Coastal Washington tribe wins prize for improving health

TOKELAND, Wash. -- A small tribe on the Washington coast has won a prestigious award for its efforts to improve community health.

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe located near Tokeland in Pacific County received the Culture of Health award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week.

The foundation honored the tribe for its work in opening a Wellness Center to provide medical, dental and mental health services for tribal members and others. Previously, tribal members had to drive 70 miles to see a doctor.

The tribe was also recognize for its efforts in engaging youth to participate in tribal government and for working to move the reservation, which located in a floodplain and tsunami zone, out of harm's way.

Gov. Jay Inslee was scheduled to visit the tribal council and tour the new Wellness Center on Wednesday.