HUD Office of Native American Programs tours Gila River Health Care Dental Expansion
Gila River Indian News
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development toured the Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital Dental unit on December 17, 2019, among the visitors were Robert Holden, Director for the Phoenix HUD Office of Native American Programs, Dr. Kimberly Corkin, HUD Grants Management Team Leader and Patrick Palmer, Grants Management Specialist.
The purpose of the visit was to see how the Indian Community Development Block Grant Program benefits tribal communities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards Native American communities throughout the country to support a wide range of community development. The goal of the program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities.
“We actually reviewed the application for them to be funded in 2012, they were part of an Indian community block grant program,” said Holden. He said the Community had a seven-year window to complete the project in the grant, which GRHC accomplished in its seventh year.
“Thanks to those behind the scenes, we are happy the Community and GRHC were able to complete the grant,” said Corkin.
“We funded six to seven in the last ten years, many of them are expansion programs. The last two projects, the Gila River Community was awarded was over $2 million, both of the projects are completed,” said Holden.
“I’ve been here for 20 years, and Josie Gaisthea, the Dental Assistant Supervisor, has been here for over 26 years. We are very excited that the new Dental clinic is completed,” said Dr. Jody Herschenhorn, Director for the dental department.
The patient rooms offer privacy and are more spacious. “The dental chairs and equipment are new,” said Herschenhorn. The renovation of approximately 8,750-square-feet showcases ten private individual dental exam and procedure rooms, of which two are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and four pediatric exam rooms. The space increase created a much larger patient waiting area, private patient consultation room, and a centralized medical gas system eliminating portable tanks and hoses.
Dr. Herschenhorn said the sterilization, processing, and sterile storage rooms are an improvement over the previous space. Josie Gaisthea added, “The sterilization workflow is more efficient.”
Other additions include upgraded monitors, allowing patients to review their treatment plan, x-ray and receive dental education “The new clinic was designed for efficiency and to provide a state of the art dental experience.” said Herschenhorn.