The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is marking its 40th year in operation with a celebration powwow. It will be held on the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds on August 16th.
The clinic started in 1974 with a handful of volunteer heath care providers looking to fill the need of urban Indians seeking medical care. David Toahty, Chief Development Officer for the clinic, said the first clinic was just a storefront on Hudson. Toahty said the clinic currently serves 18,000 patients and fills 240,000 prescriptions a year.
“Other things that we have been able to add are dental and optometry. We have really expanded our services with diabetes, one of the problems that Indians face, and heart disease,” Toahty said.
Toahty said prevention and education is the key to good health.
“About 50 cents on the dollar goes to preventative. We actually have several programs, such as B.R.A.I.D.S. (Being Responsible American Indians with Diabetes), which is a diabetes education program,” Toahty said.
“We have other programs such as our Turtle Camp which is for children. That is also a diabetes and health related program where we teach kids at a very young age how to eat healthy, how to make right choices,” Toahty said.
In that same vein of preventative measures, the clinic has a Wellness Center for their patients and four trainers on site to help patients use the equipment and suggest exercise programs.
Another accomplishment for the clinic is the number of children immunized. Toahty said 95 percent of the children seen at the clinic are up to date on their immunizations. That beats the national average on all children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The work done at the clinic will be highlighted at the celebration powwow. Health booths join an assortment of food and product vendors to offer blood pressure & diabetes assessments.
Toahty said in previous years as many as 1500 people have attended. Gourd dance starts at 2 p.m. It is a contest powwow and grand entry is at 7 p.m. Contests include men and women’s contests, tiny tot and golden age dance contest. The Oklahoma City Powwow Club is co-hosting this event. It is free and open to the public.
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