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Creek Nation Acquires Okmulgee Memorial Hospital

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The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is now running Okmulgee Memorial Hospital. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is now running Okmulgee Memorial Hospital.
"It really is a win-win, not just for the Creek Nation, but for the community," said hospital chairman Nevyle Cable. "It really is a win-win, not just for the Creek Nation, but for the community," said hospital chairman Nevyle Cable.
"Immediately, we're going to bring in an MRI, and then we're going to focus on cardiology, oncology, and OB services," said Secretary of Health Seneca Smith. "Immediately, we're going to bring in an MRI, and then we're going to focus on cardiology, oncology, and OB services," said Secretary of Health Seneca Smith.
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is now running Okmulgee Memorial Hospital.

Ownership of the hospital was transferred Thursday. It's one of several changes the tribe has made in healthcare.

Okmulgee Memorial Hospital has been community owned for several decades. But OMH's board of directors signed over ownership of the hospital to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

"It really is a win-win, not just for the Creek Nation, but for the community," said hospital chairman Nevyle Cable.

He said OMH has always struggled for resources and this change over should put an end to that.

"Healthcare in rural America is a tough act, the economics are hard and whatever. What this does is assure us financially and professionally that we'll have a nice facility to be able to take care of the folks here in our hometown," Cable said.

The Creek Nation has big plans for the hospital. The first step is to bring in more services.

"Immediately, we're going to bring in an MRI, and then we're going to focus on cardiology, oncology, and OB services," said Secretary of Health Seneca Smith.

The Creek Nation plans to add on to the building, which was built in the 1960s, but the big picture is an entirely new facility at a different location.

"Regardless of what happened, we always had planned on building a larger facility and us acquiring this gives us the foundation, so we have the foundation without having to create it when you have a new facility," Smith said.

This addition to the Creek Nation's holdings is the latest in the tribe's focus on healthcare. On Monday, it acquired the George Nigh Rehab Center in Okmulgee, and now it takes over this 66-bed facility and 250 employees.

8/9/2013 Related Story: OU To Transfer George Nigh Rehab Center To Muscogee Nation

"We had opportunities here and we took advantage of them," said Chief George Tiger.

The tribe also wants to make clear it plans to keep the hospital as a community hospital and not just for tribal members.

"It's going to be open to everyone, so we will continue to operate it the way it is, open to the community, and that's what our focus is," Smith said.

The Creek Nation emphasizes the patients won't notice any change in service and the hospital will continue to serve Okmulgee and the surrounding counties.

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