Why build a new facility when we have a perfectly good building to use?
- A local benefactor proposes to donate GPTCHB 20 acres for the purpose of building the new Rapid City Service Unit health facility. The location is known as Shepherd Hills and is near the Western Dakota Technical College and Menards in the eastern part of Rapid City.
- GPTCHB is currently engaged in a site selection process with the IHS, which will determine whether the new facility will be built on the donated location or at its current location at Sioux San. Regardless of this decision, GPTCHB will engage tribal and community input in order to determine how the current Sioux San campus would be utilized.
- Breaking ground for a new facility is an exciting opportunity to expand the facilities available in Rapid City for Indian health care services. It will also allow GPTCHB to modernize facilities with the latest technology and infrastructure, as well as continue operations at Sioux San with no disruption of operations or services.
- Population data shows that the American Indian population is more densely located in the eastern side of Rapid City. A new facility in that section of the city will allow easier access for the American Indian community.
- A new facility at another site will allow the Rapid City American Indian community to have input into the usage of the existing Sioux San hospital facilities. Due to the historic use and nature of this building, the move provides an opportunity to use the old facilities as a place of healing for the trauma experienced there.
- Possibility for expansion. In addition to the 20 acres proposed to be donated for a new health facility, the benefactor has offered to make an adjacent 20-acre parcel available to GPTCHB for purchase for activities to support the programs offered at the new facility. While subject to funding availability, such an opportunity is valuable in light of the anticipated Indian population growth.
- Hospital services advocacy. While IHS has decided to no longer provide inpatient services at Rapid City, and the funds allocated by Congress are for a new outpatient facility, GPTCHB will continue to advocate for Indian hospital services in Rapid City.
- Property taxes: If the land is held in fee, property taxes should not be a concern. South Dakota law exempts from property taxes property operated by a nonprofit organization for “human health care and health care related purposes.” SDCL § 10-4-9.3. GPTCHB is recognized as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code and intends to apply for the exemption for the new facility.
- State and local laws. Even if the land is held in fee status, many state and local laws will not apply to operations at the new health facility under provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. GPTCHB will work on addressing issues of application of state and local laws that are not clearly preempted by those statutes.
- Cost considerations. The benefactor has pledged to provide the Shepherd Hills site without cost to GPTCHB and to provide, also at no cost, road and utilities improvements to the site, as well as contouring of the site to facilitate construction. As the site is virgin land, it will not have costs like those expected at Sioux San to address historic preservation issues, demolition and NAGPRA issues.
To print the document in PDF please click here.
To view the Shepherd Hills layout please click here.
For more information or if you have further questions about the facilities or location, please see “Rapid City Service Unit PL 93-638 Transition: Frequently Asked Questions About PL 93-638, Transition, and Employees” or contact Lindsay Huffman, Executive Coordinator, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, 2611 Elderberry Blvd, Rapid City, SD 57703, (P) 605-721-1922 ext. 116; (F) 605-721-1932, www.gptchb.org