Merkley, Wyden: Over $732,000 Headed to the Klamath Tribes to Expand Access to Health Care Facilities

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that a total of $732,920 in federal funding from the Indian Health Service (IHS) is headed to the Klamath Tribes to construct, expand, and modernize ambulatory health care facilities.

“Tribes around Oregon depend on ambulatory health care facilities to get the care they need, when they need it,” said Senator Merkley, who writes the legislation funding the IHS through his work as Chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. “These facilities, which are operated by tribes and tribal organizations, provide access to quality, culturally appropriate health care—and ensuring these facilities are accessible and modernized is vital to the care, treatment, and resources provided for patients. I’m pleased the Klamath Tribes will benefit from this important health care investment.”

“These federal funds secured by the Klamath Tribes will help their vital work to provide topnotch and easily accessible health care for their members,” Wyden said. “Ambulatory care increases the opportunity for quality care by taking that care to where people are. These are smart and targeted healthcare investments, and I’ll keep battling to provide similar resources for Tribal communities throughout Oregon.”

Funding comes from part of a competitive Small Ambulatory Program to fund the construction, expansion or modernization of small ambulatory health care facilities.

The IHS Small Ambulatory Program supports work towards expanding access to various outpatient services for patients, including offering new services, expanding existing services, and upgrading outdated facilities. Since the program began in 2001, more than 61 projects have been funded, totaling more than $123 million. 95 percent of tribally-operated health care facilities provide primarily ambulatory services. These services include preventative services for chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

Senator Merkley is a longtime supporter and advocate for the IHS, and just last year secured advanced appropriations for the IHS to ensure there is never a lapse in funding due to any stall in the government appropriations process. Senator Wyden has supported funding for many Tribal priorities, including the recently passed Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund that provided much-needed support to the tribes coming out of the COVID pandemic.