The following is a press release from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health.
OKMULGEE, OK – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation closed today on the purchase of Saint Francis Health System’s East Campus Hospital located in Muskogee. This 92,663 sq. ft. facility is the Nation’s newest healthcare acquisition and the first step in the creation of the Muscogee Healing and Recovery Center. The Center’s focus will be on behavioral health and substance use disorders.
Concerns about behavioral health and substance use remain at critical levels. The COVID-19 pandemic brought increased rates of depression and anxiety as well as high drug overdose death rates. Coupled with the opioid epidemic, Native Americans and tribal communities have suffered disproportionately. In fact, following the consolidation of numerous lawsuits brought against pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers for their substantial contribution to the opioid epidemic, the Muscogee Nation, along with hundreds of other tribes, states and municipalities, received settlement funds.
By utilizing funds secured through the opioid settlement to operate this facility, the Nation is demonstrating its commitment to expanding levels of care throughout the healthcare system.
“We’re pleased to see the aggressive approach from our Muscogee Nation Department of Health continue when it comes to expanding our facilities and resources,” Principal Chief David Hill said. “Using funds as a result of our war on the scourge of prescription drug abuse to operate a facility aimed at combating substance use disorders and supporting the healing and recovery of our people, is fitting and appropriate.”
The Muscogee Healing and Recovery Center is scheduled to open in phases. “We anticipate opening the first phase in early 2024,” said Secretary of Health Shawn Terry. “We will begin with outpatient services such as counseling and harm reduction and later will open inpatient treatment,” said Terry. “We are bringing critical resources to our communities and our people in an effort to mitigate this crisis.”