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Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Urge Immediate Improvement to Health Care Services At Indian Health Service Hospital In Nebraska


The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the sixteen elected Tribal Chairpersons and Presidents of the sovereign treaty tribes and nations located in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Our organization was formed to protect the Treaty rights of its member tribes, to advocate for common tribal goals and to insure that the Federal Government lives up to its legal obligations and trust and treaty responsibilities.

All sixteen of the member Tribes are located within the Great Plains Service Area of the United States Indian Health Service, and all sixteen have members who have used or are eligible to use the services of the Indian Health Service Hospital at Winnebago, Nebraska. A hospital which all has been recently stripped of its Medicare/Medicaid provider status by the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS made this decision when it found that the quality of care which was being provided by the federal employees which staff the Winnebago Hospital fails to meet the most basic federal health care standards and actually poses a threat to the health and well-being of patients and potential patients at that facility.

The GPTCA stands firmly behind Winnebago and Omaha of Nebraska’s demand that the I H S make immediate and substantive improvements to the quality of care being provided at that federally operated facility. President John Yellowbird Steele, Chairman of GPTCA stated, “We stand 110 % with the Winnebago’s and Omaha on their request for quality care and improvements, sadly, this is a similar situation happening throughout our Region.” Never before in the history of the Indian Health Service has an I H S hospital been documented by another federal agency to pose this level of threat to Indian patients. This is a flagrant violation of the promises made in our Treaties and it is a direct and flagrant violation of the trust responsibility owed to the Winnebago, Omaha Tribes as well as all of the other Treaty Tribe members served by that facility.

The GPTCA also calls upon the Congress, President Obama and Secretary Burwell to investigate what has led to this appalling situation and to take all of the steps necessary to address the problems at the Winnebago Hospital and at all of the other Indian Health Service sites in the Great Plains Service Area. President John Yellowbird Steele, Oglala and Chairman of the GPTCA said, “These facilities are providing federally funded services to our children, our elders, our veterans and our families and what is going on at Winnebago and throughout the Great Plains Service Area is completely and totally unacceptable.”

A. Gay Kingman, Executive Director

Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association

Coalition of Large Tribes


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