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IHS and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Break Ground for New South Dakota Health Center
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, in cooperation with the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new IHS Eagle Butte Health Center in Eagle Butte, S.D., on May 28, 2008.
“It brings me great pleasure to see the formal beginning of such an important project,” said IHS Director Robert G. McSwain. “The new facility will provide an expanded space and greater number of providers for the American Indians living on the reservation. It is a testimony to the leadership and vision of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, HHS, and the IHS.”
The new 138,542-square-foot facility will serve approximately 9,300 American Indians residing in the Cheyenne River Service Unit, which includes the South Dakota counties of Dewey, Haakon, Meade, Potter, Sully, and Ziebach. The Eagle Butte Health Center will replace the existing Eagle Butte IHS Hospital which, at approximately one-third the size of the new facility, is not able to meet the needs of the entire service population.
“The new facility will incorporate many of the tribe’s existing services – including a wellness center, the community health representative program, and the tribal environmental health program – into the new facility, thus providing added value to the tribe and ease of access for American Indian people,” said Charlene Red Thunder, IHS Aberdeen Area Director. The construction site is immediately adjacent to a recently constructed nursing facility operated by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
The IHS is the primary source of health care services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 1.9 million of the nation’s estimated 3.3 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.