Cherokee Nation Completes $12 Million Expansion to Four Tribal Health Centers | State and Area News

Citizens of the Cherokee Nation in the Nowata area will soon have tribal dental services more than 30 miles away after a multi-million dollar upgrade to tribal health facilities.

The Cherokee Nation is investing more than $12 million to add services and expand facilities at Tribal Health Centers in Nowata, Ochelata, Muskogee and Vinita, according to a news release.

Ambulatory health service expansions are among ongoing capital improvement projects covered by the tribe’s COVID response plan.

“Expanding access to health care is good for Cherokee citizens, their families and communities, and it’s also good for the economy,” said Cherokee Nation Senior Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. ., in a press release.

“These four projects will create more jobs within our healthcare system and overall, the expansion of services, advanced equipment and facility space will greatly complement the $435 million that We are investing in other healthcare capital improvement projects, including the planned construction of a new hospital in Tahlequah and a new outpatient health center in Salina.

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The expansion of the Will Rogers Health Center in Nowata could add up to 13 staff positions and will add dental services and additional space for optometry services.

Julie Hubbard, director of communications for the Cherokee Nation, said Cherokee citizens in the Nowata area previously had to travel at least 30 miles to receive tribal dental care.

When completed, the health center will have eight dental examination rooms, five optical examination rooms and two optical treatment spaces. Completion of the project is expected this summer, according to a press release.

The expansion of the Cooweescoowee Health Center in Ochelata will expand laboratory space for the facility’s laboratory and provide three additional dental examination rooms, six new primary care examination rooms, a treatment room and other spaces for treatment needs.

This project, which is also expected to be completed this summer, will add approximately 12 new positions.

The Three Rivers Health Center project in Muskogee will add CT services, allow all radiology to be housed in one space and expand other spaces in the health center, with completion expected this summer.

The expansion is expected to add three new positions, according to the statement.

The Vinita Health Center project will add CT scan services and is expected to be completed this spring. The new services are expected to add three new positions when fully operational, the statement said.

Cherokee Nation Health Services has nine outpatient health facilities on the Cherokee Nation Reservation, as well as the WW Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah.

“Over the past decade, Cherokee Nation Health Services has experienced a dramatic expansion of services for patients, and today we remain the largest tribal-run health system in the nation,” said the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bryan Warner, in a statement.

“We must continue to invest so that Cherokee families have the best health care. That’s why these four capital improvement projects are particularly important.

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