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Bad River tribe seeks new medical clinic

ODANAH -- One of the state's more isolated Ojibwe bands is hoping to build a new medical center in the wake of a fire that destroyed their clinic last summer.

ODANAH -- One of the state's more isolated Ojibwe bands is hoping to build a new medical center in the wake of a fire that destroyed their clinic last summer.

Right now, the people at the Bad River Band on the shore of Lake Superior get their medical help out of a modular unit. Tribal General Manager Ray DePerry said it's cramped and bare bones, but they have hope. The hope is centered on a proposed six million dollar health care center. But DePerry said insurance money from the fire won't cover the expenses of this expanded facility, so they're asking for help from other tribes in Wisconsin and Minnesota. He said thus far, they've gotten a response from the tribe in Shakopee, Minn., which has asked for additional information. He said he wants to remain upbeat about this because they seem to be interested in helping out if they can.

DePerry said health facilities are a vital cog in a community's life. He said one of the most integral parts of the community is health care, and the facility that got destroyed by fire provided much of those needed services to their families and the elderly.

If they can get the financing, DePerry said the new clinic construction would begin next year and open in 2009.

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