Reno Health Center To Expand Health Services Offered to Tribes, Incorporate American Indian Culture in Design
The Reno Sparks Tribal Health Center, a nearly $20 million health center under construction in Reno, Nev., aims to treat the local American Indian community and incorporate aspects of its culture into the structural design, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports. A 13,000 square-foot clinic, made up of mobile office units, currently serves the local American Indian population, but it only offers limited health services, David Anderson, director of economic development for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, said. The new facility will be 65,000 square feet and will provide dental, medical, pediatric, optical and mental health services. According to Arlan Melendez, tribal chair of the colony, "Statistics have shown that diabetes and all the different (forms of) heart diseases are on the rise with" American Indians, adding that the new facility "will be able to provide more services to people in a more timely manner and be more proactive in diagnosis, so we catch some of these diseases early and take preventive measures early."
The project was primarily financed through funds raised by the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and the federal government contributed about $2 million. The center's design will incorporate American Indian cultural icons, sculptures of two life-sized eagles and nature scenes. Michon Eben, cultural resource manager at the colony, said, "Having to feel good going to visit the doctor is a priority; that is why we put all those health and wellness symbols inside and out of the clinic," adding, "Health and wellness is a big part of our culture."
Melendez expects the center to open by October or November (Avila, Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/30).