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Volunteer Intertribal Medicine Inc

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1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

9 Arthur E. Angove, D.O., General Surgeon and his wife Carmen, returned from a medical mission to Bolivia, S.A., and read an article in the Milwaukee Journal about the poverty and scant medical care available to the native Indian communities of Wisconsin's eleven tribes and bands. After meeting with the Great Lakes Intertribal Council in Rice Lake, WI, Arvina Thayer was assigned to work with the founder and president of the soon to become organization of Volunteer Intertribal Medicine, or VIM as the tribal community workers called it. Dr. Angove called Earl Thayer,(not related to Arvina) the Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Medical Society, later changed to Wisconsin Medical Society and the chairpersons of all eleven tribes and bands, and the presidents of all the healthcare organizations of Wisconsin to meet at the Medical Society building in Madison. When Dr. Angove asked: "Where and what is the greatest medical needs"?, a Winnebago man answered, "Many people have come to do research about that, and there must be a mountain of paperwork somewhere, but nobody has returned to tell us the results". Dr. Angove responded by asking, "Where do you as a group feel where the greatest need might be"? After some discussion it was determined that the Stockbridge-Munseeand the Bad River communities were in the greatest need of help. At that meeting a group of medical and osteopathic doctors, chiropractor, lab techs, nurses, and dentists decided to first work with the S-M people and arranged to use a newly constructed Potshcheenunc ) warehouse in Wittenberg. We strung wires across the rafters and hung blankets to make exam rooms, and used saw horses and plywood for exam tables; our restroom was out back behind the trees, and water was brought in buckets. Lunch was provided by the people, fried bread and trout. Once we were treated with bear meat. Really, lunch tasted delicious. A young Mohican boy, Dave Besaw drove around to tell those who needed to see the doctor that if they didn't go to the clinic he'd tell the Sheriff, so they came! One woman told me she needed glasses, so after checking her blood sugar level which was over 900 mg/ml, I sent her to the doctor in Shawano for treatment of her diabetes mellitus. While getting ready to do a Pap smear, the lady scooted down and the plywood tipped over, sliding the embarrassed woman to the floor. We learned a lot from our first day. Dave organized a pony raffle and with the profit bought a mobile home which we used until the Community Center was built which looked like way too much room, but eventually had to use the mobile home alongside the Com. Cntr. Vounteers came from Minnesota and Iowa to help, and we eventually were able to provide care to all the tribes and bands of Wisconsin, and some in the Cass Lake area of upper Minnesota. Dr. Angove delegated the leadership to Arvina and Dave, who became head of the Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., and returned to starting clinics in Yucatan, MX, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti. Jan Martin, Sec./Treas. of VIM has retired from working at the S-M Community Health Center in 2014.

Review from Guidestar