Cherokee Nation Health Services (CNHS) originated with the establishment of the Community Health Representative Program in 1972. Since then, CNHS has grown tremendously and has become the largest group in the Cherokee Nation tribal government, employing over 1,800 health care professionals and support staff. Cherokee Nation Health Services operates W.W.Hastings Hospital located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, W.W. Hastings Outpatient Health Clinic in Tahlequah, Ok (a 439,000sq. ft. newly constructed facility) and eight outpatient ambulatory health centers located in Salina, Jay, Sallisaw, Stilwell, Nowata, Muskogee, Vinita and the new Outpatient Health Center in Tahlequah. These Outpatient facilities provide quality comprehensive care far greater than that available from typical family practice clinics is provided through the coordination of services rendered by the individual “programs,” which make up our health care system. This is why the Cherokee Nation Health Services has been referred to as the nationwide model for rural health care. These auxiliary services are available at most locations: Behavioral Health Services, Dietitians and Nutrition, Diabetes Program, and Dental Services. Other programs consist of: Adolescent Drug Treatment, Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, Eye Care Services, Emergency Medical Services, and a wide variety of Community Preventative Services, including active living, healthy eating, smoking cessation and drug and alcohol prevention.
Lastly, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and the Cherokee Nation have established the nation’s first tribally-affiliated college of medicine in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, set to open in fall of 2020.
The new OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation will be an additional location of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The OSU-COM at Cherokee Nation will be located adjacent to the W.W. Hastings Hospital campus.