RAPID CITY – The new Oyate Health Center is near completion and will begin hosting patients on February 6, 2023, according to the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board. The Health Board manages the facility on behalf of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
The approximately $120 million construction project is in its final stages and will open its doors almost a year earlier than initially expected. The new Oyate Health Center will replace the Sioux San Hospital building in west Rapid City and is three times larger.
Initially constructed in 1938 as a facility for treating Native patients with tuberculosis, the brick-and-stone building that housed the Sioux San Hospital has been updated and renovated over the years. Still, the structure has long created challenges in providing patients with a high standard of care.
The new Oyate Health Center is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and will help to expand and facilitate better care for all who use it. The building itself is also eco-friendly and includes the use of solar panels.
The origins of the new building date back more than two decades as advocates from tribal-nations in the area and community members from Rapid City lobbied the Indian Health Service and the federal government to improve facilities serving Native American people in the Rapid City Service Unit.
The transition into the new building continues a three-year trend that has seen healthcare for tribal citizens dramatically improve since the three tribes opted to take control of the Rapid City service unit from the federal government in the spring of 2019.
Under the management of the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, the Oyate Health Center has significantly expanded services, generated additional funding, recruited high-quality providers, expanded staff, and built a comprehensive behavioral health unit at the request of the community. The Behavioral Health Unit unit that is currently located at 725 North LaCrosse Street will move into the new Oyate Health Center on February 17, 2023,
The new facility is expected to employ 600 individuals when fully staffed.
The official Grand Opening of the new building is scheduled for February 25, 2023.
The Oyate Health Center encourages the public to download its app and to follow the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board social media channels for real-time updates throughout the move-in process that will continue throughout February.