain approval to receive a pre-owned 2007 Chevrolet 13-passenger van, complete with power wheel-chair lift.
“The van came to us at no charge as part of the Indian Health Services. This generosity will help meet the needs of our community members,” Jamie said.
Indian Health Service (IHS), a federal health system, cares for two million of the country’s 5.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native people. Tribes nationwide have historically experienced geographic isolation, which has made it difficult for patients to obtain health care.
Many tribal people are required to travel long distances to clinics and often lack safe and consistent transportation. The impacts of these challenges to accessing necessary care are substantiated, in several IHS studies noting the need for good access to specialty care, hospital admissions, and things such as diagnostic imaging and mental health services.
Jamie knows that the new van will help community members. “We’re excited to roll-out this new program of transport as soon as we develop a specific policy for its intended use.”
A schedule will be available shortly. For more information, please contact Jamie at 715-478-5180.