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NEWS | June 3, 2024

Idaho, Nevada Guard Offer Free Health Care to Tribal Members

By Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur, Idaho Army National Guard

LAPWAI, Idaho - The Idaho and Nevada National Guard provided medical care to the Nez Perce and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes during the Operation Nimiipuu Health community health care partnership May 13-24. 

The Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training program enables service members to gain experience while offering free care.

“Idaho National Guard members are driven by a sense of purpose,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, the adjutant general of Idaho. “IRT collaborations like this not only enable us to sharpen the military skills of our Soldiers and Airmen but also provide great opportunities to make positive impacts to local communities and strengthen our relationships with the Tribes.”

Approximately 50 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen provided behavioral health, medical, dental and optometry services to the Nez Perce Tribe’s citizens at Lapwai, Idaho, and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes at the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada.

The Air National Guard and Army National Guard, in partnership with Nimiipuu Health and the Owyhee Community Health Facility, provided no-cost health care to people living in the Nez Perce Reservation at sites in Lapwai, Kamiah and Kooskia in northern Idaho and to people living in and around the Shoshone-Paiute Reservation in the border region of southern Idaho and northern Nevada.

The Idaho National Guard provided a mobile field kitchen and the Nevada National Guard provided cooks to prepare meals for service members.

The Idaho National Guard also performed multiple state medical support IRT missions with Native American Tribes in 2021, 2022 and 2023.



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