Cowlitz Indian Tribe Hosts Traditional Blessing of New Mobile Treatment Van
Mobile Treatment Model Will Provide Culturally Appropriate Services Wherever Needed
Kinswa-Gaiser: 'Cowlitz Partnership with Healthier Here will save lives'
COWLITZ INDIAN RESERVATION - On Friday, August 25th, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe hosted a traditional blessing ceremony for the Tribe's new mobile Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) van. The blessing was performed by Cowlitz General Council Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser outside the ilani Casino Resort as the Tribe received the vehicle on its reservation.
Cowlitz Indian Tribe Health & Human Services will operate the mobile treatment center, funded through an Innovation Grant provided by Healthier Here.
"The Cowlitz Indian Tribe's partnership with Healthier Here will help save lives – we are deeply thankful for their investment in our mobile treatment program," said Chairwoman Kinswa-Gaiser. "The word Cowlitz means seeker of the Medicine Spirit. As we work to serve, heal, and uplift our tribal members and surrounding communities, we are grateful to have the tools to deliver the help people need."
The van's mobile treatment model will eventually integrate primary care, behavioral health, MAT, substance use disorder treatment, and clinical and pharmacy services. Delivering this holistic care model in a mobile format will allow Cowlitz Indian Tribe Health and Human Services to provide life-saving treatment services in the rural and urban communities throughout the Tribe's network of clinics.
The Tribe operates several health clinics along the I5 core from Vancouver, Longview, DuPont, and Tukwila, all of which continue to grapple with the growing impacts of the opioid crisis. While no community is immune to the disease of addiction, treatment options can often be limited – especially for indigenous populations. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe's mobile treatment van will help fill this need by providing culturally appropriate care for Cowlitz Indian Tribal members and other indigenous communities. While serving native populations remains the program's focus, the mobile van will also be available to help members of the public.
As the program begins its operations, the Tribe will host additional ceremonies to welcome the vehicle to the communities it is serving.