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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE
PRESS RELEASE
04/08/2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (301) 443-3593, newsroom@ihs.gov

HHS and Tribes Dedicate New Hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska

Today the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Omaha and Winnebago Tribes of Nebraska will dedicate a new $48 million replacement facility in Winnebago, Nebraska.

“The opening of the hospital begins a new era of health services for the Winnebago and Omaha Tribes,” stated HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “It will provide needed health care and services to the estimated 10,000 American Indians in the Winnebago, Nebraska, area.”

In June 2000 the IHS began construction of the new hospital. The original hospital, built in 1932 eventually included six more buildings constructed between 1938 and 1975, will undergo renovation and by this time next year will accommodate a drug dependency unit. The new hospital replaces the six other buildings.

“This hospital and the health care services that the staff will provide have long been needed and anticipated by this community, and I am sure it will make a real difference in many lives by improving the health and well being of Indian people for years to come,” stated Dr. Charles W. Grim, IHS Director, in his remarks at the dedication ceremony. “The impressive accomplishment stands as an example of what can be achieved through the determination and leadership of the Tribes, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Indian Health Service, and the American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

The new 100,000 square foot facility, double the size of the seven buildings, will serve the Indian population living in the IHS Omaha-Winnebago Service Unit area. It is projected that the new facility will provide 8,000 inpatient visits and 25,000 primary care provider visits per year. The hospital will add 147 new staff to their current 107 employees. The hospital will provide services such as acute care nursing, laboratory, emergency and urgent care, radiology, podiatry, optometry, diabetes prevention and treatment, behavioral health, public health nutrition, health education, and associated supportive services. The new hospital includes a birthing center, which is a new service for this community.