The Makah Indian Reservation is located on the most northwesterly tip of the Washington State. The Reservation is extremely isolated from other communities within Clallam County, the Olympic Peninsula and Washington State in general. Clallam County’s major commercial center and county seat, Port Angeles, is 75 miles from Neah Bay. Seattle is 150 miles away, and Forks, the closest town is 60 miles away. The Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center (STIHC) at Neah Bay, WA, is the only medical facility to service the Makah Indian Reservation with a population of approximately 1,414. The nearest full service medical facility is 75 miles away in Port Angeles, Washington.
The current facility was identified in 2005 in the Indian Health Service Portland Area Health Services Master Plan as being functionally inadequate by having a critical shortage of clinical and administrative support space. The current structure is configured in such a way that it cannot be remodeled to support standard health care system requirements. While this clinic provides the only essential medical services to our community, it is located within the tsunami flood zone.
The Makah Tribe is in the process of a phased development and implementation of a new health care campus that will relocate the existing facility to a safer upland location.
Phase I of the project was completed in 2012 with the relocation of the Wellness Center . The Wellness Center provides integrative medicine, recovery services, community and public health services. The remainder of the expansion will consist of three new buildings.
Building 1 – will house Primary Care, Radiology, Nursing & Administration
Building 2 – Dental/Pharmacy services
Building 3 – physical therapy and Emergency Operations and Disaster Relief center.
Comprehensive primary and dental health services are provided by an IHS run, JCAHO accredited facility located in Neah Bay. The facility was built in 1971, remodeled in 1986 and has 7,145 SF. The Health Center employs three physicians, one dentist and two other practitioners who are either NP’s, RN’s, or PHN’s. The Center bills Medicaid and other third party payers. The Clinic had 9,194 primary care patient visits and 3,867 other patient visits for a total of 13,061 patient visits in FY 1996. The Tribe operates several programs under a Title III Self-Governance Compact. The tribe operates an alcohol and substance abuse program in a tribally-owned structure with 1,344 SF, and a mental health program in a 500 SF trailer. In addition, the Tribe owns a field station for community health with 750 SF. The Tribe’s Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) is Clallam County.
Makah Tribal Health programs include: CHR, CHN, 1st Steps, WIC, Chemical Dependency, Childbirth, Breast Cervical Cancer, Sanitation, EMS, and Mental health. Indian Health Services include: Clinical and Dental services. Other Social Service programs include LIHEAP, Seniors Program, Child Services, Food Bank, Commodities, Education, Juvenile Services, Foster Care, ICW, Domestic Violence, and Juvenile Diversion.
The leading causes of death are heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cirrhosis of the liver, malignant neoplasm, and motor vehicle and other accidents.
The enrolled tribal population is 2,356 and the Indian population on or near the reservation is 1,752. There are 4,174 registered users and 3,048 active users in the Neah Bay Service Unit.