Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
SALLISAW, OKLAHOMA The Cherokee Nation announced on Tuesday it has temporarily closed a portion of the Redbird Smith Health Center in Sallisaw, due to the discovery of suspected mold.
Redbird Smith Health Center
An environmental assessment is currently underway to determine the extent of the issue. Many services will be shifted to the Redbird Smith Health Center Annex, which will be equipped to see a limited number of patients by the beginning of next week.
“The health of our employees and patients is our utmost concern, so we wasted no time in closing the affected portion of the facility,”
said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
“In the meantime, we are working quickly to reroute patients with existing appointments to other clinics. We are also preparing the annex to provide limited medical care. We understand this is an inconvenience to our citizens, so we are working diligently to resolve this issue and reopen as soon as we are able.”
The health center's annex is expected to open for patients no later than Monday. Dental services will be unavailable during the closure.
The length of closure will be determined after a thorough assessment of the affected building. Patients with previously scheduled appointments will be contacted to reschedule. Those who would normally utilize the Redbird Smith Clinic should go to the Wilma P. Mankiller facility in Stilwell, Three Rivers facility in Muskogee or W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah. Citizens can refill prescriptions at these facilities as well.
The exposure to any suspected mold is thought to be minimal for employees and patients. The Cherokee Nation will continue to provide updates as they are available.
For more information about mold and its effects, please visit the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/mold.
posted August 7, 2012 6:00 am edt