Published October 23, 2017
SALEM, OREGON – The Indian Health Service (IHS) last Thursday announced the rededication ceremony of the Chemawa-Western Oregon Service Unit in Salem, Oregon. The newly remodeled service unit is designed to meet the needs of the more than 6,000 registered patients from throughout the northwest who use the facility.
“IHS is pleased to announce the completion of the Chemawa-Western Oregon Service Unit’s modernization project,” said the IHS Acting Director, Rear Adm Michael Weahkee. “The service unit demonstrates IHS’ commitment to American Indian and Alaska Natives by maintaining the highest standards of care to improve the health status of their patients.”
The modernization construction began in early 2016. The project included approximately 12,000 square feet of existing space remodeled for primary care, eye care, behavioral health, and business offices. Approximately 2,000 square feet of new space was added for a patient wing and a wellness center. A new and expanded patient parking lot provides 40 new spaces that are close to the new main entrance.
The building was first constructed in 1979, and originally known as the Chemawa Indian Health Center. It was designed primarily as a student health center for the students of the Chemawa Indian School and also for the American Indian and Alaska Natives residing in the Salem area. Shortly after it was constructed, the facility was transferred from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Indian Health Service. Today, the facility continues to provide health services to the students at the school as well as tribal members from more than 100 tribes.
“We are excited that this day has come for the community,” said Dean M. Seyler, area director, Portland Area Indian Health Service. “We’ve seen significant growth in the service population at Chemawa which made the modernization project necessary.”
The Chemawa-Western Oregon Service Unit provides a wide-range of patient-centered outpatient medical and dental services including primary care, family planning, eye exams and prescriptions, and diabetes education and support. Services are available to all federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native people living or visiting the service area.
The Portland Area Indian Health Service provides access to health care for an estimated 150,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Health delivery services are provided through health centers, health stations, preventative health programs and urban programs.
The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.
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