Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) has been providing excellent health care to American Indians in central Oklahoma for over forty years.
In 1969, a group of volunteer physicians came together to fill a health care void by providing services five hours weekly to the under-served American Indian population in central Oklahoma. At that time, the closest American Indian health care clinic was 40 miles away, and the two nearest American Indian hospitals were almost a two-hour drive.
Oklahoma City American Indian community leaders, physicians and clergy petitioned U.S. Congress to make good on treaties that agreed to provide health care to members of federally recognized tribes. Congress then made appropriations to address health care access barriers faced by central Oklahoma Indians. From these appropriations, the Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council dba Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) was incorporated in 1974 and moved to a 7,500 sq. ft. store front in downtown Oklahoma City. Over the next twenty years, the clinic grew to a staff of 38 full-time employees, including two full-time providers, a pharmacist and a dentist.
In 1995, the building’s conditions were deteriorating and the clinic needed more space. With special appropriations from the federal government and Indian Health Service (IHS), OKCIC moved to the state-of-the-art 27,000 sq. ft. Corrine Y. Halfmoon Medical Building. The staff, serving 35,000 annual visits, welcomed four times the workspace.
Over the next few years, new patients grew at a rate of 200-300 per month. The clinic added additional providers and increased patient services. Patient visits grew to exceed 70,000 annually. Nearly 20 years after moving to the Corrine Y. Halfmoon Medical Building, the staff of over 125, again faced a space shortage. OKCIC’s Board of Directors decided to purchase an additional adjacent building that would more than double the clinic’s square footage.
In 2014, OKCIC celebrated the grand opening of this building, the Everett R. Rhoades, MD Medical Building. This on-campus facility houses Behavioral Health Services, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Public Health, Optometry, Physical Therapy, a Wellness Center, diabetes education classrooms and the expanded Harmon-y Pediatric clinic. Additional space has allowed OKCIC to expand services, reduce patient wait times and increase patient access.
Since OKCIC’s creation, the demand for quality health care has steadily increased, and the clinic has grown in response. Since 2004, OKCIC has received full primary care practice accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). OKCIC was accredited as a medical home by the AAAHC in 2017. OKCIC provides patients culturally sensitive health and wellness services from talented and devoted providers. The clinic currently employs 165 dedicated staff members, who serve nearly 20,000 patients representing over 220 different tribes. OKCIC is increasing positive health care outcomes for American Indians in central Oklahoma, while maintaining health care costs. By making American Indians healthier, the clinic strengthens Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma and the nation.