By the end of the year, the Native American Development Corporation will provide health care services to the urban Indian population in Billings.
The Indian Health Service made the announcement Wednesday.
When the Indian Health Board of Billings closed its clinic in May, hundreds of urban Indian patients were left without easy access to health care.
“Today’s announcement underscores IHS’ commitment to provide quality health care for urban Indians in and around the Billings area,” said Dorothy Dupree, IHS Billings Area Office director. “IHS is addressing the needs of urban Indians in our area by ensuring they have access to comprehensive, culturally appropriate health services to meet their critical health needs.”
Since the closure, urban Indian clients eligible for health care through IHS have been encouraged to seek care from the Pryor Health Station and Crow/Northern Cheyenne Hospital in Crow Agency. RiverStone Health in Billings, has also served clients.
The NADC is a nonprofit urban Indian organization and community development corporation. It will be the initial contractor for the Urban Health Care Services while the structure of the newly established nonprofit Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center is completed.
The new site will be located at 17 N. 26th St. in Billings.
Leonard Smith, NADC executive director, said his organization is pleased it was chosen by the IHS to help develop an organization that will provide much-needed health services to urban Indians in Billings community.
“We look forward to the partnerships with other community health centers in Billings and the surrounding reservations," Smith said. "NADC is working with a health board of directors comprised of urban Indians representing tribes in Montana to provide sustainable quality health services.”