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Native American Development Corporation expands to Shrine

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News from Cora Neumann

BILLINGS — Through the purchase of the Shrine Auditorium in Billings and key new hires, the Native American Development Corporation (NADC) and its Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center (BUIHWC) are making major strides to expand their reach and services. 

NADC’s work began nearly 30 years ago, offering economic development services to Native American businesses and leaders. As the link between economic security and health became clearer, and in order to meet the growing needs of Tribal members living in or traveling to the Billings area, NADC opened BUIHWC in October 2018. Prior to its opening, nearly 10,000 American Indians (4.8% of the Yellowstone County Population) were without health services. Today, the clinic and related health programs serve over 7,000 community members. 

Last year, NADC purchased the Shrine Auditorium as the future site of a community health center. The 50,000-square-foot property includes the main building with an auditorium and several additional rooms, a separate 5,000-square-foot shop, and a parking lot that sits on a 5.46-acre parcel lot. NADC is developing a master plan and conducting feasibility studies. The immediate next steps will include initial renovations to upgrade the space and make some much-needed repairs.

NADC has also made key hires, including public health expert and founder of We Are Montana Dr. Cora Neumann. As Chief Community Health Officer, Dr. Neumann will oversee NADC’s community health programs in collaboration with BUIHWC, leadership development, and programming at the new NADC Community Health Center. Cora brings her training in clinical public health and over 20 years of experience working with Tribal communities to her new position with NADC.

“NADC has been leading groundbreaking programs for nearly 30 years, supporting Indigenous businesses, leaders, and health interventions across Montana and the region. The BUIHWC clinic and new NADC community center offer huge potential to expand wrap-around services to both Urban and Tribal communities, and I am excited to partner with Leonard Smith, Mary Walks Over Ice, and the entire NADC team to deliver quality, culturally integrated care to Montana’s indigenous communities,” Dr. Neumann says. 

Welcoming Dr. Neumann, Leonard Smith, CEO of NADC, said, “A large percentage of Montana’s Native population lives in urban areas, and many Tribal members travel to urban centers to seek services. We are proud of how rapidly we have been able to expand to serve this large and growing need. Dr. Neumann’s demonstrated commitment to Montana’s Tribal communities and expertise in policy and public health make her an ideal partner as we grow.” 

Our expansion efforts include a range of health and social services, from outreach and referral to full ambulatory care delivered in partnership with the Tribes for their members who reside in Billings. There are currently forty-one Urban Indian Health Organizations (UIHOs) in the United States that serve the estimated 71% of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) who live in urban areas.

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