On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Tribal leaders and Council members were invited to a presentation by the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation executives and board members. Tribal Leaders toured the hospital campus and learned about its successes and future plans.
The San Carlos Apache Health Center, located in Peridot, Arizona, opened its doors on July 12, 2015, after the SCAHC transitioned from the federal government through the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (638). This meant that the hospital would not be under the Indian Health Services but instead under the management of the Tribe. Through its mission to “heal, serve, and empower the Apache People,” and its vision of “Apaches Healing Apaches,” the SCAHC believes in delivering quality care to its people without them having to leave the reservation.
“We will continue to grow services to meet the needs of the people here and beyond,” said Vicki Began, CEO of San Carlos Healthcare Corporation. “Part of that work will be in providing services from when they are born to elder care.”
Those in attendance took a tour of the impressive facility, which has over 761 employees (467 of them being San Carlos Apache Tribal members) and offers outpatient, 24/7 inpatient, 24/7 emergency, dental and lab services, as well as over 22 comprehensive specialty services, including oncology, diabetes, and cardiology.
“The hospital is successful because of our constant focus on our Apache value systems, bringing healing to our people through the principles of goodness, balance, harmony, and beauty,” said Terry Rambler, Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. “We provide state-of-the-art health care with a patient-family-centered approach that honors our traditions, in a modern, technologically advanced facility. Our Council empowers our San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation Board of Directors to operate and manage our Hospital and Clinic. This approach, in addition to reporting requirements to the Council and IHS, has provided much-needed flexibility and creativity that has fueled the growth of our Hospital and Clinic from 276 employees in 2015 under IHS to 778 employees today under our Tribe’s operation and management. And we continue to grow.”
The SCAHC has a 5-year $159 million capital plan that includes constructing a warehouse east of the hospital, a COVID-19 long-term care/skilled nursing facility, as well as a new building for their satellite clinic, Clarence Wesley Healthcare Center, in Bylas, Arizona.
“AIGA commends the San Carlos Apache Tribe as it continues to improve healthcare for the Apache People. The support and funding of educational opportunities by the San Carlos Apache Tribe enables those looking to work in the medical field to receive an education and specialized training, and return to their hometowns to serve their communities,” said Robert Miguel, Chairman of AIGA and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. “These and future efforts support the Center’s vision of ‘Apaches Healing Apaches.’”