FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Okmulgee, OK: The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health (MCNDH) continues to invest in rural healthcare with the recent purchase of two mobile health units. The units will deliver lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines to both Natives and the general public in rural and underserved areas.
MCNDH will travel throughout the Muscogee Reservation in communities like Holdenville, Muskogee, Coweta, Checotah, Bristow and Cromwell. Advance appointments will not be required. The list of vaccination events can be found at creekhealth.org/covidvaccine, and will be updated frequently.
“Studies show rural areas have been heavily impacted by the virus because residents are statistically older and have a higher prevalence of underlying medical conditions,” said Shawn Terry, Secretary of Health for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. “These factors, combined with a lack of access to intensive care beds, mean that tribal citizens and rural Oklahomans are disproportionately suffering from COVID-19. We are committed to removing vaccine disparities within our Reservation boundaries and protecting the people within the communities we serve.”
Named “Little Caretaker on the Go” and “Medicine Runner”, the mobile units will deliver COVID-19 vaccines directly to people in communities that historically lack access to medical services. They will also be deployed to tribal communal events and gatherings, such as wild onion dinners.
“Most of the wild onion dinners this year are drive-through events,” said Rhonda Beaver, Chief Administrative Officer for MCNDH. “We are making it convenient for attendees to pick up a traditional to-go meal and get their COVID-19 vaccination.”
The tribe recently added the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine for populations who might not be able to return for a second dose. To-date, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has administered more than 27,000 first and second dose vaccines through its clinics and large-scale vaccinations events. MCNDH recently administered nearly 2,500 first-dose Pfizer vaccines at Tulsa’s Expo Square to both Native Americans and non-Natives. More information on the Tribe’s COVID-19 response is available at creekhealth.org/covid
About Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health
Headquartered in Okmulgee Okla., the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is the fourth largest federally recognized tribe in the United States with more than 90,000 citizens. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health operates community hospitals, a long-term acute care facility and physical rehabilitation center serving both tribal citizens and the general public. To ensure healthy generations of Native people, MCN also operates Indian health clinics and provides dedicated services for citizens of federally recognized tribes.