Program History and Philosophy

The Tule River Indian Health Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to meeting the healthcare and health education needs of the Native American communities in Tulare County.

Tule River Indian Health Center is governed by a Health Advisory Board comprised of local tribal members from the Tule River Indian Reservation. We are dedicated to the following philosophies:

  • Our Vision is Healthier Native American Families and Communities;
  • Our Mission is to improve the health status and quality of life of those we serve.

Program Eligibility

Tule River Indian Health Center provides quality medical and dental treatment to all patients, and no individual is denied care due to inability to pay. We charge for services on a sliding fee scale based on household income and family size. Medicare, Medi-Cal, and most private insurances are accepted. Patient Registration and Patient Benefits staff is available to help you identify and apply for alternative resources for payment.

Any Native American patient who is a member of a federally recognized tribe may receive Direct Care clinic services at no cost. Federally-recognized California Indians residing in our Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) are eligible for no-cost coverage of expanded services away from our clinic.

Eligibility for Direct Care or Contract Health Services (CHS) requires proof of tribal ancestry (e.g. tribal enrollment card, Certificate of Indian Blood, etc.) as well as other information. For additional assistance regarding your eligibility status, please ask for our Patient Registration and/or CHS Departments.

Clinical Services Provided at Tule River Indian Health Center

Medical: Our medical practitioners strive to provide you with services and options that promote your best possible health. By working closely with our patients, we believe you will learn more about ways to prevent health problems and minimize health risks.

Medical services include acute care treatment and wellness care, general and family medicine, pediatric care, treatment for diseases that target Native American populations such as diabetes, evaluation and referrals, optometry services, audiology screening and diagnosis, prescriptions, medical lab services, and community health education.

Dental: Preventative and restorative dental care is a priority at Tule River Indian Health Center. Our dental staff is always eager to serve. In addition to serving regular patients, our dentists provide services to pediatric, diabetic, and pregnant patients as needed.

Dental services include dental checkups and dental hygiene instruction, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, extractions, crowns, root canal treatment, partial and full dentures, screening for oral cancer and other diseases, evaluation and referrals, and community health education.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Mental health and substance abuse problems are serious concerns for our Native American communities. In response, our clinic’s mental health and substance abuse programs emphasize healthy living alternatives, traditional values, group support, and targeted counseling.

Mental health and substance abuse services include group, family, and individual counseling, depression and domestic violence screening and prevention services, education and support to promote recovery and relapse prevention, targeted training efforts, and community health education.

Community Outreach: Our rural population requires active efforts to reach our Elders and isolated patients who require assistance. To fulfill our stewardship to the Tule River Indian Reservation, our Community Outreach department is dedicated to serving the needs of these populations.

Community Outreach services include case management, diabetes and health education efforts, in-home assessment and referrals, patient transportation services, community health promotion, Elder services and nutrition, healthcare and patient advocacy, and community health education.

Patient Preparation and Communication

To meet the requirements of the federal Indian Health Service (IHS) and to most effectively meet your healthcare needs, all patients should ensure their insurance, eligibility, and contact information is current and correct at every visit to the health center. Critical information we must have at your initial visit or are required to update regularly in our charts includes:

  • Birth certificates or hospital documentation for all patients and dependents.
  • Social security cards for all patients and dependents.
  • Proof of tribal ancestry (e.g. tribal enrollment card[s], Certificate[s] of Indian Blood, etc.)
  • Changes in your address, phone number, or alternative contact information.
  • Changes in your insurance coverage.
  • Change in factors that determine your eligibility for alternative resources (e.g. income, family size, etc.)

Out of respect for other patients and our health providers, Tule River Indian Health Center also requests that patients contact our offices to communicate situations requiring appointment cancellations and difficulties as soon as possible (24 hours notice is preferred).

Complete documentation regarding Patient Rights and Responsibilities is available from our Patient Registration staff.

After Hours and Emergency Services

If you require medical or emergency services outside of our normal hours of operations, please contact our healthcare affiliates accordingly:

After Hours Emergencies Please Call 911
Ambulance/Emergency Transportation Imperial Ambulance (559) 784-5000

If you need assistance from our Contract Health Services department, please remember you are required to notify us within seventy-two (72) hours of your emergency or incident to ensure full compliance.

Mailing Address: PO Box 768 Porterville, Ca 93258

Physical Address: 380 N. Reservation Road Porterville, CA 93257

Phone: 559.784.2316
Fax: 559.781.6514