Community celebrates opening of new medical center in Dilkon
DILKON, Ariz. — Community members and staff celebrated the opening of the $128 million, state-of-the-art Dilkon Medical Center Aug. 4.
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren opened the ceremony and told the crowd the health facility will provide much-needed medical services to the chapters of Dilkon, Birdsprings, Indian Wells, Jeddito, Leupp, Teesto, Tolani Lake and White Cone.
The new 154,000-square-foot medical center includes level 3 emergency and trauma treatment, 12-bed inpatient care, primary care, eye care, dental care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, behavioral health, and support services and sits on approximately 43 acres.
It will also house the local offices for the Navajo Nation and Winslow Indian Health Services including programs such as diabetes prevention and treatment, health education, breast and cervical cancer program, behavioral health, and home and public health nursing.
In his speech, Nygren highlighted the importance of improving access to healthcare for Navajo citizens, particularly in more remote areas like Dilkon.
"This new medical center will save lives and improve the health of our Navajo people for generations to come. It is a symbol of progress and hope for this community,” he said.
Nygren thanked the medical professionals who will be providing healthcare for the Navajo people in the area.
“Thank you to all the healthcare workers that are going to commit to calling this place a home, this place where they work,” he said.
Indian Health Services Director Roselyn Tso called the new medical center a source of inspiration to the Navajo Nation.
“This facility stands as a beacon of hope and healing while offering a wide range of medical services,” Tso said.
Tso said there are plans for two more health care facilities on the Navjao Nation- Bodaway Gap, Arizona and Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico. She said a third location in Gallup is also in the works.
“All of those facilities need to get built in short order even though we have challenges with regards to budget,” she said.
Tso also said more health services were needed for Navajo veterans.
“We have to do a better job here with our veterans,” she said. “We know that many of our veterans don't come to us. They're not the ones that are saying, ‘I need this or I need that.’ But we have to rally around our veterans to make sure that we do what we do. The same should go for elders as we move forward.”
Hospital administrators and community leaders all spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new medical center.
They thanked Nygren and the Navajo Nation Council for their leadership in making the project a reality. The crowd of over 1,000 people cheered as Nygren helped cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the Dilkon Medical Center.
The new hospital officially began operations on Aug. 7.