Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board: Indian Leadership for Indian Health

Yakama Indian Nation

Yakama Indian Nation
Yakama Nation Tribal Health Facility
401 Buster Road
PO Box 151,
Toppenish WA 98948
Phone: 509-865-2102
Toll Free IHS: 1-800-574-5584
Toll Free CHS: 1-800-922-7006

About the Clinic

The Yakama Service Unit is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation on the edge of the Toppenish Town. The Yakama Indian Reservation is comprised of 1,371,918 acres. Although our tribe ceded 10,828,800 acres of ancestral homeland to the U.S. government, we reserved our right to hunt, fish, access and use traditional cultural sites, gather traditional foods and medicines, and pasture in all of our “usual and accustomed places” within this ceded area. The Yakama Reservation is primarily agricultural on the valley floor, with range or grazing in the foothills, and forested to the west and south.
The Indian Health Service operates a 40,000 SF facility located near Toppenish. User population in 1998 was 11,654. The AAAHC accredited facility opened in 1990 and houses tribal and IHS operated programs offering:

A full range of ambulatory primary care, public health, dental services, mental health, optometry, and audiology
Internal medicine, women’s health care, elder care clinic & pediatrics
In-patient services at local private hospital facility
The White Swan Health Clinic (satellite)

Location

The Indian Health Service operates a 40,000 SF facility located near Toppenish. In addition, the Tribe owns and operates the White Swan Health Clinic which is located in the rural community of White Swan, 20 miles west of Toppenish. Itinerant health and social services are offered through the maternal child health, nutrition, WIC, CHR and alcoholism programs. The Tribe also operates a satellite MCH center with 1,585 SF, in the Apas Goudy Housing Project in Wapato. The Tribe’s Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) is Klickitat, Lewis, Skamania and Yakima Counties.

Services/Programs

The JCAHO accredited facility opened in 1990 and houses tribal and IHS operated programs that offer a full range of ambulatory health and dental services. General medical services are available daily in addition to special services for well childcare, internal medicine, women’s health care and diabetes. The Tribe and IHS employ eight physicians, six dentists, one physician’s assistant, and thirteen  mid-level practitioners who are RN’s, NP’s or PHN’s. The 2,700 SF clinic offers limited primary care on weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM, and operates a 24 hour, 7 day a week ambulance service using EMT’s and First Responders The health center bills Medicaid and other third party payers.

Patients

The Health Center had 16,990 primary care and 33,860 other visits for a total of 55,288 patient visits in FY 1996. The White Swan Health Clinic had 3,990 primary care visits and 199 other visits for a total of 4,189 total patient visits in FY 1996. The Apas Goudy Housing Project in Wapato had 82 primary care visits and 13 other visits for a total of 95 patient visits for FY 1996. The enrolled tribal population is 8,870 and the Indian population living on or near the Reservation is 13,741. The registered population for health programs in the Yakama Service Unit is 14,820 and the active health clinic user population is 11,311. The leading causes of death are heart disease, motor vehicle accidents, malignant neoplasm, cirrhosis of the liver, and accidents other than motor vehicle. There were 11,837 Active users in 2002.

About the Tribe

History

The Yakama Indian Reservation is comprised of 1,371,918 acres. Although the Yakamas ceded 10,828,800 acres of ancestral homeland to the U.S. government, they reserved their right to hunt, fish, access and use traditional cultural sites, gather traditional foods and medicines, pasture stock and have water in sufficient quantity and quality in all of their “usual and accustomed places” within this ceded area. The Yakama Reservation is primarily agricultural on the valley floor, range or grazing in the foothills and forested to the west and south. The city of Toppenish is located east of the Yakama Indian Nation’s headquarters in the eastern part of the Reservation. The Yakama Reservation covers 1,573 square miles in the south-central Washington counties of Klickitat and Yakima. This territory offers many and varied food sources such as fishing, hunting, and gathering of seasonal wild roots and berries. The members of the Yakama Nation have historically depended on the Columbia River and the salmon for their sustenance. Traditional routes for subsistence were, and continue to be on the Columbia River, starting above Priest Rapids to the traditional fishing site on Celilo Falls, and extending west on the lower Columbia River beyond the Klickitat River tributary. The Yakama Reservation and its members are governed by the Yakama Nation Tribal Council. Self-government was re-established among the Yakamas in 1935. Since the Indian Nation was made up of 14 bands and tribes, each group selected a representative, forming the modern tribal government. In 1947 a rule change provided for election by the General Council of half of the Tribal Council members every two years for four-year terms. All enrolled Yakamas become voting members of the General Council on their eighteenth birthday.

Geography

The reservation is over a million acres, apparently nearly half of Yakima County and part of Klickitat County. City: Toppenish, population 6,550, elevation 757. County: Yakima, population 184,400, 7,546 Native American or 20% of nonwhite and 4% of total population. 4,271 square miles.). County’s assessed value averages $1,623 an acre. Principal industries: agriculture, food processing, wood products, manufacturing.
Rainfall 8.3, temperatures 36-62 (at Yakama)

Other Information

Members

8,870.

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