Chairman Lee Spoonhunter, members of the Northern Arapaho Business Council and Tribal healthcare officials were pleased to meet Friday with VADM Jerome M. Adams, U.S. Surgeon General.
The hour-long discussion, conducted virtually, focused on the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s response to COVID-19, and Dr. Adams praised the Tribe for its leadership and resilience in the face of this pandemic. In the early days of the outbreak, Tribal leaders were quick to declare a state of emergency and enact a stay-at-home order, which remains in effect, and have prioritized COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to identify, quarantine and treat individuals with the illness.
Dr. Adams also recognized unique community challenges related to poverty, housing and regular access to healthcare. These issues can negatively impact health outcomes when it comes to COVID-19 and a host of other conditions.
Chairman Spoonhunter thanked Dr. Adams for his attention to COVID-19 and other public health issues faced by the Northern Arapaho Tribe, and extended an invitation for him to visit the Wind River Reservation at his first opportunity.
“It can sometimes feel like those of us living in Indian Country are on our own, so it was an honor for Dr. Adams and the Office of the Surgeon General to take the time to hear directly from us about the challenges our Northern Arapaho people face,” said Chairman Spoonhunter. “I’m tremendously proud that the Surgeon General applauded our work and that of the Arapaho people in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. On behalf of the entire Northern Arapaho Business Council, we’re optimistic this will lead to a further dialogue with our federal partners to improve the healthcare and living conditions for all Tribal members.”
The above information was provided by the Northern Arapaho Business Council.