The Cherokee Nation opened a new $14 million health center in northeastern Oklahoma on Friday.
The 42,000-square-foot Sam Hider Health Center in Jay replaces a 26,000-square-foot facility that was more than 80 years old.
“Dedicating the Sam Hider Health Center means we’ve now opened four health care centers that have either been expanded or are brand new within our health system. This state-of-the-art facility in Delaware County will enable the tribe to provide the kind of health care our Cherokee people deserve,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
"We made a wise investment three years ago when we poured $100 million from CNB business profits into improved health care access for Cherokees. We pledged to expand facilities, provide more and better health services, and reduce wait times, and we followed through on that promise.”
The new center offers a new physical therapy department and adds space for primary care, dental, optometry, radiology, behavioral health, public health nursing, pharmacy, laboratory, nutrition and diabetes care services. In 2015, the center had more than 77,000 patient visits.
The new center is the final project under a $100 million health care capital improvement plan using tribal casino profits. The Cherokee Nation opened a new health center in Ochelata and expanded health centers in Sallisaw and Stilwell in 2015.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.