|Sandy Schildt - Tribal Hero||| Print ||
|Thursday, 22 October 2009 00:00|
Five words sum up Sandy Schildt’s passion and life’s work:
Better Health Care For Indians
Sandy Schildt, a Blackfeet Tribal member, is a Certified Indian Health Care Trainer and Consultant. She is a mother of two boys (Jefferson 21 & Jared 14). Sandy was born in Browning, MT, to Patrick “Sam” Schildt, Sr. (Korean War Veteran), Sr., and Violet (Retired IHS Service Unit Director).
“Health care is not up to par in Indian Country,” says Sandy. “But I absolutely believe that, starting right here on the Blackfeet Reservation, we can dramatically improve Indian Health Care that can serve as a model and roadmap for Indian and non-Indian organizations alike, country wide. It starts with reducing waste, inefficiencies, and counter-productive practices embedded in IHS.”
In 1999, Sandy wrote a Scope of Work for Indian Health Service and continues to write improvements that fit Tribal and IHS transitions in health care. HQE Officials have recommended Sandy implement her scope of work at the Area level since it currently does not exist.
“But IHS is a pretty entrenched bureaucracy, set in its ways. And many of those ways need serious modifications and re-engineering,” says Sandy. “I am gratified at the positive responses and actions stemming from my work, but it’s not nearly enough progress to suit me. I believe our Tribes (nationally) need to get more involved”.
“Everybody seems to agree with and embrace my recommendations --they often use my findings and ideas in their own proposals and presentations-- but many bureaucrats seem more interested in playing it safe and collecting a paycheck than helping drive meaningful change. Meanwhile Indians are not getting the health care they need and deserve. Indian Health Care is, literally, a matter of life and death in Indian Country, so I will continue to seek support for all Indian Tribes until widespread change happens.”
Qualifying to do the job, Sandy earned an unprecedented number of certifications and qualifications in her field of data compliance, which is the sole factor for quality health care and increased funding. She created and currently does business as “Data Compliance Services”.
Sandy had to spend a great deal of time away from home for college and jobs. This off-reservation experience is where she developed the perspective and ability to recognize the need for educators, trainers and IHS Directors with knowledge of the unique world of the Indian Health Service, Tribal Program Requirements (e,g, Policy & Technical Procedures).
Sandy Schildt is a person who sees serious problems and simple solutions and is determined to do something about it. She has approached the problem in Indian Health Care as a true Blackfeet: with vision, strength of will, and an absolute unwillingness to give up. That’s why she is a role model for all of us and is this week’s Tribal Hero.