SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In honor of Native American Day, Sanford Health hosted a virtual Q & A to discuss health care topics related to Native American cultures.
Native American Day in KELOLAND is usually celebrated through parades and gatherings to honor Native American people.
In the past, Sanford Health has been involved in similar celebrations.
“We’ve had, dance ceremonies. We’ve awarded some star quilts to some employees that have been recognized by the Native American community for really going above and beyond and providing excellent care,” Andy Munce said.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the traditional activities have been cancelled.
Andy Munce with Sanford Health says instead, a virtual Q&A is being held to talk about health care issues related to Native American cultures.
“We care for so many patients that are Native American, and so it really helps give caregivers information, to really help balance a lot of the cares that we give and to really, really keep the Native Americans really front and center of a lot of the things that we do here at Sanford,” Munce said.
Joe Beaudreau is participating in the Q&A. He’s a patient relations specialist at Sanford in Bemidji, as well as their Indian Health Advocate– a dual role that only he holds in the entire Sanford system.
“I’ve worked in this, in this facility and in this campus for 16 years and so I think we have a great opportunity and I’ve seen that all along in this role and to start bridging those gaps that we may have with the communities that surround us,” Beaudreau said.
He says bridging those gaps includes building relationships and improving communication.
“I think if people would just take the time, just a few moments to get to know who that person is and validate them and learn who they are as a person and not just the patient,” he said.
All in an effort to bring people together, and offer support to all people through their journey in health care.
To learn more about Native American’s Day in KELOLAND, click here.