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INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE
PRESS RELEASE
05/14/2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (301) 443-3593, newsroom@ihs.gov

Department of Health and Human Services and Otoe Missouria Tribe Dedicate a New Wellness Center

Today the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe dedicated the new F. Browning Pipestem Wellness Center in Red Rock,
Oklahoma.

“The dedication of the new wellness center is an example of what can be accomplished through the commitment and partnership of Tribes and agencies of the federal government,” stated HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “It is another step in our efforts to eliminate the disparity in the health status between American Indians and the rest of the U.S. population.”

“The central focus of the 5,000 square foot Wellness Center is to create a healthy community by improving the lives of Tribal members through innovative and effective community-based health promotion and chronic disease prevention and control programs,” said Dr. Charles W. Grim, Director of the IHS, in his remarks at the dedication ceremony. “We can make a difference by providing early prevention and intervention programs that promote healthy lifestyles and screening.”

The Wellness Center was funded by a HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant for $750,000 that was awarded in September 2002. The new wellness center is estimated to serve an Indian population of 300 living in the Red Rock area of Oklahoma. It will be staffed by seven full-time employees, with additional capacity as other programs are developed. The Wellness Center will provide health promotion, especially those focusing on programs to address the community’s diabetes and related health issues. Clinics for health screening include checks on blood pressure, cholesterol, foot care, weight management, cooking for optimal nutrition, smoking cessation, and education on healthy lifestyles. In addition, aerobics, gymnastics, massage therapy, reflexology, chair exercise, and cardiovascular machines and strength training are also available for promoting exercise and weight control.