Prairie Band Potawatomi health center opens


MAYETTA, Kan. – The grand opening of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Health Center was held Oct. 18 with a dedication ceremony followed by tours of the facility. The Health Center is located at 11400 158 Road in Mayetta.

Hundreds of people attended the standing-room-only event, which began with the posting of colors by the We-Ta-Se American Legion Post 410 Color Guard and singing/drumming by the Gemonenwek Singers, a youth group of Potawatomi-affiliated members from Topeka.

An invocation by Gaming Commission Chair Gary Mitchell was followed by opening remarks by Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chair Tracy Stanhoff. “There is no place like the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation reservation; and I want to thank and publicly recognize the Indian Health Center staff and members of the Indian Health Board who helped to make the new center a reality,” Stanhoff said.

John Daugherty Jr., area director of IHS from Oklahoma City, said that he was glad to see tribes, like the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, putting their own money into the Indian health care system because the area IHS that he directs presently serves more than 306,000 American Indians. He further stated that many more health care centers such as the Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center are needed to meet the needs of Indian people.

After Daugherty spoke, he joined with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council and members of the Gaming Commission in a
ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially marked the opening of the center. To conclude the day, tours of the new facility were conducted.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center comprises 36,300 square feet, which includes three wings (medical health center, social services department and a community education conference area) and took approximately a year to build. The construction cost of the health center was approximately $6 million. All of the funding was provided by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.