The Quileute Health Clinic has provided ambulatory medical services to the Quileute Indian Reservation for over 40 years. Services started out one day per week in a portable trailer with the doctor and nurse from the Neah Bay Service unit. It expanded to a small office in the Tribal center with very limited space, where services were provided one to two days a week.
Dental services started on the Reservation in the late ‘70s in a small dental clinic located outside of the Tribal business office. All health services were combined into the current medical/dental center; originally the Tribe’s gym.
Continued growth and professional health services have contributes to the increased staffing level from the original 5 full-time employees. Now the contract professional employees include:
Physician’s Assistants (PAs)
Community Health Representative
Medical Doctor who supervises the PAs and the OB/GYN womens’ nurse practitioner
dental hygienist, dental assistants, and numerous supporting staff for records, billing, and referrals.
They all contribute to the infrastructure of the medical program. Specialty clinics, such as a nutritionist, podiatrist, chiropractic services, massage services, foot care, eye glass clinics, and shoe clinics for diabetics are included.
In 2004, the Quileute Health Clinic was able to assume the administration of funding from the Indian Health Service (IHS) that was under the oversight of the Neah Bay Indian Health Service unit. As a result, the health clinic has been successful in obtaining alternative health care resources for 98% of all Tribal members and other natives living on the reservation. The benefit of obtaining other resources for individuals allows the Tribe to ensure that all urgent medical needs were met for all people seeking medical attention at the clinic.
The Tribe provides primary medical and dental, and behavioral health services under a P.L. 93-638, Title I contract with the IHS. Family and addiction counseling and support are provided under a PL 93-638 Title I Contract with the BIA. The 4,400 SF facility was built in 1992, and expanded in 1997. As of October 1997 all services, medical and dental, will be provided at the new facility. Health programs include community health representative (CHR), community health nursing, emergency care, elder program, mental health, WIC nutritional services, social services, addiction counseling, and maternal health case management. The Tribe bills Medicare, Medicaid and other third party payers.
The Quileute Tribe’s New Beginnings program provides advocacy services to those living on or near the Quileute and Hoh River Reservations who are, or have been, victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, stalking or elder abuse as well as provides support to their family and friends.
The Clinic had approximately 3,084 patient visits in FY 1996. The Tribe’s Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) is Western Clallam and Jefferson Counties. The enrolled population is reported to be 706 and the Indian population living on or near the Reservation is 784. Over forty per cent of the population is less than 19 years of age, and two per cent is greater than 65.