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New Ponca Health Center working to tackle health disparities

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New Ponca Health Center working to tackle health disparities


LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is overcoming health disparities among Native Americans by opening a clinic in south Lincoln that will serve hundreds.

The 25,000 square-foot facility is focused on providing culturally centered healthcare to Lincoln and the surrounding area’s Native American population.

“Lincoln has the second most number of american indians in the state of Nebraska of course with Douglas and Sarpy County,” James LaPointe, of the Ponca Tribe said.

The facility is built to represent a body and a holistic approach to healthcare. The goal is to give Indigenous People in Lincoln better access to healthcare.

“A lot of our people are not insured as well don’t have the jobs that provide the insurance so this health facility will enable Native Americans to have a top level clinic to have their health needs met,” LaPointe said.

Ponca Health Services said the holistic approach of care focuses on the mind, body and spirit by offering behavioral, health, dental, pharmacy, social services and primary care services to all Indigenous People.

“Patients no longer have access barrier,” Dr. Janelle Ali-Dinar the CEO of Ponca Health services said. “It used to be they had to spend one entire day traveling to perhaps Winnebago or Macy just to get a medication refill.”

To further combat healthcare access issues, the clinic offers transportation to and from appointments to make sure nobody puts their health on the back burner. Dr. Ali-Dinar said care is personalized to each patient to make sure all of their needs are met.

“We developed our point of care at the most vulnerable the most undeserved to raise them to the level of feeling like their at their whole self, their healed self,” Dr. Ali-Dinar said.

Because the Ponca Tribe doesn’t have a reservation, they are able to serve hundreds with outreach services.

“We will serve you that is our duty to serve Indigenous People and Ponca people so we will give you the top service possible no matter what,” LaPointe said.

Dr. Ali-Dinar said the efforts to provide healthcare to Indigenous People across Nebraska will continue as another expansion is planned for the Fred Leroy Health and Wellness Center in Omaha.

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