U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
A - Z Index:
Phoenix Area

Schurz Service Unit

Schurz Service Unit
PHS Indian Health Center
Drawer A
Schurz, Nevada 89427
Phone: (775) 773-2345

Schurz Health Center

Gambling casinos promise quick riches. Colorful cow towns relive the Wild West. A prehistoric lake gives shelter to a world famous white pelican rookery. From the Nevada/Oregon border south to the Sierra Nevadas, this is Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe Indian country. The largest Service Unit in the Phoenix Area IHS, it covers almost two-thirds of Nevada.

The Shoshone, Washoe, and Paiute Indians

Residing on thirteen reservations and colonies, approximately 12,000 tribal members receive direct and contract health care from the Schurz Service Unit. The Paiute Indians are the most predominant tribe. The discovery of the Comstock Lode during the last Century had drastically upset their peaceful lifestyles. Hoping to make the buffalo return and the white man vanish, the Paiutes' messiah, Wovoka, originated the great Ghost Dance, a feverish ceremony that spread like wildfire to the Plains tribes. The Indians today have a mix of urban and traditional customs, and most speak English. Livestock and cultural activities are their main means of support. Intertribal rodeos, powwows and sports are tribally sponsored and open to the public. As you strive to serve the diverse communities in this area, you will find unparalleled challenges.

Schurz and Fallon

Headquarters for the Service Unit and the location of the Indian health center, Schurz is a small community about two hours southeast of Reno. The population of about 1,200 resides on the Walker River Paiute Reservation, which encompasses the town. Fallon, 60 miles east of Reno, is the site for a tribal clinic serving the Lovelock, Yomba, and Fallon Indian communities. Fallon's main industry is agriculture, and it is referred to as the "Oasis of Nevada." The town is also a major training base for Navy pilots and offers an array of housing, shopping, restaurants, casinos, and other entertainment. The nearby towns of Yerington and Hawthorne provide goods and services, as well.

A high desert climate, this area is comfortable year-round, with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees in the winter to 95 degrees in the summer. Fishing and boating are the sports of choice at Tahoe, Pyramid, and Walker Lakes. Or go golfing under vast blue skies. For birdwatchers, the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge is host to bald and golden eagles, herons, cranes and pelicans. The region is full of recreational promise.

Reno and Pyramid Lake

The 28.8-acre Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is located in the shadow of the Bally Grand Casino. Here, you can reside at the base of the towering Sierra Nevadas, an inspiring sight every day of the year. With four distinct seasons, winters in Reno are mild and summers offer warm days and cool nights. Catch a glamorous stage show in town one night. Catch up on your rest in the mountains the next. Continue your education at the state university. Reno is the ideal location both for fun and family.

Pyramid Lake is about 50 miles northeast of Reno. Its population center is on the Paiute reservation in Nixon, just outside the recreational area. In addition, the nearby towns of Fernley and Fallon are easily accessible. A breathtaking remnant of the ancient Lahontan Sea, Pyramid Lake offers 100 miles of shoreline and boasts world record cut-throat trout.


This tribally-operated clinic serves four tribal districts and is southeast of Carson City, the capital of Nevada. Your choices for housing, shopping, and entertainment are plentiful in Carson City, Gardnerville or rustic Virginia City. This region sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas and enjoys a similar climate to the Reno area. Scenic Lake Tahoe and its 13,000-plus acres of year-round recreation beckon you every weekend.

Las Vegas Paiute Colony and Moapa

The Las Vegas Paiute Colony is located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether you want to visit the Stratosphere or Caesar's Palace, the Colony is only minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. With Lake Mead located southeast from the Colony, you can boat and water ski during the summer months or enjoy a boating trip down the Colorado River. In the winter, Mount Charleston provides a small, yet quaint ski resort for snowboarding and skiing. Nestled to the west is Red Rock Canyon with many trails for day hikes, rock climbing and picnics. Moapa is located fifty miles north of Las Vegas and offers many activities for desert adventure. The Valley Of Fire provides a scenic view of the rock formations and trails for hiking. Overton Beach Marina, located on northwestern portion of Lake Mead, offers a place for boating and jet skiing.

Fort McDermitt

Near the Oregon border, this Paiute reservation is a small, relatively remote community. You will find the people here to be one of the most traditional Indian tribes. The native Paiute language is still widely spoken. The nearest large town is Winnemucca, approximately 74 miles to the south; Boise, the closest city, is two hours northeast in Idaho. Temperatures here range from 20 degrees in the snowy winter months to about 80 degrees during the summer. Dating back to the fur trapper days, this area is rich in local lore. For the adventurer, Humboldt National Forest offers many isolated mountains to climb.

Schurz Health Center, Tribal Clinics, and Community Services

Dedicate yourself to providing health care while gaining valuable team experience. A total of seven physicians, two physician's assistants, four dentists and one nurse practitioner staff our six facilities, which offer general medical, dental and optometry services.

Inpatient services are provided by the local community hospital or the larger hospitals in Reno. Specialty clinics are held on a regular basis, and those patients requiring specialty consultations are referred to Reno or to the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.

The Fallon, Pyramid Lake, Reno/Sparks and Washoe Clinics are managed through tribal contracts. The Fort McDermitt Clinic and Schurz Health Center are IHS-operated.

Our commitment to caring extends throughout the communities with public health nursing, social services, mental health, substance abuse, health education, environmental health, nutritional, and emergency services. The wide open spaces invite modern-day pioneers. The interchange of ideas and cultures opens more vistas. Plan your career with the Phoenix Area IHS and grow with your profession.

Other Services

The tribal communities of Moapa and Las Vegas are located approximately 360 miles from Schurz. They receive health care through tribal and IHS contract care. The other tribal communities in the Service Unit are Yomba, Winnemucca, Yerington, and Lovelock. These communities receive health care through direct IHS services and contract care.

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