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Three questions with HHS’ Kiswani-Barley

Dr. Vandhana Kiswani-Barley inside the Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center on the Hollywood Reservation. (File photo)

HOLLYWOOD – The executive director of the Seminole Tribe’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Department – Dr. Vandhana Kiswani-Barley – says she and her staff have hit the ground running in 2023.

The Tribune took a moment to ask her three questions Jan. 30 to get a sense of what’s on her mind as we enter the second month of the year.

Are there any tribal health threats that are new, are spiking, or are at levels that concern you?

At this time we currently are monitoring Covid-19, the flu and RSV. We have not seen anything alarming. (RSV is the respiratory syncytial virus).

What’s the status of the pharmacy expansion on the Big Cypress Reservation?

It is being expanded to fit all staff and pharmaceuticals. When the pharmacy was built it was not the appropriate dimensions for the services we currently provide. We are working with Tribal Community Development on a timeline for completion.

What health topics concern you the most right now?

It’s important for tribal members to get wellness exams and come in for routine visits to monitor chronic medical conditions.

For more information, call the HHS hotline at (833) 786-3458.