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Mobile Health Unit rolls into Turtle Mountains

BELCOURT, N.D. – You could say healthcare is on the move in the Turtle Mountains.

Thanks to some CARES Act funding, the tribe is expanding their healthcare services in an effort to reach everyone on the reservation.

For those across the Turtle Mountain Reservation, health services will soon be coming to them, thanks to the tribe’s first ever mobile medical unit.

Registered Nurse and dancer Maycie Morin may not be working on the mobile unit, but she’ll be traveling with it everywhere it goes.

“It’s actually pretty fascinating being an RN in the emergency department, I would never think that anything like this would be available for us here on our reservation. It’s actually a pretty great experience,” said Morin.

The unit contains two examination tables, a lab station and a generator and Wi-Fi capabilities.

Health leaders said they are looking into what healthcare options can be provided on the road.

“We have a lot of children in the community that need shots of immunizations and we’re hoping to utilize it for that purpose as well as hopefully some other things in the future,” said Georgia Artz, director of Public Health Nursing Belcourt Hospital.

Tribal leaders said the more than $200,000 unit was introduced early on in the budgeting process for using CARES Act funding at the start of the pandemic.

“This was the first project or conversation piece that came to mind to reach out to those who cannot come to us for their public health services,” said Rep. Nathan Davis, District 1.

The tribal government, Indian Health Services and Turtle Mountain Master Health are some of the agencies that made the unit possible. Although the official start date is yet to be determined, health officials say that COVID-19 vaccines will be the first service offered on the go.

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