Oyate System of Care

A Progressive Healthcare Management Model

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The Oyate system of care is modeled after the award-winning Nuka system of care developed by the Southcentral Foundation. These care systems are based upon the belief that the relationship between the primary care team and the patient is the single most important tool in managing chronic disease, controlling health care costs, and improving the overall wellness of a population. Recognizing that individuals are ultimately in control of their own lifestyle choices and health care decisions, the Oyate model focuses on understanding each of our relatives’ unique stories, values, and influencers in an effort to engage them in their care and support long-term behavior change.

“The introduction of this unique and progressive management model to the staff at the OHC and GPTCHB signifies the beginning of an era of sustained improvement in care for Native American people in Rapid City,” Jerilyn Church, CEO of the GPTCHB.

Installing a new and innovative approach to patient care is a difficult task that the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) and the Oyate Health Center (OHC) are ready to take on. The installation of the Oyate care model has paved the way for a new approach to patient care that has never been available to Native American people in Rapid City.

The goal is to establish a care setting where our patients have the greatest chance at improving their overall health. This approach has proven to be successful and we are excited to have the opportunity to apply it at the Oyate Health Center.

Jerily Church – CEO of the GPTCHB

The Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care is recognized as one of the world’s leading models of health care redesign and a recipient of the 2011 and 2017 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award –the nation’s only presidential award for performance excellence and innovation.

To help equip its employees with the tools needed to do the job, each of them must complete an intense personal communications training called Core Connections.

The Core Connections training teaches providers how to listen to their patient’s stories, but also how to tell their own. This ability creates a relationship between the provider and the patient that allows for a better understanding of the reasons why care has been sought. This mutual understanding creates a setting where the root causes of illnesses can be determined. This allows for the development of care plans that will help the patient heal.

All employees working under the Oyate Health Center and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board will attend this training by the end of 2020. So far, approximately 60% of those employed by these two entities have been introduced to the Nuka model through the Core Connections training.

The first workshop took place in August and focused on leadership teams and administrators from both the OHC and the GPTCHB. This most recent training brought in those who provide direct service to our relatives.

Staff members who attended the training were quick to provide positive feedback about their experience.

“The Core Concepts Training provided by SCF taught me how to connect with people on an emotional level. I was brought up to leave your baggage at the door and pick it back up when you leave work, but this training showed me that you can be vulnerable with your co-workers and how to have healthy, productive conversations with them. It showed me areas of my communication that I needed to improve on and gave me the tools and safe place to practice those skills”, said Chad Ratigan, PRC Director for the Oyate Health Clinic. “I feel that I have grown leaps and bounds over the course of 3 days and I feel confident in the fact that I can utilize these tools moving forward. I am excited to utilize what I have learned in the workplace and my personal life and I am grateful that GPTCHB sponsored this training for myself and our employees,” he added.