The newly expanded Arapahoe Health Clinic on the Wind River Reservation will have its grand opening on September 12th. Workers are shown finishing up the exterior of the project on Tuesday morning. (Ernie Over photo)
(Ethete, Wyo.) – A project to remodel and update the century-old Indian Health Service Fort Washakie Health Center has been funded with a $1.1 million Community Development Block Grant with additional funding from the IHS.
“The expansion and remodel will bring the size of the Fort Washakie Health Center to 5,100 square feet,” said Patrick Goggles, director of Northern Arapaho Housing Authority. “It will provide more laboratory and X-ray capacity to the facility and the remodeling will improve patient flow inside the building.” Goggles said the improvements will make the 100 year old building more patient friendly.
“That building’s been there a long time,” he said. “I was born there when it was a hospital in 1952,” he said. “It is overdue for an upgrade.”
Goggles said the work is expected to take about 10 months to complete, but he said an environmental clearance must be obtained before the grant money will be released. He said that should be sometime in early 2014 with the project completion set for November or December of that year.
Goggles said most of the work will be done inside the present structure.
Goggles, who is also a member of the State House of Representatives from HD 33, said completion of improvements and expansion of the Arapahoe Health Clinic should be finished by September 10th. We’ll do a walkthrough on Sept. 11th and the grand opening will be on Sept. 12th.
The Arapahoe clinic is located in the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s Great Plains complex, off of the 17-Mile Road west of St. Stephens.
This was a $3.5 million project funded by a CDBG grant and IHS 638 Contract funds of $1.1 million. Goggles said the IHS would also provide another grant to cover the cost of furnishings, fixtures and equipment for the greatly expanded clinic.
“We are going from 13 to 27 examination rooms that will include a women’s and pediatric pod and a general medical pod with a nurses station in the middle,” Goggles said Tuesday. “We’ll be able to serve many more patients and generate more third party reimbursements.”