Seattle Indian Health Board
Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) held a grand opening for its new expansion clinic in Pioneer Square, where they were joined by community and elected leaders, including U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez, and Chief Seattle Club executive director Derrick Belgarde.
The grand opening was held outside of the new clinic in Pioneer Square. The event consisted of a Native-led traditional blessing and song, ribbon cutting ceremony, and statements from Seattle Indian Health Board and Chief Seattle Club leaders, Sen. Patty Murray, Seattle Council President Debora Juarez, and Deputy Mayor Greg Wong. SIHB staff also led attendees on tours of the new clinic.
“Seattle Indian Health Board is always focused on making culturally attuned healthcare accessible to our relatives, which is why this clinic in Pioneer Square is so significant,” said Esther Lucero (Diné), President and CEO, Seattle Indian Health Board. “Because of our partnership with the Chief Seattle Club, we are literally offering medicine at the front door of where community members are living. We know we are only as strong as our most vulnerable relatives, so to bring care directly to them means everything to our staff, board, and community.”
The 3,000-square foot clinic is located on the bottom floor of Chief Seattle Club’s ?ál?al building, next door to Chief Seattle Club’s day center. With two full-time providers, two medical assistants, and a nurse, the clinic will provide medical, pharmacy, behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment, and Traditional Indian Medicine services. SIHB will also provide dental services from its mobile dental van.
The clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 pm and is currently accepting walk-ins.
“?ál?al was our vision of what a healthy community can be,” said Derrick Belgarde (Siletz and Chippewa-Cree), executive director of Chief Seattle Club. “For our members to have food, shelter, and medicine under one roof, being brought to them by their own people, is a dream come true.”
Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez, a Blackfeet tribal member, spoke at the grand opening. Juarez has continued to show support for tribes and urban Indian organizations in the region by securing resources to address homelessness, establishing an Indigenous Advisory Council to advise elected officials and city staff on policy impacting urban Native populations, and addressing the missing and murdered Indigenous women and people (MMIWP) crisis in Seattle.
"Today is an important day for Seattle’s urban Indians,” said Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez (Blackfeet). “This clinic is an example of how community collaboration impacts the lives of our people. The City has taken tremendous steps in recent years to support Native-led organizations, and it is an honor to congratulate and thank the Seattle Indian Health Board for strengthening our community.”
Sen. Patty Murray, a long-time advocate for Native rights and causes, also spoke at the event. She is the chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and secured the $1 million in federal funding through Congressionally-directed spending (CDS) to help finish the construction of Chief Seattle Club’s ?ál?al building, where the clinic is housed. Murray also secured $5 million in federal funding to support the work of the Seattle Indian Health Board in the Fiscal Year 2023 draft appropriations bill.
“I’m glad I was able to secure funding to help get Chief Seattle Club’s new housing development up and running and I look forward to delivering additional funding for the Seattle Indian Health Board,” said Senator Murray. “The Seattle Indian Health Board’s new clinic in Pioneer Square is extraordinary and will help countless urban Natives get the high-quality and culturally-informed care they need. This Congress has delivered one of the largest-ever federal investments in our tribal communities—whether through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or American Rescue Plan—and I am fully committed to building on that progress in every way that I can, and congressionally-directed spending is just another way I can fight for and support Native people.”
Quotes from elected officials:
Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda
"Seattle Indian Health Board's Pioneer Square Health Clinic will provide holistic care and a healing space for a community. The fact that the clinic is sited on the ground floor of Chief Seattle Club’s ʔálʔal permanent supportive housing project will support two of the most significant needs for folks—healthcare and housing—in a way that is rooted in and serves the urban Native community. This is a stellar example of how to couple health and housing investments to go even further to support the determinants of health in our community, and I’m thrilled to see the Pioneer Square Clinic open its doors and look forward to witnessing the positive impact this project will have on people’s lives for generations to come.”
King County Council Member Girmay Zahilay
“The Seattle Indian Health Board is committed to removing barriers to healthcare by investing in our underserved communities. This expansion clinic in Pioneer Square is critical to serving the health and wellness needs of our urban Native peoples. SIHB's clinic will change the way folks access healthcare by providing culturally competent care and holistic care. I am thankful for SIHB’s mission that will help our region thrive with healthier communities.”
WA Senator Manka Dhingra (D-45)
“Community health centers are at the forefront of integrated medicine and access to culturally appropriate services is what ensures we have a healthy population. By expanding its clinic into Pioneer Square, Seattle Indian Health board is going to the people to further remove barriers to access. This expansion will greatly improve their data research and advocacy to truly help our community.”
Seattle Deputy Mayor Greg Wong
“Every Seattle resident deserves access to quality health care, but many of our region’s Native people and communities continue to face significant barriers. This new centrally located clinic in the Pioneer Square neighborhood will help reduce these disparities by providing culturally attuned care and services to Native people, their families, and anyone else who seeks it. I want to thank the Seattle Indian Health Board for their leadership and unwavering commitment to equity as our city works to build trust with our Native neighbors and tribal communities."
Indian Health Service Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler
“We are excited for the Seattle Indian Health Board and the urban Indian community. The Board’s investment in the Pioneer Square clinic will ensure urban Indians have equitable access to the quality health care they deserve. The Indian Health Service would like to congratulate and thank the entire Seattle Indian Health Board team for the great work they do serving the health needs of our relatives.”