© 2024 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions
Catch up on breaking news and quick updates from around the state.

Indian Health Service director visits Northern Arapaho-run health clinic

Four people stand in front of a sign that says "Wind River Family & Community Health Care."
Northern Arapaho Tribe
(L-R) Northern Arapaho Business Council Co-Chairman Lee Spoonhunter, IHS Director Roselyn Tso, Wind River Family & Community Heealth Care Director Richard Brannan and Northern Arapaho Business Councilwoman Kim Harjo

Indian Health Service (IHS) director Roselyn Tso toured Wind River Family & Community Health Care clinics in Riverton and Arapahoe earlier this week.

The IHS is the main federal health care provider for Native peoples throughout the U.S. However, the Northern Arapaho Tribe has operated Wind River Family & Community Health Care independently of IHS since 2016.

Tso, who is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, toured the facilities with members of the Northern Arapaho Business Council to see what the tribe has done to expand services for members of their own community. The Center provides primary care, traditional healing, preventive care and wellness support. Last winter, the clinic converted old COVID-19 quarantine trailers into temporary housing for those in need of shelter.

“It is beautiful to see what the tribe has built in order to expand services for their people,” said Director Tso in a press release from the Northern Arapaho Tribe. “I want to leave IHS in a better place than when I arrived. That means I’m determined to move resources and decision making into the hands of tribes and tribal leaders, where they belong.”

Last summer, Northern Arapaho Business Council Co-Chairman Lee Spoonhunter testified to Congress about the importance of bolstering IHS funding and combating challenges to tribal health care. Some of those challenges include high staff turnover and aging facilities.

“We face challenges like all tribal health care entities, but we are tremendously proud of the quality services available at Wind River Family & Community Health Care and glad Director Tso visited to see what we have to offer,” said Wind River Family & Community Health Care Director Richard Brannan in the press release. “Our physicians, nurses and other health care professionals make a life-saving difference every day – never more so than during the pandemic.”

Hannah Habermann is the rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has a degree in Environmental Studies and Non-Fiction Writing from Middlebury College and was the co-creator of the podcast Yonder Lies: Unpacking the Myths of Jackson Hole. Hannah also received the Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing & Journalism Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council in 2021 and has taught backpacking and climbing courses throughout the West.
Related Content