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Cole Applauds Selection of Chickasaw Nation for IHS Construction Project and Partnership to Expand Health Care Access in Central Oklahoma

May 8, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, released the following statement after the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the selection of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma’s project for the Joint Venture Construction Program. As a result of this selection, the Chickasaw Nation will proceed with funding and constructing a large future outpatient facility in Newcastle to serve Native Americans in central Oklahoma. Once construction is complete, the IHS will then operate, staff and maintain the facility.

“I am very encouraged to learn about the forthcoming partnership between the Indian Health Service and my own tribe, the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma,” said Cole. “Having seen the tremendous success of these sorts of partnerships for my tribe as well as other Oklahoma tribes in the past, I am eager for the project to get off the ground and able to serve the communities in need. This joint endeavor to establish an IHS-run outpatient facility will not only expand access to care, but it will greatly improve the health and well-being of Indian Country for years to come.”

About the Joint Venture Construction Program

The program enables a partnership in which a tribe or tribal organization constructs, acquires or renovates a facility using non-IHS funds and leases it to the IHS at no cost for 20 years. In return, the IHS requests funding from Congress to staff, operate and maintain the facility. Since 1991, more than 25 tribes have partnered to provide more than 30 facilities, from health centers to hospitals, increasing access to quality health care services for their communities.

Learn more about the program here.