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Pine Ridge

Global and Community Partners-Pine Ridge works with organizations on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota to empower and inspire the Lakota community to improve its health and quality of life. Our partnerships with Pine Ridge extend care, support and opportunities to the Lakota people by complementing existing healthcare and education systems, while consciously addressing effects of experienced trauma. Current data demonstrates the need for continued assistance:

  • The average life expectancy on Pine Ridge is just 66.81 years, the lowest in the U.S.
  • The diabetes rate is eight times greater than the national average.
  • Indian Health Service, the sole healthcare provider on Pine Ridge, provides $3,107 annually in healthcare per Native American resident. Healthcare expenditures for the average American is more than $8,097 a year.
  • There is a 70% high school dropout rate.

Through our partnerships, Global and Community Partners' and Pine Ridge leaders work together to bridge the gap in essential healthcare services on the reservation due to lack of funding and availability of care.

Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering on a trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation, please fill out our volunteer form.

A typical year of Global and Community Partners activities will include volunteer teams in spring, summer and fall that focus on a variety of initiatives. This schedule may change depending on partner requests and volunteer availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a trip to Pine Ridge cost?
Each trip costs $375 for the week, which covers lodging, transportation, breakfast and lunch. Gundersen employees may apply for a Global and Community Partners grant to cover up to $250 of the trip.

Do volunteers need to have a medical background? 
No. Volunteers from a variety of backgrounds are needed. Please complete the volunteer form and describe your interest, and a member of the Global and Community Partners team will follow up with you to discuss opportunities.

Does Gundersen provide time off for my trip?
Gundersen employees may choose to take PTO or unpaid time off; arrangements should be made with your manager. Gundersen medical staff may also use CME time but not CME money.

Do we need to bring along our own food?
Global and Community Partners will provide food and volunteer teams will dine out also. Food allergies should be brought to the attention of the volunteer team leader.

Where do we stay?
Volunteers stay in hotels in the Pine Ridge region.

To inquire about specific trip dates and initiatives, contact the Global and Community Partners office at gcpartners@gundersenhealth.org or call (608) 775-9883.

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe