A countdown to the future of Native American health care in southeastern Oklahoma as soon a plot of land south of Ada will be transformed into a state of the art hospital.
"I think the exciting for us is that the new facility will give our providers tools to provide even better patient care," says hospital administrator Bill Lance.
The 148 million dollar 72-bed Carl Albert Indian Health Facility will replace the current hospital, which is currently serving ten times the amount of people it was originally set to accommodate. In 2005 alone, the Carl Albert hospital in Ada served more than 238,400 patients.
"This will open up a lot of doors for us for new services as well as doing to new service that we already have," says Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby.
Governor Bill Anoatubby along with leaders from the Chickasaw Nation...Pontotoc County and the State of Oklahoma broke ground on the new facility on Friday and it was a combined effort from everyone in attendance that made a new hospital possible.
"Bill Lance...the hospital administrator, the Lt Governor and many others all these pieces had to come together so we can be to this point," says Anoatubby.
The new facility was also made possible thanks to millions of dollars in additional annual funding under the Indian Health Service Joint Venture program and hospital administrator Bill Lance says its important to bring in other nations as well because Chickasaws won't be the only ones being served.
"We had partners that really embraced this project that really saw that this facility was going to be able to uplift and provide a higher standard of care to the Native Americans we are responsible for both in quality and in volume," says Lance.
Officials say construction should be completed by the beginning of 2010 and once completed, will feature everything from a diabetes care center to a diagnostic imaging center.
"They already provide a great level of care with the tools that they have so we give them these tools and they are going to greatly benefit our Native American population that we serve," says Lance.