|City/Town: • Talihina|
|Location Class: • Government • Hospital|
|Year Built: • 1937-1938 | Year 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: