Gila River Health Care celebrates Komatke Health Center’s 10-year mark
Gila River Indian News
Gila River Health Care staff, board members, and Community members celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Komatke Health Care Center on May 2.
Many in attendance recalled the days before Komatke’s opening when the only thing available was the Gila Crossing Clinic that was essentially one modular trailer with limited services. It was easy to see that residents of the West End were very happy to now have a new facility to provide quality care.
Health Care Executives and Community leaders were in attendance to give remarks throughout the event. A basket dance group set the tone as part of the opening followed by music.
Gov. Steven Roe Lewis and Lt. Gov. Robert Stone praised the health care center staff in their remarks, and Lt. Gov. Stone welcomed everyone and provided a traditional blessing for the occasion.
“Our board, the leadership, decisions are made by the Gila River Community,” said Gov. Lewis.
Derrick Glum, Chief Operating Officer for Gila River Health Care since 2017, said he’s been, “blown away by the family feel that is here…that really is a distinguishing feature here on the West End.”
He continued to share how integral Komatke is to the well-being of the West End community since it saves Community members a long drive to Sacaton or Phoenix to receive quality care.
Pamela Johnson, Gila River Health Care Board Member from District 6, grew up receiving services from the Gila Crossing Clinic. She noted Komatke’s family atmosphere and the bonds created with many of the providers and staff.
Victoria Allison, Community Member from District 4, is currently the Facility Coordinator for Komatke Health Care Center and recalled the progress of the Community’s health care.
Komatke Health Care Center is the first clinic in Indian country to have a drive-thru pharmacy and a radiology department within a clinic. Allison was proud to share all of this while continuing highlighting that Komatke works under a Legacy of Care model providing services from cradle to grave. And as part of the celebration she stressed, “I don’t want to honor a building, I want to honor the people that work in the building and the community that utilize our service.”
Gila River Health Care Board of Directors Chairman Myron Schurz brought to perspective that 10 years ago the Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino wasn’t at its current size, there was no construction for a new Gila Crossing Community School, nor was there a freeway in development for that matter. Chairman Schurz said that leadership at GRIC and Gila River Health Care will continue to make improvements as needed for the Community to ensure that the Komatke Health Center continues to thrive.