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New Wellness Center Will Serve Coquille Tribe, And Public

Provided by Clark Walworth
Coquille Tribe

The Coquille Tribe is building Oregon’s first tribal health center that’ll be open to the general public. And as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, its construction is purely coincidental to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Construction on the $12-million center began last month, and it’s scheduled to open by the end of summer 2021. Primary care, dental care, behavioral health, and a pharmacy will be offered to tribal members, and anyone needing a health care provider. Patients can use Medicare, the Oregon Health plan, or private insurance.

“It’s going to be three times the size of our current clinic," says Kippy Robbins, vice chair for the Coquille Tribe.  "It really is going to speak to our culture. And we’re going to be addressing healthcare with a mind, body, spirit approach.   And we so desire to share that with our community.”

Testing and tracking of COVID-19 will also be continued in the new center.

Funding has been facilitated through a non-profit lender, and federal New Markets Tax Credits will help reduce costs for the tribe. The design will resemble a tribal plankhouse, with corridors shaped into a forked fishing spear.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.