The Muscogee (Creek) Nation held a ribbon cutting on a new 118,075 square-foot Okemah Creek Nation Community Hospital and dedicated the facility to all tribal citizens, the community of Okemah and area residents Friday.
The facility is only one of two Indian-owned hospitals in Oklahoma that serves the general public with the other being the MCN Medical Center in Okmulgee, Okla.
The state of the art facility is a landmark for the Nation as it replaces the previous community hospital, which was purchased by the MCN in 1977 as the first tribal-owned hospital in the U.S. through the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and through partnership with Okfuskee County.
“I think the most important thing is that this investment is in an area of the most under-served healthcare area that you would probably find in the state of Oklahoma,” Floyd said. “We chose this one very carefully because we knew that this investment had to work. Just gauging the size of the crowd this morning, I don’t think we have to worry about that in the future.”
Floyd, along with MCN Department of Health Secretary Shawn Terry, thanked former and present MCN National Council Members, Indian Health Services, the city of Okemah, as well as state elected officials and other dignitaries present.
Okemah Chamber of Commerce President Alan Oatsvall thanked the Nation for its partnership and investment to the community.
“I’ve never stood in front of such a dignified crowd of people and I can feel the pride that you all have for your nation and for this facility, for your community,” Oatsvall said. As the chamber president, it is my job to help grow the community and having a partner like the Creek Nation is really big… The people, whether they are part of the tribe or not, are able to utilize some of these facilities and for us that is a big deal. We don’t take it lightly.”