Ground broken for new Dilkon Medical Center
Back in the 1970s, when Dilkon was little more than a trading post and a branding corral, a group of local elders formed a planning committee and withdrew 700 acres at the base of Dilkon Butte.
They were tired of making the all-day trip by wagon to Window Rock every time they needed any kind of services, only to be told, as often as not, “Come back tomorrow,” explained Jerry Freddie, Dilkon Chapter’s representative on the Winslow Indian Health Center Corporation’s board of directors.
Little by little, everything the elders envisioned sprang up on that 700 acres: tribal government offices, a police station, a court, a Navajo Housing Authority subdivision, a shopping center.
Everything, that is, except one of the things they wanted most: a health clinic.
To this day, Dilkonites have to drive 40 minutes to the nearest health care facility, the WIHCC, and people in the remote surrounding chapters have a much farther drive.
In a little over two years, that will be a thing of the past, like the trading post and the branding corral.
On Tuesday, ground was broken for the planned $122 million, 162,000-square-foot Dilkon Medical Center. It will have a Level 3, 24-hour emergency center, audiologist, podiatrist, dental clinic, eye care center, diabetes program, pharmacy and cafeteria, its own emergency services center and utility plant (solar panels on the roof will supply a good portion of its electricity).