The state-of-the-art Chickasaw Nation Medical Center (CNMC) celebrates 10 years of service in July. Serving all First Americans, the 72-bed hospital features a level three emergency department, numerous specialized clinics, ambulatory care facility, diagnostic imaging center, women’s health center, as well as many tribal health programs.
The Chickasaw Nation investment of more than $150 million in building the medical center has enhanced health care access and added hundreds of additional jobs in the Ada area. These professional positions include physicians, nurses and support staff. Funding for long-term staffing was made possible through a joint venture between the Chickasaw Nation and the U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS). Awarded in 2007, the program enabled the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health to fully staff the medical center.
“We are extremely pleased to be the first hospital replacement facility to receive the Joint Venture Funding Construction Award,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said at the time. In exchange for the Chickasaw Nation investment in building the facility, the program provides millions of dollars in additional annual operating funds for 20 years.
At the dedication ceremony, then IHS Director, Dr. Yvette Roubideaux described the new medical center as an “incredibly important milestone in Chickasaw and Indian Health Service history.
“Altogether, this joint venture between the IHS and the Chickasaw Nation is a model,” Dr. Roubideaux said. “It is the model of how to build a beautiful hospital, how tribes can leverage their resources for much needed facilities to provide and how to maintain the health of the citizens. I am so pleased we have this beautiful new medical center. It’s a testament to the success and forward thinking and planning of the Chickasaw Nation.”
Located on 230 acres just south of Ada, Oklahoma, the medical center incorporates the beauty of the site and the local ecology into its design. Architectural design and construction materials reflect Chickasaw culture and a close connection to the natural environment.
Long and thin in design, the building runs parallel to a broad meadow with gorgeous views of a hill and creek bed.
According to architects PageSouthPage, the conceptual heart of the CNMC is the Town Center. This three-story, sky lit open area adjoining the café serves as social, educational and event space between the hospital and clinics.
Attention to the healing process focuses not only on patients, but families and those visiting patients as well. From the Town Center, public spaces open directly onto the meadow with trails and paths that lead throughout the larger site. The CNMC Chapel is located within the Town Center as well. The chapel is available 24 hours a day and chaplain services are available upon request.
According to the designers, one of the most desired outcomes was for the medical center to be more than just a health care facility for the Chickasaw Nation; it was designed to be a civic venue for their people and other First Americans in that region of Oklahoma.
The design team focused on creating a facility that would provoke a sense of ownership and pride, and was derived from and conceptually based on Chickasaw Nation culture, history and future aspirations.
A gift shop is located inside the medical center. It offers a variety of gift items for any occasion. Fresh floral arrangements, greeting cards, books published by the Chickasaw Press, Bedré Fine Chocolate, First American made jewelry, and hand carved wooden flutes, vases and bowls are available for purchase.
The CNMC replaced the Carl Albert Indian Health Facility located within Ada. The community had outgrown the medical facility. Built to handle an estimated 20,000 patients annually, it was seeing nearly 300,000 at its peak. The facility has since been renovated into the Carl Albert Service Center, a building designed to assist First Americans and Chickasaw Nation employees with education, training and career development.