VINITA, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the tribe’s Vinita Health Center recently to celebrate the renovation and reallocation of 2,400 square feet of space that is providing additional exam rooms for the health center’s growth.

The renovated space was previously used for record storage of paper documents related to patient care, but the use of electronic health records allowed the tribe to repurpose the space.

“The Vinita Health Center began as a satellite clinic of the Will Rogers Health Center back in 2001. Then in 2012, Cherokee Nation replaced the small facility with a new 94,000-square-foot facility, expanding the services provided to patients,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The renovation of this space will help meet the growing demands of the Cherokee Nation Health Services team working in Vinita, and that means improved access to care for our Cherokee citizens in the area.”

The renovation of the space previously used for record-keeping is providing six additional exams rooms for the relocation of pediatric staff, and is also enhancing social distancing for staff in the primary care clinic and providing additional space for another provider to add to the health center’s care team.

“We’re excited to give this health center the renovation it needed and expand access to patient care in the area,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones. “Projects like this allow our health system to carry out our mission of ensuring the story of the Cherokee Nation continues and to improve our health and quality of life.”

In the last five years, the Vinita Health Center has more than doubled its number of total annual patient visits.

“It’s important that we continue to expand and improve health care for the Cherokee people. Month after month serving on the Council’s health committee I see the progress,” said District 11 Cherokee Council member Victoria Vazquez. “To see this growth at the Vinita Health Center is very special.”