Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez with Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS principal deputy director, newly-appointed Navajo Area IHS Director Roselyn Tso in Fort Wingate, N.M. on Aug. 1, 2019.
Published August 2, 2019
CHURCH ROCK, N.M. — On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie, and Navajo Department of Health Executive Director Dr. Jill Jim joined Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS principal deputy director, newly-appointed Navajo Area IHS Director Roselyn Tso, and other IHS officials on several site visits to assess the feasibility of constructing a new hospital to replace the decades-old Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup, New Mexico.
Working with Indian Health Service, the Office of the President and Vice President has identified several potential sites near the city of Gallup that may serve the needs of the development.
President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have met with the IHS officials on several occasions, and have conveyed the need for a comprehensive plan that includes the hospital facility, commercial businesses, employee housing, and other community development opportunities.
“We’re considering many variables for a site that’s going to benefit the local communities and residents, not only with quality healthcare, but also economically and for families to prosper,” said President Nez.
The group also visited the Church Rock Manufacturing facility in the community of Church Rock, where Rhino Health, LLC is currently developing a nitrile glove manufacturing plant to produce latex gloves. President Nez and Vice President Lizer have stated that the gloves produced at the site could be sold to IHS to be used at the new hospital facility.
President Nez also indicated the need for more cancer treatment centers on the Navajo Nation, which could also be another option to be housed in the new facility.
“The potential for comprehensive development is there. It’s just a matter of continuing forward in the partnership that we’ve created to make it happen,” stated Vice President Myron Lizer.
The replacement of Gallup Indian Medical Center is one of two priorities for IHS along with the replacement of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nez-Lizer Administration thanks IHS for working together on this important initiative.