|City/Town: • Talihina|
|Location Class: • Government • Hospital|
|Built: • 1937-1938 | Abandoned: • 1998-1999|
|Historic Designation: • Native American Heritage Site|
|Photojournalist: • James Kirkendall|
Vacant for many years the former Choctaw Hospital stands as a remnant of the progress of healthcare for the nation’s tribal members. Often, this building is mistaken for the Eastern State Oklahoma Sanitorium. The Old Choctaw Nation Hospital stands tucked away in the center of a small rural community. Twenty – five buildings make up the campus with some buildings used as housing for employees of the Nation’s health system. At one time these buildings were used and operated as doctors offices, nurses quarters, and additional patient cottages. The now fenced off old hospital building was constructed in 1937 and 1938 on the order of the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the architectural firm Schmidt, Garden, & Erikson. It includes Brick, Tudor Revivals, and Italian Renaissance styles. Even though the hospital was once used for general practice the original intent was for it to be used as a Tuberculosis Sanitorium for the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.
The Indian Health Service originally operated the hospital until the Choctaw Nation compacted with the United States to provide healthcare services directly to American Indians within its jurisdiction in 1995. In 1999 the Choctaw Nation was the first tribe to build its own hospital replacing the old hospital. Nowadays, the Choctaw Nation Health System has state of the art clinics including the towns such as Durant, Atoka, Broken Bow, Hugo, Idabel, McAlester, Poteau, and Stigler. Although Durant is the Choctaw Nation headquarters the small and charming town of Talihina remains the center of its healthcare. Overall, the healthcare of the Nation has increasingly improved over the years for all tribal members.
The Old Hospital building is not open to the public and the property is monitored at all times.
For information on the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority please visit:
Gallery Below of Old Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital
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I was brought to this hospital from Houston by my husband’s family. I was very ill with graves disease and I had no insurance. I have spent a great deal of time under different circumstances. In some of the so called best hospitals in the world. None of them were as clean and ran as efficiently as this hospital. I was treated with respect and kindness. I will never forget the experience. I felt as though I mattered and I certainly received healing.
My 2 oldest boys were born here in 1992 and 1994. Also a brother was born here and lost a set of twins here. It’s ashame they couldn’t remodeled and used for a rehab center or something of the sort, even a museum.
My mother father grandparents and my brother and I were all born at this hospital.
myself and all my brothers and sisters were born there starting in 1962…We are heirs of Joe and Dessie Wilson of Buffalo Oklahoma behind Watson and Smithville….
I was born here in 1996. My mom and dad worked there for a long time. Really wish I could just walk through it just to see where everything was.
Thank you for the pictures. I grew in TX and OK and remember my great grandparents always went here for all their appointments. I accompanied them on many a trip from McAlester down to Talihina. It was always exciting to go and extra special to get a cheeseburger on the way back. 🙂
I had two surgeries, two daughters born in this hospital. I spent one week before my oldest daughter was born, and total of one month with three false labors before my second daughter was born. In the past a pregnant woman could stay there waiting on to deliver because of the distance most had to travel. It is more than a hour away from where I lived, staying there was convenient, and didn’t have to worry about having the baby on side of the road. It was a beautiful place but lonesome. I also had an aunt to stay there… Read more »
[…] a stone’s throw away from the Old Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital is a building that sits alone on a hill as if it still stands proud of its contribution to medical […]
my husband was born at this hospital, lots of memories for him. his grandparents were paitents too.
To many memories of this hospital. I walked the halls of this hospital plenty of times as my mom and family worked there for years. Had my first child at this hospital.
Thank you for the pictures, me my sister and most of my cousins were born in the old Talihina hospital.
I was born in the old talihina hospital in January 31st 1993
My Grandmothers brothers and sister all died there of tb how do i get any info on them?
I was born there in 1979 I would like to go there if possible
Thank you for this report. Your photos do real justice to this hospital. You have a wonderful eye for color and your use of perspective and space made this an interesting and informative tour. The photo of the bedpan sanitizer made me laugh.
Great photos, really enjoyed this post 🙂
This is amazing! Great job Abandoned Oklahoma!
My uncle passed away there in 1996. I wish I could visit that place