ADA — The Chickasaw Nation will break ground today on a 370,000-square-foot hospital here that officials hope will relieve overcrowding at a current facility that is treating 10 times the patients it was built to accommodate.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the $135 million facility will take place at 2 p.m. at the location for the new Chickasaw Nation hospital on the south side of Ada just off State Highway 3.
Charles Grim, former director of the federal Indian Health Service agency is expected to attend the groundbreaking, said Bill Lance, hospital administrator.
The new hospital will replace the tribe's Carl Albert Indian Health Facility, built in 1985 to accommodate 20,500 annual patient visits. In 2005, the facility served more than 238,400 patients.
The hospital will triple the size of the existing Carl Albert Indian Health Facilty. Approximately $45 million in tribal business profits and a $90 million bond issue will finance construction of the new hospital.
The fate of the current hospital is still to be determined, as is the name of the new hospital that is expected to begin serving the Indian population by 2010, Lance said.