Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signed legislation that will invest $440 million in healthcare capital improvement projects, including $400 million for construction of a new hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and $35 million for a new outpatient health center in Salina, Oklahoma.
The new hospital is in the design phase but is expected to provide at least twice the space as the existing hospital. It will have an increased bed capacity for critical care patients and will provide inpatient dialysis. The hospital will also offer expanded space for the increasing number of births in the labor and delivery department.
“The new W.W. Hastings facility and the new health facility in Salina will offer access to more services, better testing, and shorter wait times for our citizens,” saysBryan Warner, Cherokee Nation deputy chief. “It is a real blessing to be able to invest these critical dollars to improve our health care system by growing it to meet the needs of our citizens. These investments will also positively benefit our tribe by creating new health care jobs, as well as construction jobs and other opportunities that benefit Cherokee families and communities.”
The legislation also authorizes Chief Hoskin to negotiate a memorandum of agreement with Northeastern State University (NSU) for a donation to its college of optometry of up to $5 million. The donation will support NSU’s construction of a new $33 million facility for the college at its Tahlequah campus.