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Coquille Tribe Opening New Medical Clinic In Eugene

Brian Bull

The Coquille Indian Tribe is opening an outpatient medical clinic…in Eugene. 

The tribe’s already developing a wellness center in Coos Bay, but citing the “Potlatch Tradition” of sharing resources, Coquille officials say they’re starting a new one in Eugene - more than 100 miles away - where an estimated 6,000 Indigenous people live.

The Coquille Tribe’s executive director, Mark Johnston, said the clinic will start in earnest, before expanding to full services in April.

“We will initially begin providing flu shot clinics and some COVID testing here by the end of the month," Johnston told KLCC.  "Our special message to all the American Indian/Alaskan Natives who live in Lane County and even outside Lane County, that we’re looking forward to serving them, and that we’ll be open as soon as we can for them.”

The new clinic will incorporate culturally sensitive elements in both its design and application of health and medicine. It’ll be based in the North Eugene/Santa Clara area next to an existing dental clinic and physical therapy center.  The Coquille Tribe purchased the 13,000 sq. ft. building with help from a $900,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development Department.

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.
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