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Annex would bring new services to Hollywood

The tribe plans to build an annex north of the Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center to provide new services and offices. (File photo)

HOLLYWOOD – While the new Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center on the Hollywood Reservation has only been operating for a couple years, the head of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the tribe said the pandemic revealed the need for additional space for patients, employees and services.

The tribe has proposed construction of a two-story medical center annex that would be located north of the main facility, with HHS services on the first floor and offices on the second floor. Dr. Vandhana Kiswani-Barley said it would allow the main building to fully house its range of services with medical providers, the pharmacy and space for other HHS-related departments.

The annex would allow HHS staff who are currently located in the Taft Street office complex to be located on-site, for example. In addition, the tribe’s Center for Behavioral Health is in need of room for a “crises center” at the facility. The tribe also wants to transition away from using contracted home health care workers from an outside agency into staffing its own such department with tribal employees.

“There are 123 tribal members that have a home health aide or skilled nurse from eight hours to 24 hours a day,” Kiswani-Barley said. “Through the pandemic the quality of service declined.”

She said the creation of a tribal department for home health services would result in a better experience for tribal members by requiring streamlined policies and procedures. Kiswani-Barley expects to hire a director of nursing and ancillary staff to run the department – about 150 employees in all.

There are also plans to house an imaging center in the annex for services like basic X-rays and ultrasounds.

“It takes away unnecessary emergency room visits and will save the tribe significant money,” Kiswani-Barley said.

The hope is that the annex can be constructed and additional services be up and running by 2024. However, Kiswani-Barley said the tribal home health care department would be developed as the facility is being built.

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at