Chero­kee tribe set to open $80 mil­lion NC hospi­tal

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

The East­ern Band of Chero­kee In­di­ans, a North Car­olina tribe, is open­ing an $80 mil­lion hospi­tal on its tribal trust land in Chero­kee, N.C.

Chero­kee In­dian Hospi­tal will open its phar­macy this week, while all other pa­tient op­er­a­tions will be­gin Nov. 16. The 20-bed fa­cil­ity will em­ploy ap­prox­i­mately 400.

The hospi­tal will be con­nected by a ground-level cor­ri­dor to the tribe’s cur­rent fa­cil­ity, which CEO Casey Cooper says he hopes will be con­verted to a men­tal health fa­cil­ity.

The cur­rent fa­cil­ity was too small, said Lynne Har­lan, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Chero­kee In­dian Hospi­tal Author­ity. The hospi­tal, which serves the pop­u­la­tion of the East­ern Band of Chero­kee In­di­ans and other mem­bers of fed­er­ally rec­og­nized tribes, sees ap­prox­i­mately 12,000 pa­tients an­nu­ally.

The new fa­cil­ity was paid for by the East­ern Band of Chero­kee In­di­ans. Cooper said fed­eral poli­cies that al­low Amer­i­can In­dian tribes to self-gov­ern made the achieve­ment pos­si­ble.

“We’ve been run­ning our health­care sys­tem since 2002, and we’ve man­aged to grow the ser­vices,” said Cooper, who has led the hospi­tal since 2003. “We’ve built this fa­cil­ity with­out any fed­eral sup­port.”

Chero­kee In­dian Hospi­tal opens Nov. 16.

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