The Cherokee Nation announced this week a major partnership with Indian Health Service (IHS), furthering the tribe's commitment to provide the best health care to Cherokees and all Native Americans in northeast Oklahoma. The partnership with IHS will add millions to the tribe's planned expansion of the W.W. Hastings Medical Campus in Tahlequah. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said, "Our partnership with IHS will improve the health outcomes of Cherokees for the next two to three generations and beyond. It's a proud, proud day in the Cherokee Nation." Details of the partnership were announced Thursday.
Less than two years ago, the Cherokee Nation announced a plan to invest $100 million in casino profits in new construction or expansion of four health centers in Sallisaw, Stilwell, Jay and Ochelata, which are expected to open this spring, and a new medical campus at W.W. Hastings Hospital. IHS announced Tuesday that seven finalists out of 37 applicant tribes had been selected for Joint Venture Construction Project agreements with the agency. Joint Venture Construction Project agreements with IHS allow tribes that commit to building health care infrastructure to receive millions in federal funding for health care, over the course of several decades.
Cherokee Nation operates the largest tribal health system in the United States. The Cherokee Nation services more than 1 million patient visits every year and has more than 130,000 active charts.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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