New Native American Health Center to replace Sioux San Hospital

Oyate Health Center
Oyate Health Center(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 6:45 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Sioux San Hospital has been in Rapid City since the 1930s when it was a facility for treating Native American patients with tuberculosis. Over the years, this facility had challenges in providing patients with other care.

The process of building the Oyate Health Center began 25 years ago and kicks off a new era for Native American Health.

“Moving from that old building into the new building is a reflection of a new beginning, a new era where health care is not led by the federal government but led by our own people. So it’s also a reflection of progress,” said President and CEO Jerilyn Church of Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board.

The $120 million project is in its final stages and will have updated medical equipment and more space to provide updated services and showcase the reflection of Native culture.

“We have 68 percent of our staff are Native People, and so it’s a very different intention in which we provide health care. We prefer to those in who we provide care to as our relatives,” said Church.

Two decades ago, advocates in the area from tribal nations and the community lobbied the Indian Health Services and federal government to upgrade facilities for Native Americans in Rapid City.

“There was a building that was slated to be constructed back about 2006-2007, and the project was postponed for more input or design, until about 2016, when the project was approved again. And so now we’re just at the fruition here in 2023,” said Interim Chief Administrator Todd Warren, Oyate Health Center.

Church says that they are not just expanding physically, but also have a different approach to health care delivery.

“So the next step is settling into our space. Helping our relatives find their way through the building and knowing where to go for lab radiology. Getting people familiar with what with the facility,” said Church.

The grand opening for the Oyate Health Center is Feb. 25. Click here for more information.