Thursday, 13 June 2024

Sutter Lakeside Hospital partners with Tribal Health

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – For three hours the day before Halloween, any American Indian woman who got a mammogram at Sutter Lakeside Hospital could enjoy a peaceful retreat in the hospital conference room.

There, a full spread of hot cider, coffee, French toast bread pudding, roasted vegetable frittata, pumpkin hummus, pasta salad, and fruit and cheese awaited, catered by Rosey Martin.

“Native women often don’t think to get mammograms,” said Esperanza Briones, a community health representative for Lake County Tribal Health Consortium and member of the Pomo community. “We want to pamper them after they get their mammograms. We remind them they have to take care of themselves before they can care for others; a woman today told me this was her first mammogram in five years because she hadn’t thought to get one in that long.”

Tribal Health scheduled seventeen mammograms and provided transportation for women who needed it.

The conference room, decorated in pink for breast cancer awareness, housed gift bags, aromatherapy kits, and a craft area where women could make beaded bracelets and fleece pillows. Certified massage practitioner Debi Freeland offered her services for free as well.

“I love to help women feel one hundred percent and see a smile on their faces,” said Freeland, who has been a certified massage practitioner since 2001. “It’s nice to serve the Pomo community.”

Lake County Tribal Health was established to improve the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and social health statues of the American Indians of Lake County through the provision of culturally sensitive health care services, according to its Web site.

“We work with well-respected elders to build relationships in the Pomo community,” said Briones, who has been with Tribal Health since June of this year. “We host a women’s health day as well.”

“We advocate on behalf of patients for clear communication with providers,” said Earlene Drapeau, Tribal Health community health representative and member of Sutter Lakeside Hospital’s Patient Experience Council. “We make appointments for patients as well as help with medication management and proper labeling.”

Tribal Health’s team also included Monica Horse, community health representative; Michaela John, transportation; and Rhonda Boyle, LVN.

“Sutter Lakeside is proud to partner with Tribal Health to provide a relaxing environment for Native women,” said Siri Nelson, chief administrative officer, Sutter Lakeside Hospital. “Early detection is vitally important in the fight against breast cancer. We’re excited to collaborate with Tribal Health to reach a portion of the population that may otherwise miss this essential service.

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