In the late 1920’s a retired Army nurse purchased a two-story residence in Tahlequah and converted it into a hospital. This nine-bed facility provided medical, surgical and obstetric services with the help of three physicians.
As the community grew, so did their healthcare needs. By the mid 1940’s it was apparent that the facility was no longer adequate to meet the needs of the community.
At that time, civic leaders joined with physicians and developed a city bond issue that passed with only 17 dissenting votes. This bond financed the construction of a new 30-bed facility, located at 101 S. Cherokee. The building was completed in 1946 and served the community well until the late 1950’s. Another bond issue was passed, and with additional funding from Hill-Burton legislation, the hospital was expanded to 50 beds.
On June 3, 1974, a trust indenture was issued, creating the Tahlequah Hospital Authority, naming the mayor and city council as trustees of the authority. The City of Tahlequah was named as beneficiary. This authority proposed the building of a new, ultra-modern, acute care facility to serve the residents of Tahlequah, Cherokee County and the surrounding area. Proposals were made to the appropriate state and federal authorities ending in approval for a 58-bed general acute care facility.
In September 1975, an architectural firm was selected, a loan was signed, the present site at 1400 East Downing was chosen, the title was cleared, and ground was broken. The construction concluded in March 1977 and the new Tahlequah City Hospital was completed. A third floor expansion was completed in 1984, which provided much needed space for many departments and doubled the capacity of the ICU/CCU. The expansion increased the patient capacity and licensure to 99.
Through the years, it became apparent that additional services would be needed to accommodate the growing population. In 2004, construction began on the east side of the building. The Emergency Department and the Outpatient Rehabilitation Unit doubled and quadrupled their capacities respectively.
By 2008, Tahlequah City Hospital has become a regional healthcare provider. As a result, the completion of the west end of the hospital, increased the hospital’s capacity to 100 beds. This new facility houses women’s diagnostic services, the new Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center, an obstetrics unit designed for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum, and the Alzheimer’s and Dementia unit.
As the community continues to grow, so does the hospital’s reputation as a regional healthcare provider. As a result, several new service lines can be expected to materialize at Tahlequah City Hospital, making us your healthcare provider of choice.