To the Editor:
The Indian Health Service in Wagner has truly served the community during this pandemic. Every day, they provide free drive-up testing at their facility for anyone from anywhere, not just Native Americans. They have expanded their hours and increased staffing. In addition, IHS facilitated, with support from the community hospital, several mass testing events for anyone who wanted to be tested. The decision-makers at IHS obviously understand this pandemic is a public health concern and tracking this virus and keeping as many people healthy as possible is in the best interest of the entire community.
This letter is in no way meant to disparage the work of good employees at Wagner’s community hospital. They provide quality care at that facility, as well. I understand the Indian Health Service has the capability to provide different services than the community hospital. I just believe IHS has done more than it needed to do and has completed this work professionally and efficiently.
IHS demonstrates, and rightfully so, that it is everyone's responsibility to do what they can to protect others. What kind of community are we if we do not believe it is our job to look out for other people, no matter their race or political leanings?
Kudos to the IHS and all who work there for your efforts and concern for the entire community.