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Muscogee (Creek) Nation Sending Mobile Health Units To Vaccinate In Rural Parts Of Reservation

Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Muscogee (Creek) Nation healthcare workers vaccinate individuals at the Springfield United Methodist Church at a carry-out, wild onion dinner in Okemah on Saturday, April 3.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is sending two specialized mobile health units to rural corners of the reservation in an attempt to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Our reservation includes urban and rural communites, so we bought these mobile units to reach out into the areas where we might not have a clinic, where there might not be accessibility," said Rhonda Beaver, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health chief administrative officer. 

"So we're going to areas like Yardeka, we're going to areas like Dustin, Holdenville, to Checotah," Beaver said. 

The two vans are named hvlesletkv and vfvstuce arv, which translate from Muscogee to English as "Medicine Runner" and "Little Caretaker on the Go," respectively.

Beaver said they have timed some visits to coincide with traditional wild onion dinners that bring individuals together at many Native churches each spring.

"People come from all over to go eat at these meals, and so we have parked our mobile unit here at these events," Beaver said. "We are able to get some people who haven't been able to go get a vaccine for whatever reason. So while they're standing in line, waiting on their traditional meal to be served, we're giving them a vaccine in the arm and they never even have to leave the line."

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation vaccination efforts are open to Natives and non-Natives and have accounted for more than 27,000 administered doses to date. More information is available at the Nation's health department website.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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