Chickasaws Cut Ribbon on Diabetes Care Center

ADA -- Ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new state-of-the-art Chickasaw Nation Diabetes Care Center were 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 at 1001 N. Country Club Road.

A full range of services, from vision care to nutrition and exercise consultation, are available at the 8,500 square foot facility.

" We were motivated to build this center because Native Americans have a very high incidence of diabetes, and it can have a wide range of devastating health effects, " said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. "Our ability to provide complete services in one location is not merely a matter of convenience, it is essential to help diabetic patients preserve their overall health and maintain the highest possible quality of life."

Completion of the center is a major milestone for the Chickasaw Nation Health System that comes approximately 10 years after the Chickasaw Nation first took over management of the Carl Albert Indian Health Facility.

Randy Grinnell of the Indian Health Service said there have been many positive changes since the tribe took over management of the health system in 1994.

"I came down here because I want to compliment the tribe and the leadership of Gov. Anoatubby and Lt. Gov. Keel and the legislative people who have the vision to see these kind of things happen," said Mr. Grinnell. "Some time back Congress began to put money for Indian health care, for diabetes. And it started out with about $50 million a year, and now it's up to $150 million a year. But it had a caveat. It said that it would only continue to fund those tribes and those programs that show success and actually demonstrated changes in life and really affecting the health status of those with diabetes.

"This is a perfect example of a successful one."

Services available include inpatient diabetic assessment, vision care, podiatry clinic, dental clinic, gestational diabetes care, diabetes education, nutrition and exercise education and more.

The Healthy Choices clinic at the DCC allows patients to have all routine tests and checkups performed in one morning. Patients may visit an optometrist, podiatrist, pharmacist, exercise counselor and participate in group discussion of nutrition and menu planning.

Healthy Choices participants also receive a yearly educational update, including information about laboratory studies, group discussion of diabetes complications and treatment goals and group behavioral health discussion on emotional consequences of living with diabetes.

"The new Diabetes Center will provide the most comprehensive diabetic care in all of Indian Country," said Bill Lance, CNHS administrator..

In addition to the health care and educational services available at the clinic, the Chickasaw Nation offers numerous opportunities to help prevent or control diabetes.

Source: Chickasaw Nation press release