Day two of the Pine Ridge short trip has turned out to be quite successful and fun. We’re continuing to build relationships and partnerships out on the reservation, but we’re also building relationships as the short trip team. So let’s start by introducing you all to the short trip team. Day one Liz Arnold, Director of Global Partners, Jenna Richter, Global Partners Intern, Steve Schumacher, UW Medical Student, and Dr. Chad Thurman, MD left from La Crosse; however, shortly into our drive we discovered there were really five of us traveling out that day. It turns out Steve also goes by Esteban. The drive to South Dakota was full of sunshine, a rain storm, followed by more sunshine! Fast forward to day two.
We woke up bright and early and headed down to Rosebud reservation where we met with the clinic leadership about providing a general surgery clinic, as they currently do not have a surgeon on staff. The clinic seems very excited to have a Gundersen team come out and are very accommodating. Before arriving at Rosebud we met with Suzanne England, whom we have been in contact and partnership with for several years. She works with the Indian Health Service and spent a large portion of the day with our team. After Rosebud clinic we split into two teams to continue partnership building in Rosebud and Wanblee before all coming together again for another productive meeting at Wanblee Clinic! Of course we remembered to bring the good ‘ole Wisconsin cheese to share! It’s quite the commodity among our partners. Right, Suzanne?!
As we were headed to our hotel, Liz was providing a little tour for the Pine Ridge newbies, mostly Jenna, but also a few new places for Steve aka Esteban. Due to the wonderful rainstorms we encountered the day before, many of the dirt roads had large mud puddles to drive through. Do not fear, Esteban powered through them all and we can no longer tell the color of our van….seriously. Not too long after, Dr. Thurman found a wood tick on himself and let it loose in the van…it likely ended up on Steve, but we cannot confirm that detail. Upon arriving at our hotel, we met another member of our short trip team, Tom Tornstrom with Tri-State ambulance, and are awaiting the arrival of Dr. Chris Eberlein. We are looking forward to another fun-filled day of meetings and car rides!