Updated Information Regarding Joint Venture Funding for New Health Center
By Jason Weaver
LCO Grants Department
The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board is reaching out to inform the community about the new health care facility project. As many already know our health care facility is the oldest in the Bemidji area. Built in 1983 originally, it has had many additions and remodeling projects since, but it still hasn’t provided a clinic that meets our community health care needs or our growing population. Many Tribal members are using other Tribal and non-Tribal clinics because of the options and shorter wait times. These are areas we can improve with a new facility.
In August of 2019 the Indian Health Service announced the Joint Venture Construction Program. This program would reimburse the LCO health care facility for operational and maintenance cost for 20 years. This would be about $7 to $8 million in additional funds annually from I.H.S. above and beyond our current funding levels. The Joint Venture program requires the Tribe to pay for and build a new facility with our own funds through non-federal grants, New Market Tax Credits and/or loans. The pre-application has been submitted to Bemidji prior to the deadline of October 15th. The Tribal Council has been meeting with the Shakopee Tribe to discuss their grant and loan process. The Tribe has also reached out to Travois Financial to qualify for 2020 New Market Tax Credits that are like a grant and can pay for up to 25% of the cost.
The area designated for the new health care facility, selected in 2018 by the previous tribal governing board, is directly north of the Sevenwinds Casino at the intersection of Highways B & K. This sight would be optimal for capturing new customers and located in a better location for reviving urgent care. This location was selected because it would be served by the community wastewater and water system, has fiber cable access for telecommunications and provides room for future expansion, assisted living and a nursing home facility in the near future. The Tribal Council would like to see providers reach out to other community building sites in New Post, Signor and Reserve on a regular schedule to reduce any burden on the members. The clinic will continue to offer transportation options and home health care to those that qualify.
The Tribal Council would like to see expanded health care services and provide new specialty clinic options. They would like to help the clinic reduce spending on purchased and referred care off the reservation. This new facility will need to hire more medical staff that our College can provide with their accredited CNA and Nursing program. This fits in line with our goal of providing more and improved heath care services, creating more jobs for Tribal Members and increasing revenue.
The Tribal Governing Board would like to hear your feedback, support and ideas on this project. Please email or call (715-634-8934) administrative staff Terri Miller (email@example.com) or Tammy DeNasaha (firstname.lastname@example.org) and it will be forwarded to all Tribal Governing Board Members for review.