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.
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