By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The new Immediate Care Center had an official ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The facility will serve only those eligible for services at the Cherokee Indian Hospital and will handle a variety of non-emergency medical problems.
To celebrate the event, two ribbon cuttings were held. The first ribbon was cut by Principal Chief Michell Hicks and Yellowhill Rep. David Wolfe who serves as the chairman of the EBCI Health Board. The second ribbon was cut by Immediate Care Center staff including: Richard Bunio, MD, medical director for the Center; Donna Wiseman, RN, nurse manager; and Tara Davis, CNA.
“There has been a lot of work that has gone into this to make it possible and so far it has been a tremendous success,” said Casey Cooper, Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority (CIHA) CEO. “It’s really beat our expectations.”
“The staff at Cherokee Indian Hospital has been so motivated to create solutions for the health problems in this community. The buy-in has been tremendous.”
Chief Hicks said he hopes the Center will help reduce wait times in the emergency room at the hospital. “We’re going to get behind this 100 percent. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue and help provide better health care for our people.”
Information provided by the hospital states, “The Immediate Care Center can take care of all but a few medical problems quickly and efficiently. The clinic can perform many tests on site and arrange any other test needed at the hospital.”
Rep. Wolfe commented, “We brought the issues – the wait times, the access issues – to Casey and he addressed these with the (CIHA) Governing Board. I appreciate Carmaleta Monteith and her leadership and the leadership they provided.”
“I know that patients will be much happier walking in on a flat surface, rolling right up to the door.”
Carmaleta Monteith, CIHA Governing Board chairperson, said she appreciates the issues being brought to the Board so they could be addressed. “There were some changes made to the original proposal that was brought to us, but we think for the betterment and for better service to our people.”
“I want to thank the Chief, David (Wolfe) with the Health Board and all of the Tribal Council members that are here in support of this initiative,” she related. “As Casey has already mentioned, the success so far has exceeded our expectations.”