NEWS

Governor Kelly Recognizes Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

3.29.21 – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly visits the Prairie Band Health Center in recognition of on-going COVID-19 vaccination efforts. (Back left to right) Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman Joseph Rupnick, Vice-Chairman Zach Pahmahmie, Member William Evans, Member Raphael Wahwassuck, Member Tony Wahweotten, Treasurer Wade Pahmahmie, (Front left to right) Secretary Camilla Chouteau, Governor Laura Kelly, PBHC Administrator Kristina Simmons and Tribal Liaison Chris Howell.

3.29.21

Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly visited the Prairie Band Health Center, located on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Reservation, within the boundary of Jackson County, Kansas to recognize the Nation’s on-going contribution to COVID-19 vaccination efforts. 

Prairie Band Health Center has worked closely with the local Jackson County Health Department throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In mid-March 2021, Prairie Band Health Center partnered with the Jackson County Health Department to offer vaccinations to Jackson county residents.  

On Friday, March 26, 2021, the Prairie Band Health Center vaccinated a total of 179 patients during a walk-in vaccination clinic geared toward Jackson county residents. 

“This is the way it’s supposed to work. People partnering with others to take care of people as a whole. This is a great model,” said Governor Laura Kelly, after touring the Prairie Band Health Center. 

As of Friday, March 26, 2021, the Prairie Band Health Center has administered a total of 3,259 vaccination doses since starting vaccinations on December 17, 2021. 1,278 persons have received both doses, while 703 persons have received the first dose. Prairie Band Health Center plans to continue vaccinating all PBHC eligible patients along with Jackson County residents who wish to receive the vaccination. 

“We are here to serve and build these relationships,” said PBPN Tribal Chairman Joseph Rupnick, “we are thankful Governor Kelly acknowledges the work we have been doing, not only with tribal members but all citizens within this county.” 

This is the first time a Kansas Governor has visited the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation since Governor Finney’s Administration (1991-1995), approximately 26 years ago. After touring the facility, Governor Kelly and Tribal Liaison Chris Howell, Executive Director of the Kansas Native American Affairs Office, met briefly with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council. Governor Kelly has made it her position to acknowledge the sovereignty of the tribes in Kansas while ensuring their inclusivity on items of shared concern. 

:: Photo Gallery ::

3.29.21 – Governor Laura Kelly listens intently as she visits with members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council.

 

3.29.21 – Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman Joseph Rupnick shares what the vaccination process has been like for the tribe with Dr. Ximena Garcia, Governor Laura Kelly and Prairie Band Health Center Administrator Kristina Simmons. Dr. Garcia accompanied Governor Kelly during her visit to the Prairie Band Health Center.

 

3.26.21 – Prairie Band Health Center staff have taken an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to vaccinating both tribal and non-tribal community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, March 26, the group including four FEMA staff vaccinated a total of 179 patients during a walk-in vaccination clinic.