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Pawnee Nation Breaks Ground on Behavioral Health Facility

Joel Mease
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn participated today with the Director, Indian Health Services, and the Pawnee Nation leadership in a groundbreaking for a new behavioral health center in Pawnee.

Funding assistance from USDA Rural Development was made under the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program and provided $1 million for the approx. $12 million project.

“Providing better access to care in rural and tribal communities has been a priority of the Biden-Harris Admiration, as they continue to follow thru on their promise to make real progress in tackling the mental health care crisis in our Nation,” Corn said. “It is wonderful today to see this project begin to take flight for our valued partners in the Pawnee Nation and provide much a much-needed service to rural Oklahomans in North Central Oklahoma.”

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants during the past year have been responsible for providing more than $11 million in direct funding for rural Oklahoma hospitals, first responders, communities and tribal nations. Healthcare organizations and first responders have been able to utilize some of the funding to provide their rural communities with:

  • New healthcare facilities
  • Ambulances
  • X-Ray machines
  • CT machines
  • Defibrillators
  • Other essential healthcare equipment
  • Electronic health record transitioning
  • Expanded services

“These rural health grants have already made a major impact in Oklahoma by saving lives and delivering better health services every Oklahoman and tribal community member in the Sooner State deserves,” Corn said. “This investment by President Biden will resonate in Oklahoma for decades, because of his willingness to follow through on his commitment to deliver a better future for all Americans regardless of their zip code or financial status.”

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.