Vice-Chief Larry Blythe of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians prepares to break ground on the new hospital in Cherokee, N.C.
CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA — Work began on the new $75 million Cherokee Indian Hospital Tuesday as tribal leaders broke ground on the 150-thousand square foot facility. The hospital is scheduled for completion in early 2016.
Three years in the planning, the hospital is not only a state of the art health care center, but one designed based on the rich history and healing culture of the Cherokee tribe.
“The local community including tribal elders, artists, students and enrolled members, as well as physicians and medical professionals have all played a big role in shaping this new facility,” the Eastern Band’s Principal Chief Michell Hicks said.
Hicks, who leads the 15,000-member tribe, called the event “a unique opportunity to create a facility which will serve as a healthcare and community anchor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This project recognized the need to address the health care challenges of our tribe and to create a positive wellness environment.”
Vice-Chief Larry Blythe thanked members of the tribal council for their “future vision and forethought in helping make this vital step possible.”
The hospital will house numerous programs including a 20-bed Inpatient, integrated care outpatient services, lab, pharmacy, complimentary therapies, physical therapy and other services currently provided by Cherokee Indian Hospital.
Attending the ground breaking were Vice-Chief Larry Blythe, Governing Board Chair Carmaleta Monteith, hospital CEO Casey Cooper, Chairman of tribal Council Terri Henry and David Wolfe, chairman of the Tribal Health Board.