Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma – Tulsa County Commissioners and Muscogee (Creek) Nation leaders announced Nov. 3 a funding partnership to support operational costs associated with the tribe’s monoclonal antibody infusion center, located at Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare Center. Tulsa County Commissioners allocated $500,000 toward these operations.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Muscogee Nation on their investment into COVID-19 treatment and research,” Tulsa County Commission Chairman Stan Sallee said. “This facility treats both Native and non-Native patients right here in Tulsa County, helping prevent our hospitals from being overrun. This was a great opportunity that we’re proud to support, and it furthers a long partnership between Tulsa County and its tribal neighbors.”
The Muscogee Nation-owned clinic provides monoclonal antibody infusions, which are an FDA-approved treatments for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. The infusions are by appointment only and available to the general public.
“I want to thank Tulsa County for its incredibly generous contribution toward our antibody infusion efforts at Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare Center,” MCN Principal Chief David Hill said. “At Muscogee (Creek) Nation we have stressed the importance of collaborative efforts with our local, state and federal partners when it comes to making Oklahoma the very best it can be. If we all work together, we’re safer, healthier and more prosperous for generations to come.”
According to MCN Secretary of Health Shawn Terry, before there were infusions, the tribe started with COVID-19 testing, followed by immunizations with MCN setting up space in different areas for vaccination events. The monoclonal antibody infusion has reduced hospitalization in the Tulsa area.
“We greatly appreciate the Tulsa County Commissioners and the ARP Committee for this allocation,” Terry said. “We know this treatment is very effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 if administered early in the course of the disease. To date, we have infused more than 800 patients from Tulsa and the surrounding communities. We will continue to operate the Council Oak infusion center as long as needed.”
Tulsa County received the first of two ARP annual funding installments May 25. In total, Tulsa County will receive $126.5 million through 2022.
Tulsa County established five priorities for ARP funding; respond to COVID-19, support economic recovery and development, generate equity in undeserved populations and communities, build infrastructure, and replace lost revenue.
Tulsa County has approved $31.7 million, or 24% of the total anticipated funds.