The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla) has operated Yellowhawk Tribal Health since 1996. Located in Pendelton, a small city in northern Oregon, Yellowhawk provides a pharmacy as well as comprehensive medical, dental and behavioral healthcare services to thousands of tribe members annually.
What has grown into Yellowhawk’s outpatient substance abuse program was started over 50 years ago by tribal member Ray Eagle. Eagle’s alcoholism landed him on the wrong side of the law and while incarcerated, he attended AA meetings and began therapy. After his release, he effectively lobbied local law enforcement and tribal elders to rehabilitate substance abusing tribe members instead of punishing them. Today Yellowhawk provides prevention services and both a standard outpatient track and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for substance abuse. Referrals are also available to nearby inpatient programs.
Treatment and Staff
After an assessment, clients are placed in either an eight-week prevention program, standard outpatient treatment or the IOP. Clients in the prevention program meet once a week for group therapy for eight weeks. Clients enrolled in the standard outpatient program attend group sessions once or twice a week and individual therapy as-needed. Those who qualify for the IOP meet for group therapy three times each week and have weekly individual therapy. The duration of both outpatient tracks is 12 to 14 weeks, depending on frequency of attendance.
Groups have a maximum of 12 participants and use the Matrix Model. Topics such as anger management, parenting skills and relapse prevention are discussed and gender-specific groups are available. Seeking Safety groups are also available to treat clients who have experienced trauma.
The treatment team at Yellowhawk includes Master’s-level therapists including LCSWs and addiction counselors with CADC credentials. Clients with co-occurring disorders can receive dual diagnosis support and the treatment team regularly teleconferences with a psychiatrist who also visits Yellowhawk periodically.
All treatment at Yellowhawk is culturally sensitive and the facility began using Wellbriety guides in 2008. Clients are also asked to attend one or two outside recovery activities each week, such as 12-step meetings, Bible study or a session at a sweat lodge.
Family and couple’s therapy are available in Yellowhawk’s behavioral health department. Clients who have completed treatment can attend a maintenance group to check in with their peers and counselors. Yellowhawk is also in the process of building a new 60,000-square foot clinic that is slated to open in 2017.
Yellowhawk Tribal Health has been providing comprehensive medical and behavioral health services to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation for over 40 years. Its substance abuse treatment programs offer culturally-sensitive therapy and support for clients struggling with co-occurring disorders. Its holistic treatment philosophy ensures that clients address the underlying psychological and medical issues as well as their spiritual well-being that may make them vulnerable to addiction and relapse.
Yellowhawk Tribal Health
73265 Confederated Way
Pendelton, OR 97801
Yellowhawk Tribal Health Cost: No charge for tribal members. Reach Yellowhawk Tribal Health at (541) 278-7528 and by email at [email protected]. Find Yellowhawk Tribal Health on Facebook, Google+ and YouTube
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