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. The decision to build the hospital was made after a study begun in 2003 that considered expanding the current hospital or building a new facility. "What we found out is that financially the two facilities are about the same price, but logistically, moving into a new facility is much easier,” Lance said. "It was a pretty easy decision for us to make.” The Chickasaw Nation Health System was recently awarded the first Indian Health Service joint venture program for an inpatient facility, which will qualify it for additional staff and resources, Lance said. At the Ada Chamber of Commerce, President Karen Hudson said city leaders were thrilled to gain a new health care facility, which is expected to add 300 jobs to the 450 positions staffed at the current hospital. Ada also is home to the Valley View Regional Hospital.