Community

Tulalip Tribes provide $130,000 for health care in Washington state

TULALIP — The Tulalip Tribes are awarding $130,000 for regional health care projects through second quarter funding from Tribal enterprise and Casino revenues. The awards include:

• $100,000 to the Providence Regional Medical Center to support construction of its new medical tower.

• $7,000 to Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington to purchase a traversing lift system, to assist staff in moving physically challenged patients.

• $6,000 to Wonderland Developmental Center in Shoreline to hire additional speech and language therapists, to increase the number of children helped.

• $5,000 to the Seattle Children's Home to provide comprehensive mental health and developmental services, to help children and their families.

• $5,000 to Secret Harbor in Burlington to support children with behavioral, social, developmental, learning or emotional problems.

• $5,000 to Bridgeways in Everett to support the recovery, stability and self-sufficiency of adults living with mental illnesses.

• $2,000 to the Country Doctor Community Health Centers in Seattle to continue quality health care for those without health insurance.

"By supporting medical facilities and programs in northwest Washington, we improve the health of Tribal members and our surrounding community," said Mel Sheldon Jr., chair of the Tulalip Tribes. "For our tribes, advances in health care are a top priority, as Native Americans are dying of diabetes, alcoholism, tuberculosis, suicide, unintentional injuries and other health conditions at shocking rates."

The Providence Regional Medical Center donation is part of a $500,000 Tribal commitment from 2007-2011, that initially helped build a comprehensive state-of-the-art cancer center to serve Providence, the Everett Clinic, the Western Washington Medical Group and Northwest Radiation Oncology Associates. The facility brings together doctors, nurses and technicians in radiation therapy and chemotherapy with various cancer support equipment, programs and services under one roof. Current funding is supporting the future 12-story medical tower that will include a 79-bed emergency department, a floor dedicated to a new $25 million diagnostic imaging facility, two floors of surgical suites, a new intensive care unit and patient care floors that will add an additional 100 beds to better serve the families of this region.

In addition to health, the Tulalip Tribes Charity Fund supports education, the environment, art, culture and general community initiatives that safeguard and promote community welfare, peace and safety, as well as stimulate regional business. In 2009, the Tribes provided more than $4.3 million to more than 225 organizations throughout the state.

"Our efforts to give to the community stem back thousands of years to the Potlatch gathering, a festival ceremony practiced by Coast, Salish and other tribal cultures in the Pacific Northwest," said Marilyn Sheldon, administrator of the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund. "The word 'potlatch' means 'to give away' or 'a gift.' At potlatch gatherings, a family or leader hosts guests and holds a feast. The main purpose of the potlatch is the sharing of resources. We open our doors, spread the table and give openly to provide a sustainable, healthy place to live throughout this community. That is our way."

Organizations can apply for charity or education funding through the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund website at www.tulalipcares.org. Each year, the Tribes invite award recipients to their "Raising Hands Celebration of Community" event, to recognize and honor their leadership and community service. This year's event takes place Sept. 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Tulalip Resort's Orca Ballroom.

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