The new Cherokee (N.C.) Indian Hospital broke ground this week, three years after planning began.
The $75 million, 150,000-square-foot facility will include inpatient and outpatient services, a laboratory, a pharmacy, physical therapy and other patient services. The new hospital
, which officials expect to be completed in early 2016, is under construction adjacent to the existing building, which opened in 1981.
“(This is) a unique opportunity to create a facility which will serve as a healthcare and community anchor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” Michell Hicks, the group's principal chief, said in a release
. “The local community, including tribal elders, artists, students and enrolled members, as well as physicians and medical professionals, have all played a big role in shaping this new facility.”
Cherokee Indian Hospital serves a tribe of 15,000 members across a five-county area of western North Carolina.Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden