Okemah Hospital holds ribbon cutting ceremony

A large crowd of area supporters, local and state officials gathered Friday at the Okemah Creek Nation Community Hospital Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony.

(Photo by TRACY GOZA)

Free-Lance Editor

Creek Nation Community Hospital and Indian Health Clinic hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony on March 2 before a standing-room only crowd in Okemah.

Randall Hicks, Muskogee Creek Nation (MCN) National Council Okfuskee District Representative, presented the opening remarks.

Guests were tightly packed in the vestibule, attached hallways and the balcony for the exciting event.

“At this facility, as you tour, know this facility represented sustainability of our people, it is by and for, honors Creek citizens, artwork from Creek citizens, hope this facility brings health and happiness to you and your families,” Hicks said.

Giving the invocation was Jesse Wind of High Spring Baptist Church. The Lord’s Prayer was then given by Okemah Head Start.

MCN Principal Chief James R. Floyd and Shawn Terry, MCNDH Secretary of Health gave welcoming speeches.

“We are very pleased to have this ceremony. We’ve tried to make a huge investment here in Okemah. I remember the original facility opening back in the 1970s and how important it was for our members to have this facility. This marks the next chapter in our future. If you look around there are a number of things that represent us, healing, openness and the views of the nation. It gives people a time for reflection and thought. Most important thing is this investment in the area of the most underserved healthcare area you’d find in the state of Oklahoma. Not very many new hospitals are going in. There are many thanks to give for the completion of this project,”  Chief Floyd said.

A beautiful and moving performance of Creek hymns was given by Okemah community elders with some of the crowd joining in.

Travis Scott, Okfuskee District MCN National Council Representative, gave a brief speech on the history of the future and present buildings.

“This is not only a great day for the nation, but a great day for the community. It’s good to see the surrounding communities that have come to support what the nation is doing in the community. This hospital will provide emergency, urgent, inpatient and outpatient services. This facility encapsulates the MCN culture and design, from the earthen walls to the use of natural light. This facility is designed as a healing environment and will support the health and wellness of our nation and the community for decades to come,” Scott said.

Okemah Chamber of Commerce President Alan Oatsvall commented on how proud he is of the partnership between the members of the community and area businesses and supporters of the new hospital.

Wayne Harjo of Buckeye Creek Baptist Church gave the closing benediction.

Members of MCN government, area and state officials, tribe members, business owners and county and area communities gathered together for the event.

Refreshments were provided and staff members presented tours of the facility for those in attendance.

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