The Sells Indian Hospital is a 14-bed facility with The Joint Commission accreditation and is physically located off of Arizona State Route 86, 60 miles west of Tucson in the Sells District of the Tohono O'odham Nation.
A professional staff of physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, podiatrists, optometrists, and auxiliary technical support personnel administer both inpatient and ambulatory services. Specialties include internal medicine, pediatrics, and family practice. Emergency services are provided and critical-care patients are transferred to one of several Tucson or Phoenix area hospitals. As a group, the Tohono O'odham have one of the highest occurrences of Type II Diabetes in the world. The study, treatment, and prevention of diabetes is a major concern. Diabetes Prevention Programs are in place in the schools and community, a collaborative effort with the Tohono O'odham Health Department. The programs, including several rural field units, are geared toward educating in methods of coping with and preventing the disease.
Inpatient admission - 425 discharges annually
Outpatient care visits - 74,000
User Pop - 8,800
Clinical Services Available
Diabetes Vision Screening (Telemedicine)
Minor Skin Procedures
Pediatric Development Clinic
Pediatrics (includes Teens)
Perinatology & Prenatal Ultrasounds
Primary Care Services (Prevention, Chronic Conditions, Prenatal, Well Child Care, Women's Health)
Same Day Appointments
Patient Care Services
Outpatient Patient Registration
Phone: 520-383-7330 (Purple Team)
Phone: 520-383-7422 (Gold Team)
Contract Health Services
Phone: 800-229-3044 (Toll free)
Phone: 520-383-7288 (Fax Line)
Phone: 520-383-7253 or 7248
Phone: 877-606-9301 (toll free prescription refill line - need patient chart # and prescription #)
The Chili Pepper Café (Hospital Cafeteria)
Hours of Operation
Outpatient Clinic Hours are M, T, Th, F 8am-5pm & W 1pm-5pm
24 hour ER services
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Peter Ziegler
Judy Lee-Norris (Acting)
Sells Indian Hospital
P.O. Box 548
Sells, AZ 85634
Along about 1917 the first suggestion was made to build a hospital in Indian Oasis (Sells), as part of the plans to move the BIA agency from San Xavier. There were initial problems such as finding sufficient water source, however, construction work eventually began in 1919. By 1921, the hospital (made of adobe and wood frame) was completed and had a capacity of 20 beds. Later additional wards were added to bring the hospital to 36-bed and six bassinets.
On June 14, 1947, a fire broke out in the roof area of the hospital. There was no loss of life but the hospital, equipment and all records were destroyed. To meet the emergent healthcare needs, the San Xavier Sanitarium (built in 1931) was converted to a general hospital providing inpatient and outpatient care. By July 1, 1955, US Public Health Service took over the responsibility of heath programs and a mobile health unit brought medical care to the more isolated areas of the reservation, including a new health center at Santa Rosa in 1959.
In July 1959, ground breaking activities took place west of Sells. Dr. James R. Shaw IHS Director was on hand to turn the first shovel of dirt. The new 50-bed facility was built of concrete masonry set on reinforced concrete footings and the interior frame made of steel. The hospital, living quarters and equipment cost $2 million. By early 1960's, the hospital was open for business and has remained open for nearly 50 years!
Nearby Tribal Health Programs
Tohono O'odham Health and Human Services, 520-383-6000
Tohono O'odham Behavioral Health, 520-383-6165
Tohono O'odham Health Transportation, 520-383-6050
Tohono O'odham Health Promotion (HOPP), 520-383-6240