District I Members Learn about Medication-Assisted Recovery, WEWIN at Community Meeting


By Makadegwanebiikwe Mikayla SchaafMille Lacs Band Descendant

At the District I Community Meeting on January 9, Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic Chief Medical Officer Dr. Donald Gunderson and Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Greg Braaten informed community members about the Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) program, which has been active since August 2018.

The clinical team has worked for several months to develop a program aimed at assisting individuals who struggle with opioid addiction through the use of the medication known as Suboxone. Suboxone is used to help eliminate or reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. "So far it has gone well," explained Dr. Gunderson. "We are not just treating the substance abuse disorder, but also some of the underlying issues that develop along with it. The great thing about this program is that we treat the addiction as a medical condition, therefore allowing us to provide immediate care."

 The MAR program can be accessed by anyone who is a patient at Ne-Ia-Shing clinic. Once admitted, the patient will be provided with a program designed and developed specifically for his or her needs.

Dr. Braaten closed the presentation with a Q&A Session and emphasized, "We are a changing and growing program. We look to the community for support and suggestions to ensure MAR fits the needs of our community."

For more information or questions about MAR, please call the nurse line at 320-532-4163 ext. 2511 or cell 320-362-0892.

Women Empowering Women

Valerie Harrington and LeAnn "Biidaana" Benjamin presented information about Women Empowering Women for Indigenous Nations (WEWIN). WEWIN is looking for more female participation in the group.

Group members support each other through honoring other women and attending support meetings. A WEWIN youth group also participates on a regular basis.

Fundraising opportunities are available to attend the 2019 annual conference (dates and location to be announced).

LeAnn has been a part of WEWIN for almost seven years and has been involved in fundraising for three years. "WEWIN for me has been awesome," said LeAnn. "It has helped me grow both professionally and personally!"

If you would like to join WEWIN, please contact Valerie Harrington at Valerie.Harrington@millelacsband.com or LeAnn Benjamin at LBenjamin@nas.k12.mn.us.