TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma's largest Indian tribe will spend $100 million to build a 100-bed hospital, two new health care centers and to renovate two other health centers.
The announcement was made Thursday by the Tahlequah-based Cherokee Nation. Tribal officials estimate that construction will take place during the next two to three years on the projects in eastern Oklahoma.
The money will be taken primarily from the 300,000-member tribe's casino profits and will represent the largest health care capital investment in the tribe's history.
Cherokee Chief Bill John Baker says once the projects are finished, no Cherokee citizen will need to drive more than 30 miles within the tribe's 14-county jurisdiction to receive health care.
The Cherokee Nation operates the largest tribal health system in the country with an estimated 1.2 million patient visits last year.
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