The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is located in southwest Colorado. The tribe has approximately 1,500 members, with 1,000 residing on the reservation. After an inpatient substance-use disorder (SUD) program on the reservation closed, the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes began exploring options for community-based SUD programming, using funds made available through recent opioid settlements.
The tribe faced numerous challenges, including a lack of culturally relevant treatment options, a 90-day Medicaid waiting period for inpatient rehab in Colorado, and a lack of Medicaid-accepting treatment options in their area.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe hired KAI to develop a comprehensive strategy for community-based SUD programming. KAI conducted an exhaustive needs assessment which included interviews with key stakeholders, a community gathering with tribal members, and a review of epidemiological data. To supplement the needs assessment, KAI produced a facilities planning report, providing a rough estimate of construction costs, operating costs, staffing structures for high-priority projects, demand forecasting, revenue projections, and cash flow analyses. KAI then facilitated a strategic planning retreat with leadership from diverse tribal programs, tribal council leaders, and community members to build consensus around a vision, strategy, and plan of action.
The Southern Ute tribal council approved a comprehensive SUD plan, called the Healing Village, that will include detox, inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient, sober living, and long-term transitional housing.