Coeur d’Alene tribe gets federal hospital funding

Plummer, Idaho (AP) October 2010

A northern Idaho American Indian tribe is getting nearly $12 million from the federal government to help it build a new hospital.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Plummer plans to use the money to expand the Benewah Medical Center. It hopes to open the new facility in late 2012.

The original clinic was build in 1990. Today, it has 122 employees and serves 6,500 patients, who account for more than 36,000 visits annually. About half of the patients at the clinic are non-tribal members.

The money comes through the federal Affordable Care Act and will cover 68 percent of the $17.3 million total project cost.

The tribe is chipping in $3 million and the Benewah Medical Center will pay $2.5 million toward the project.

Tribal leaders say the new building will include larger examination rooms, a bigger pharmacy and more laboratory space.