In 2019, the new Rocky Boy Health Center (RBHC) was completed, operational, and serving the members of the Chippewa Cree Nation and other community residents in and around Box Elder, MT. The new facility was constructed to replace a prior health clinic that was destroyed in a mudslide in 2010. In the interim between the destruction of the prior clinic and the completion of RBHC in 2019, personnel provided medical treatment out of trailers and tribal meeting spaces.
The new facility increased patient rooms from 12 to 43 and now accommodates 248 additional patient visits per day. Emergency/urgent care treatment is available 24-hours a day for up to 36 urgent care patients, and capacity for diabetic care doubled.
RBHC now includes a holistic treatment center that incorporates the family into the treatment and recovery process for the patient. Without a comprehensive healthcare facility on the Rocky Boy Reservation, approximately 1,200 patients per year were forced to travel 1 to 4 hours for medical treatment, including urgent care.
The proceeds from the NMTC transaction were used to cover the following:
- A new $7 million thermal heating and cooling system. There was no ability to bring natural gas to the project due to its rural location and therefore, the only other alternative was propane. Using propane to heat the facility in harsh winter conditions was simply expensive and impractical.
- The equipping and construction of a more cost-effective, $1.5 million, Urgent Care clinic. There was a critical need for local Urgent Care, as the next closest facility is approximately 35 miles away and roadways are frequently treacherous during the winter months.
- As the first enterprise to locate within the Middle Dry Fork Development Zone, RBHC needed to extend water lines for fire suppression and potable water at a cost of $1.25 million. The Development Zone clusters new residential and tribal development in an area that is reasonably safe from natural disasters and minimizes negative environmental impacts.