The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Northwest Oklahoma 1 2011

March 5, 2011

Stimulus funding, health center are just what the doctor ordered

CHEROKEE — Great Salt Plains Health Center has finished remodeling a building for new offices.

The 16,000-square-foot building, formerly Alfalfa County Hospital, was built in the late-1970s and closed in the mid-1990s. It is at 405 S. Oklahoma.

The old hospital sat vacant for many years until Great Salt Plains Health Center decided to undertake its renovation project.

“With the stimulus funding, we received a grant for capital improvement for health centers,” said GSPHC Executive Director Tim Starkey. “It was a $2.8 million grant.”

The grant helped GSPHC remodel the building from concrete flooring to ceiling.

In June 2009, GSPHC’s board of directors voted to approve drawings for the project.

The health center applied for the grant in August and in December received money needed to do the renovations.

“It’s just very exciting to see the federal stimulus funds come down to a local level, to impact the local community,” Starkey said.

Starkey said the Cherokee area has been decreasing in population, and he hopes the use of this stimulus money changes that.

GSPHC provides two family medicine practitioners, two obstetrics/gynecology practitioners, a dentist and three behavioral health practitioners.

In addition to the new GSPHC offices, the center has applied for an additional site in Medford. The application is pending, Starkey said, and a decision should be announced in August.

That will depend on the 2011 fiscal year budget and how much the state has available to spend on certain agencies.

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Northwest Oklahoma 1 2011
  • Cover.jpg Northwest Oklahoma Part 1 2011

    One of the attributes of living in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma is the abundant pride residents have in its people, land and businesses. The 2011 News & Eagle Progress edition highlights these areas and pays tribute to all of those who make our region shine 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

    March 5, 2011 1 Photo

  • Sandridge_2_BH.jpg Boom a boon

    SandRidge owns 750,000 acres of land in the area, and 37 horizontal wells are in Alfalfa, Grant and Woods counties.

    March 5, 2011 2 Photos

  • Timberlake_Playground_2.jpg Now the play begins

    After years of holding small fundraisers and banking money toward the day, the money to move forward recently has come snowballing in, and the plan is to install equipment this summer.

    March 5, 2011 2 Photos

  • Cherokee_Bond_1_BH.jpg It’s about time for an update

    “We have building issues such as heaters and (problems with) gymnasiums and dressing rooms, and we’re trying to get some ideas what that will cost. There are tiles coming up off the floor. The tile floor we’re talking about was put in in the 1950s.” — Bob Meyer, Cherokee Public Schools interim superintendent

    March 5, 2011 2 Photos

  • Salt_Plains_Digging_Provided.jpg Backyard treasure is economic gold

    Dr. Patty Wilber, associate dean for economic development at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, said there were 30,000 crystal diggers in 2010 after the area opened in April. She said Tulsa district’s Greg Birkenfeld estimated each visitor spent, on average, $25 a day in Alfalfa County while at the digging site.

    March 5, 2011 1 Photo

  • Salt_Lake_1_BH.jpg Study time at the lake

    “With tight budgets coming up, I don’t know how (we) will fare.” — Ross Adkins, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    March 5, 2011 2 Photos

  • Woodward Conference Center1.jpg Woodward’s carving a niche

    The $7 million and more than 29,000-square-foot facility will accommodate about 650 people in a round-table event, 1,200 in lecture-type seating, 110 booth spaces and 75 people in the three training rooms, acting as a hub for multi-purpose conference and education facilitating.

    March 5, 2011 2 Photos

  • Woodward_Retail_2_BH.jpg ‘A great area to call home’

    Woodward Chamber of Commerce President CJ Montgomery said the city’s retail sector is looking “great.”

    March 5, 2011 4 Photos

  • deVine_1_BH.jpg Bottled-up desire finally bubbles up into business

    The business allows people to have their water for free from an artesian well located off Oklahoma 11, just north of the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.

    March 5, 2011 3 Photos

  • NWOSU statue snow.jpg University of culture

    “Our cultural offerings probably affect several thousand people during the course of the year.” — Steve Valencia, associate vice president for university relations.

    March 5, 2011 5 Photos