Among those who provided remarks during the groundbreaking event were Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Terry Rambler; the Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (SCAHC) Board of Directors, Steve Titla; Bylas District Council members Ned Anderson Jr., Eugene David Nozie, and Jonathan Kitcheyan, as well as Willmeng CEO James Murphy. Another member of the SCAHC Board, Kathy Wesley-Kitcheyan, the daughter of Clarence Wesley, also spoke about her family’s history and her father’s legacy.
The Clarence Wesley Health Center will provide the San Carlos Apache community with a modern medical facility that can host a broader range of health care offerings. The new facility will replace the current, smaller building. The larger facility will give the tribe the opportunity to expand and upgrade its services, including the expansion of dental, pharmacy, and optometry as well as the addition of imaging services.
“I am very thankful to the SCAHC Board and all that they have done to make today possible,” Rambler said during his remarks. “We look forward to the clinic providing more services. My hope is that we will be able to provide more direct services for the Bylas community.”
The new Health Center is designed by Cuningham Architects and will utilize an Exterior Insulation Finishing System, providing added energy efficiency to the facility. Also, the Health Center will have a backup electrical system that can power the facility for 96 hours. The facility will be located next to the Mt. Turnbull Elementary School, which is five miles south of Bylas. The new location will replace the existing facility that was damaged by shifting soils and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2025.
“It is certainly an honor to be the builder on this facility,” Murphy said. “This facility has a progressive design by Cuningham, and it will be industry-leading and able to provide expanded capabilities for the community. I know our team is excited to be here and to be a trusted partner in this community.”
The namesake of this new Health Center, Clarence Wesley, was dubbed “A Champion of Indian Rights.” Wesley served as Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, and later became the first from the San Carlos Apache Tribe to become President of the National Congress of American Indians, serving two terms.