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IHS and Navajo Nation dedicate new Arizona rural hospital

New facility in Kayenta serves more than 19,000

The newly constructed Kayenta Health Center / Alternative Rural Hospital in Kayenta, Ariz., will serve a population of more than 19,000 people.
The newly constructed Kayenta Health Center / Alternative Rural Hospital in Kayenta, Ariz., will serve a population of more than 19,000 people.

The Indian Health Service and the Navajo Nation cut the ribbon on a new 179,000 square-foot hospital in Kayenta, Arizona, during a dedication ceremony, April 27.

The Kayenta Health Center/Alternative Rural Hospital will serve a population of more than 19,000 in the service unit.

"This new health center will help raise the current and future health status of the American Indians and Alaska Natives we serve by providing accessible and quality health care with some of the latest technology in the medical field," said Rear Adm. Richie Grinnell, IHS deputy director of field operations.

The new state-of-the-art facility is more than five times larger than the existing Kayenta Health Center, which was built in 1959.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said that providing quality health care is a critical issue on the Navajo Nation.

"We are very appreciative of the Kayenta Health Center/Alternative Rural Hospital that has been built to serve the people in the region. This is something that our people have desired and it has finally come to fruition," Begaye said.

New services offered at the center will include a 10-bed short stay nursing unit for sub-acute care, a three-bed low-risk birthing center, CT scanning, ambulatory surgery, physical therapy, podiatry, audiology and a wellness center.

Existing services that will continue include primary care and specialty clinics including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, prenatal care and gynecology, eye care, dental care, pharmacy, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, Level III emergency department and behavioral health.

The health center is designed for more than 400 federal employees as well as tribal health program staff. The project also includes 129 new staff quarters. Staff quarters help to attract and retain qualified medical professionals in rural areas.

The new Kayenta health facility was designed for sustainability, to promote the building's environmental performance, and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. The design includes storm water management through detention ponds, water harvesting cisterns, native landscaping that will not require potable water use, high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, occupancy sensors and daylight controls to reduce lighting energy use and high efficiency glazing, shading and building insulation.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.