NORMAN — The George Nigh Rehabilitation Center in Okmulgee is now the property of the Muscogee Creek Nation, after University of Oklahoma President David Boren signed over the title to Chief George Tiger on Monday afternoon.
“The Muscogee Creek Nation is a very important part of Oklahoma, and what the nation is doing for the counties and communities in which it is located — in terms of improving quality of life — is really exceptional,” Boren said.
Monday’s sign-over marked the first time a public university in Oklahoma has transferred a property title to a tribal nation. The university has maintained the Nigh Center since 1999.
The center treats conditions that may benefit from intensive rehabilitation, including back and neck injuries, spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation and orthopedic conditions such as joint replacements and fractures, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease in addition to many other acute and chronic conditions.
“This is a happy day for the university because we know we’re placing the clinic in the hands of people who will meet a responsibility to those who need intense rehabilitation,” Boren said.
Boren praised the health care of the Muscogee Creek Nation, calling the tribal nation’s comprehensive community health care a “model” to the rest of the state.
“The Creek nation has brought health care to all the people within its boundaries and is meeting all of their needs, and the acquisition of the George Nigh Center only expands that care,” Boren said.
Tiger expressed similar optimism and recognized the contribution and support of various leaders within the Muscogee Creek community.
“We felt from the outset of our administration that health is very important and made it a priority to add to our services and continue to grow. We look forward to a continued relationship with the University of Oklahoma — we have a lot of kids that go to school here,” Tiger said.