History of Southcentral Foundation’s Traditional Healing Clinic

We previously published a blog post about SCF’s Traditional Healing Clinic services and its benefits to customer-owners. Today’s post focuses on the history of SCF’ Traditional Healing Clinic. SCF Board Member Sophia Chase was one of the major advocates for Southcentral Foundation to establish a traditional healing clinic. There has also been a consistent, huge demand from customer-owners for these services. SCF listened to this feedback and started the process to create the Traditional Healing Clinic in 1997 by hiring Rita Blumenstein, who explored how traditional healing could be integrated into the accredited medical environment.

SCF’s original Tribal Doctors are Rita Blumenstein and Lisa Dolchok, who were appointed by President/CEO Dr. Katherine Gottlieb. Tribal Doctors have their own specialties, based on their experience. SCF implements an internal qualification process with heavy consultation with community Elders. SCF does require a Tribal Doctor applicant to have a personal or family history of practicing traditional healing and to meet with SCF’s:

  • Vice President of Executive and Tribal Services Ileen Sylvester
  • Current Tribal Doctors
  • Traditional Healing Elder Council
  • President/CEO Dr. Katherine Gottlieb

If the applicant is approved by Dr. Gottlieb, the applicant completes an apprenticeship with the Tribal Doctors and a certification by the Traditional Healing Elder Council.

Traditional Healing services are available to customer-owners by referral from a primary care provider.

Services provided at SCF Traditional Healing include:

  • Healing hands and healing touch
  • Culturally sensitive supportive counseling and storytelling
  • Talking circles
  • Cleansing and cleansing consultations
  • Prayer
  • Songs and dances
  • Consultations with Elders
  • Traditional healing garden

SCF Traditional Healing has intentionally stayed away from prescribing traditional plants as medicine. Rather, Tribal Doctors may provide recommendations for traditional medicine, but customer-owners must discuss those recommendations with their primary care provider to ensure the traditional medicine is compatible with any other medications the customer-owner may be taking.