Published On: Fri, Feb 14th, 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tribal member concerned about Wellness Center closing

 

I want to make every woman on the Qualla Boundary aware of what I found out today. I went to the Women’s Wellness Center, now known as Tsalagi Public Health, and was politely informed that they are going to be closing and that I needed to start transitioning my health care to the hospital. They do not have a closing date and no reason was given for the closing. 

I was shocked, even though I had my suspicion that closing was coming when they did not refill my position when I retired almost three years ago.  Is it because of money/funding? It definitely is not because of the care there. I have always received the best and confidential care there, so no complaint from me.  

If it’s money/funding, how can you put a monetary price on the health of our women – our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, daughters, sisters, and wives? Maybe even yourself if you are a woman. Remember, we are historically a matriarchal society. Women should be honored and taken care of, not pushed aside because it suits someone’s special interests and we should not be looked at in terms of dollar signs.  

We have been told during the closing of other clinics that it’s because of duplication of services. So, are we not allowed to chose where we receive our health care, like people outside of the Boundary do? Nothing against the hospital, I and my family have received excellent care there when needed. However, getting appointments in clinic is difficult there. 

The convenience of Women’s Wellness center is appreciated by myself and I am sure by other patients as well. I contacted each Council member for which I had a number, and have heard back from four. Only one knew about the closing and he had just learned about it. 

I have been told that it was a health board decision.  Please, contact your Council members and voice your concerns about closing this clinic. Their numbers are available through the Council House if you don’t have them . 

We, as women, need to be heard and we have the right to have our health care needs met when and wherever we want to go.  Thanks for reading my rant and help keep this clinic open, not only for ourselves, but also for the employees there who are at risk of losing their jobs, or being transferred to a position for which they didn’t apply for and may not want to do. God bless each and every one of you.

Signed, 

Marisa Cabe 

Cherokee 

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