“Without our health ... nothing else really matters,” Janelle Ali-Dinar, CEO of Ponca Health Services and interim CEO for tribal affairs believes. Her firm belief is clearly shared by everyone in the community. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska recently debuted a new mobile clinic and updated plans for a $100 million tribal administration and health center, in a joint project with the federal Indian Health Services, the agency responsible for providing medical care and public health services to members of federally recognized Native American tribes and Alaska Native people. Given that the tribe’s health centers serve enrolled members of any federally recognized tribe, the expansion will benefit more than just the Ponca. The new mobile clinic, which will allow the tribe to take its health mission on the road, features a portrait of Chief Standing Bear, the famous civil rights leader, and offers medical and dental services as well as some behavioral health and diagnostic services. Other specialized mobile clinics will soon be launched. “We are only as healthy as our least healthy patient,” Ali-Dinar said.

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