Tribe enhances care for women, children; expands EMS
ADA, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation broke ground on three facilities Wednesday as it continues to improve and enhance wellness care for Native American families.
Governor Bill Anoatubby and tribal dignitaries were on hand to formally kick off construction of Nittak Himitta' Women's Recovery Center and a Violence Prevention Center. In addition, the tribe broke ground on a new larger facility to house Emergency Medical Services.
The trio of buildings will be located on the campus of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, located south of Ada on Stonecipher Boulevard.
Recovery and Violence Center
The tribe is dedicated to offering assistance to women and their children who experience domestic violence, sexual abuse or substance abuse.
The Nation has offered these services since in 1994 and expanded them in 2008. The new structure makes it possible to offer assistance to families – including children – beyond what is currently available. "The family is the bedrock of any community," Gov. Anoatubby stated.
The facility will have 12 bedrooms with eight private bathrooms. The new structure allows the tribe to provide shelter to more women while better serving abuse victims with large families.
"Those in need oftentimes have children in the home. We will have the capacity to accommodate up to 20 children. Keeping family units together is our goal," Gov. Anoatubby said.
The tribe's initiative will increase the number of women the tribe is able to serve. Currently, the tribe has the capacity to serve four women at one time. The new facility will increase that to 12. It also allows for the inclusion of expectant women, or women with infants and children up to age 12. The structure will be 13,000 square feet.
The Women's Recovery Center and Violence Prevention Center will provide services at two locations. An indoor play area for children, large common spaces, an outdoor recreation space, enhanced security, an indoor safe room and computer workstations are planned.
Other amenities include emergency shelter, food, clothing, assistance with protective orders, case management, counseling, weekly support groups, transportation, career development and employment assistance.
Additionally, the Chickasaw Nation will offer counseling and therapy, alcohol and drug education, nutrition education, wellness, HIV/AIDS education and tobacco cessation education. The Violence Prevention Center will be 11,000 square feet.
With 10,000 square feet of space, the planned Emergency Medical Services building will accommodate personnel, equipment and ambulances in addition to critically needed storage space for the medical center.
The building will house four ambulances, 18 medics and provide a home-away-from-home atmosphere for EMS personnel. Additional staff may be added once construction has concluded.
Since the opening of CNMC more than five years ago, the tribe has experienced exponential growth serving the medical needs of Chickasaws and Native Americans from across America.
The move is a way the tribe is proactively addressing the growth of its EMS service.
In 2015, EMS personnel made more than 1,000 trips to aid Native Americans who were either too ill to drive themselves to CNMC or required medically-trained personnel to make the trip with them.
Tribal EMS workers drive an average of 90 miles per trip and have answered calls as far away as Houston, Texas.
Half of the building will be used as a warehouse for the medical center. The other half will be devoted entirely to EMS needs, including:
• Living and working quarters consisting of a large communal room with a kitchen, four sleeping rooms, two offices in addition to laundry, showers and other amenities.
• State-of-the-art radio and monitoring equipment as technology expands.
• Implementation of the new OK-EMS Information System database for run reporting and a system to track and support ambulances.
• In-house training facilities for medics. EMS officials were forced to travel to training sessions in the past.
• Maintaining a full staff of medics 24 hours per day, seven days a week to offer the quickest response times possible.
Gov. Anoatubby said the new structure will give the Chickasaw Nation an opportunity to reach a growing number of Chickasaws and other Native Americans that reside outside the traditional 13-county tribal territory.