Increase in IHS funding expected
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OCTOBER 6, 2000

The Oklahoma service area of the Indian Health Service (IHS) is expected to receive more than $10 million as part of the 2001 Interior Appropriations Bill.

The funding would be distributed among several hospitals, including Claremore Indian Hospital, the W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, and six Cherokee Nation clinics. But an IHS formula cited by the Cherokee Nation would require the Oklahoma area to receive more than than $86 million a year just to be bring it in line with the national average.

"We’re pleased with the additional $10 million for one year, but we can't be satisfied with a small, temporary correction to this ongoing inequity," said Chief Chad Smith on Thursday. "Every tribe in Oklahoma supports the recommendation that all new money appropriated for Indian health be distributed according to the LNF (level of need funded) formula."

In April, the Cherokee Nation said it would need $3.1 million to keep Claremore and W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital in Tahlequah running properly. More than 400,000 patients are served annually by the two hospitals.

Budget restraints have resulted in the cutting of 20 positions at Claremore. Cherokee officials had said the Tahlequah hospitial was in a similar situation.

Relevant Links:
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma -