Choctaw, Miss. In just over a year, tribal members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will have a new facility that will take care of just about all of their healthcare needs. The new center will be a vast improvement over the current one, with in-patient, out-patient, emergency, and dental departments with state-of-the-art equipment. Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson says this has been in the works for a long time, and that the upgrade is desperately needed.
"Bringing this forward not only provides a healthcare facility for our tribal members, but it gives them an opportunity to come in and make a healthier lifestyle."
The tribe's current health center opened back in 1976 and was only designed to treat 4000 people, which was the population of the tribe back at that time. Now, over 35 years later, the tribe as grown to over 10,000 people, and this new facility, while having the latest medical technology available, will also help promote a healthier lifestyle among the Choctaw people.
Acting Health Director, Tina Scott, says, "We're looking to bring specialty clinics to the new facility, maybe a cardiologist, some of those specialty areas that we don't currently have in our facility right now and we're having to refer out, so that's going to be an expansion on our part."
Anderson says that about 1 in 5 of the tribal members have diabetes, and there are several other health problems that affect a good portion of the population. She hopes this center will improve the overall welfare of the community.
"We need to dispense the best healthcare possible for our tribal members because there are so many things you can do in life when you're healthy"
The new center is set to open in Fall or Winter of next year.