By Bethany Wesley
Bemidji Pioneer 

Leech Lake opens new Bemidji clinic


Monte Draper

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for the Leech Lake Bemidji Tribal Clinic in its new location along Fifth Street Northwest drew about 20 supporters. Nurse practitioner Darlene Wickey, left, and Tammy Goodwin-Carter, office manager and registered nurse, watch as Leech Lake Tribal Chairman Archie LaRose cuts the ribbon with Leech Lake Health Director Joel Bebeau and clinic staff members Jodi Anderson, licensed social worker, and Rob Roed, occupational therapist

For Tammy Goodwin-Carter, the opening of the Leech Lake Bemidji Tribal Clinic couldn’t come soon enough.

On Monday, the waiting came to an end with a grand opening for the new facility.

“I fought for this for years,” said Goodwin-Carter, a registered nurse and manager for the clinic.

On hand for the grand opening were about 20 supporters.

It provides convenience and privacy. For example, if a urine sample before was needed from a patient visiting the Leech Lake Bemidji Tribal Clinic, she needed to walk to a public restroom, use the facilities and carry back down the hallway a sample in a cup in a plastic bag.

Not anymore.

The Leech Lake Bemidji Tribal Clinic serves 3,600 patients a year, Goodwin-Carter said. It serves American Indians living off the reservation by offering preventive health care services including immunizations, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and women’s health.

Services are provided to those eligible for Indian Health Services and has served the Beltrami County Jail, Northwest Juvenile Center, Oshki Manidoo and Peoples Church.

The clinic has been in operation for 11 years, most recently in a 550-sqare-foot facility at the Beltrami County Community Service Center. Planning for the facility has been in place since April.

The new 2,000-square-foot clinic – complete with a private pass-through sample tray – has four exam rooms, one for behavioral health and one for occupational therapy.

The clinic, at 705 Fifth St. NW, Suite D, is in the strip mall next to Leech Lake Headstart and the VA clinic. The phone number is 444-7186.


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