Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services partner on regional health clinic in Durant

Durant, Okla. – A ground breaking ceremony was held July 6 to celebrate a Joint Venture between the Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services (IHS) to construct and operate a regional health clinic in Durant.
Choctaw Nation and Indian Health Services partner on regional health clinic in Durant

The medical campus will include a 143,000-sq.-ft. clinic, 17,000-sq.-ft. administration building, and an 11,000-sq.-ft. facilities building to be located north of the Choctaw Nation Community Center and Child Development Center off Big Lots Road.

The medical campus will be adjacent to a new tribal headquarters building on which construction is expected to begin this fall.

The investment is for the tribal people, said Chief Gary Batton. “It’s to create a better way of life and to create jobs. It’s about making sure their life is longer.” He recognized the Tribal Council and the many individuals who worked diligently to make this possible.

Joint Ventures between tribes and IHS are very competitive. There were 36 applications from across the country for a Joint Venture this year. The Choctaw Nation was one of three to be selected to participate.

RADM Kevin Meeks, IHS Area Director for the Oklahoma City Area, described the partnership, explaining the Choctaw Nation provides funding for construction of the facility and IHS works with Congress to obtain funding for staffing to operate the facility.

“I commend the Choctaw Nation for your commitment, for your investment in the health care of Native American patients,” said RADM Meeks. “The real reason we are here is because of the commitment to improve the health of our patients who utilize the Indian Health Care system in the Choctaw Nation.”

Choctaw Nation Health Senior Executive Officer Teresa Jackson said this is the first tribal IHS program to have an outpatient ambulatory surgery clinic. Other services will also include primary care, dental, pediatrics, a lab, diabetes care, community health nurses, optometry, radiology services (including MRI, CT, bone density, mammography, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and x-ray), pharmacy, behavioral health, physical therapy, and numerous specialty care services.

Construction of the health center is expected to be complete in January 2017.