Announcing Quick Response Force

Emergency rooms: they are the last, most urgent, point of care for us all. Car accidents, burns, strokes, gunshots, heart attacks – when an unexpected medical event happens, we all depend on the skills of the closest ED team to save us.

But what happens when there is no team? No physician, no experienced provider to treat us?

It sounds unthinkable, but in our current era of provider shortages, it’s an unfortunate reality. At Tribal Health, we manage and staff emergency departments on Tribal lands across the country. This is a matter of life and death on a larger scale, because in remote locations, the ED may be the only one around for hundreds of miles. Transferring a patient can take hours – and some patients just don’t have that much time on their medical clock. Keeping IHS and 638 facility emergency departments open is absolutely critical for entire communities.

Which is why we’ve launched Quick Response Force.

Quick Response Force Solves Gaps in ED Care

Our new Quick Response Force is a rapid deployment program that quickly sends experienced EM providers to emergency departments with a coverage gap. The goal: to ensure continuous, culturally responsive emergency medicine for Native patients. Because the reality is, physicians and APCs aren’t superhuman; they have illnesses, family crises, and needs of their own. Sometimes even the most dedicated EM provider simply cannot fulfill their commitments. Quick Response Force offers a standing crew of EM physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to fly in at a moment’s notice, so these emergency departments can guarantee treatment for life-threatening illnesses and injuries even in the most remote and resource-challenged environment.

The new program is headed by PA Arthur Sakakihara-Chavarria (Mescalero Apache) who has provided emergency medicine all over the country. He is familiar with staffing shortages on Tribal lands, pointing out, “It can be difficult to hire and retain talented healthcare professionals on remote reservations. When a provider leaves unexpectedly, there isn’t always a local provider pool to tap for a replacement.”

To mitigate that issue, Quick Response Force physicians and advanced practice providers are on call at all times. They are trained in culturally responsive care and know how to provide a patient experience that is respectful, dignified, and comfortable. While culturally competent care is crucial in any healthcare encounter, visiting an emergency room can be intensely vulnerable for a patient. Kindness, respect, and a firm grounding in cultural tradition are paramount.

Applying to Quick Response Force

Quick Response Force launched March 1. Here’s how it works:

~ QRF members are full-time W2 employees, with full benefits – including student loan repayment assistance.

~ They work 10-14 shifts per month on a standing call schedule.

~ Physicians earn $150K salary + $250/hour shift pay.

~ Advanced practice providers earn $100K salary + $150/hour shift pay.

~ All travel and lodging are covered.

Want to learn more? Arthur Sakakihara-Chavarria is ready to answer all your questions. Just email


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