DILKON, Ariz. – Construction of the Dilkon Medical Center is approximately 95% complete and will provide medical and emergency services to thousands of Navajos in Dilkon and surrounding communities in the southwest Navajo Nation.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Navajo Region IHS Director Roselyn Tso toured the facility April 11 with Winslow Indian Health Center CEO Sally Pete and Board Member of Directors, Alberto L. Peshlakai.
The tour included a tour of the ongoing construction of 109 housing and staff quarters which will be completed by September to house staff and medical staff.
“This is a wonderful new health care facility that was designed with the vision of our elders in mind. There have been many challenges along the way, but the Dilkon Health Center Steering Committee, led by Chairman Robert Salabye, never gave up and dedicated their time and commitment over many years to make it happen. happen – they illustrate the teaching of T’áá Hwó Ají Tego. , autonomy and self-determination,” Nez said. “This project is a great example of what can be accomplished by working together to achieve long-term improvements for our people. This is a big part of nation building.
In May 2019, Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer sent a letter to IHS authorizing the Winslow Indian Health Care Center, in coordination with the Dilkon Health Care Steering Committee, to complete the design and construction of the new medical center as part of a Title V construction project agreement. Nez and Lizer joined the community when construction of the new facility began on June 25, 2019.
For three months, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority carefully filled a 310,000 gallon water tank located next to the facility to provide more water to meet daily needs. The construction team also encountered setbacks due to global supply chain issues and demand for building materials that delayed progress.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to all the great men and women who laid their hands on this great achievement for our Navajo people. Many nearby residents had to travel long distances to receive medical attention, even in dire situations. emergency, for many years,” said Lizer. “This new facility will open the doors to more economic and community development that will allow the region to create more jobs, income, housing and other opportunities. We commend all local leaders, public health officials and the construction team for making this a great success.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility also includes purpose-built isolation rooms that allow patients to be separated from others to reduce the risks associated with the virus. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the facility to reduce energy costs. Throughout the center, rooms are designed to maximize the benefits of natural lighting.
Nez thanked the local leaders, WIHCC and its Board of Directors, the Dilkon Steering Committee, Tso and his team and the hard-working construction crews for each of their contributions to the new medical center.
“We look forward to the facility opening soon,” Nez said.
Construction is nearly two years ahead of schedule, and the community is expected to hold a grand opening ceremony for the new 154,000 square foot facility in July, with medical services open to patients in August.