Frequently Asked Questions

Our service to Indian people often results in a bit of misunderstanding about our identity and affiliations. This section provides answers to those questions.

Is IHCRC a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?
Yes! IHCRC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization. Gifts to IHCRC are tax deductible as allowed by law. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, the majority of whom are members of federally recognized Indian tribes. Our funding comes from a variety of sources, not the least of which is the generous Tulsa community.

Aside from our third-party reimbursement qualified medical services, most of our programs and services (health and wellness, youth, mental health “Systems of Care,” prevention, and children’s programs) are funded through the generosity of individual donors, private foundations, special events, and competitive state and federal grants/contracts.

Is IHCRC part of Indian Health Service (IHS)?
IHCRC is designated an Indian Health Service Urban Indian Health Organization. This federal designation means we have a contract with IHS to provide qualified medical services for members of federally recognized Tribes.

Do the tribes and casinos support IHCRC? 
Tribes and casinos donate to IHCRC just like individual donors, private foundations, and corporations do. Because we are not affiliated with any tribal government (and therefore not affiliated with any casino), donations from these entities come to us much like they do any other nonprofit organization. A few tribes sponsor our Dance of Two Moons special event and others sponsor our Restoring Harmony Youth Powwow. Some tribal governments contract with us for specific services. Basically, we count the tribes and casinos among our many community and corporate donors, and appreciate the support we receive for our patients and programs.

Is IHCRC a community health center?
We are a non-grant supported Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). We received FQHC designation because we meet criteria identified by HRSA and are certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as meeting the definition of “health center” under Section 330 of the PHS Act. However, we are a “non-grant supported” health center because we do not receive Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant funding under Section 330.

Like many agencies providing health and mental health services, we bill third party-reimbursement (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance) for qualified services. On average, 80-90% of our patients present to us as uninsured or having Medicaid. All services are provided at no cost to the patient regardless of ability to pay.

Is IHCRC accredited by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)?
Yes it is! AAAHC is a quality of care designation rather than a funding designation. Accreditation is an external, independent review of a health care delivery organization against nationally-accepted standards and its own policies, procedures, processes and outcomes. IHCRC participates in on-going self-evaluation, peer review and education to continuously improve its care and services. The organization also commits to a thorough, on-site survey by AAAHC surveyors, who are themselves health care professionals, at least every three years.

Is IHCRC discriminating because it only serves individuals who are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes?
We all want to be understood by our health care provider team. If our child is ill, we seek a pediatrician. If our grandparent’s memory is failing, we find a provider who specializes in geriatric care. In our minds, however, quality health care is more than just finding the right specialist. We want someone who understands our culture; who recognizes that history and tradition play a vital role in our wellbeing; and who believes, as we do, that in order to become a healthy individual all the aspects of our nature – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – must be equally addressed and expressed.

IHCRC supports the right for all people to have access to quality, comprehensive health care. Nonetheless, we recognize and accept that we cannot be all things to all people. In 1976 a group of people saw a desperate need for an urban clinic that would serve Tulsa-area Indian people in a culturally sensitive environment. Today the need continues as almost 20,000 Indian people seek our services each year.

Interested in learning more?

Debbie Starnes
Development Director
dstarnes@ihcrc.org
918-382-1203

Katie Burk
Fundraising Specialist
kburk@ihcrc.org
918-382-1226