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After 18-month absence, new Indian health clinic opens in Billings

Posted at 3:57 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:18-04

BILLINGS- After a grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, the Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center will start accepting patients next Monday.

The facility is at 1230 N. 30 St., across the street from St. Vincent Healthcare, and will aim to provide both primary and behavioral care to the Billings area American Indian population of roughly 6,000.

The health center is operated by the Native American Development Corporation and represents the organization’s first foray into healthcare. Most of the work of the NADC up to this point has been around fostering entrepreneurship and small business success in the Indian community.

Urban Indian Health Program services in Billings were previously provided by the Indian Health Board of Billings, a nonprofit that closed abruptly in May 2017.

Leonard Smith, the interim executive director of the Billings Indian Urban Health and Wellness Center, said the experience the NADC has with organization and business sets them up to make the center successful in the long term.

The facility will be home to a nurse practitioner, a registered nurs, and a medical assistant. It has also added two substance abuse councilors and in the process of hiring a part-time physician. Smith says he hopes for that process to be complete within the next month.

Ultimately the center would like to add a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and Smith said mental and behavioral health services is an area they hope to expand into.

“There is more to come. This is just the beginning of it,” said Smith.

The health center will also provide transportation for patients to the Northern Cheyenne Hospital in Crow Agency if they are in need of services not yet available at the center.