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  • Writer's pictureArizona Contractor & Community

Willmeng Breaks Ground on Health Center for San Carlos Apache Community

Willmeng Construction recently took part in a groundbreaking event in Southeastern Arizona to mark the start of construction on the new Clarence Wesley Health Center in Bylas, a 34,000-square-foot healthcare facility that will better serve the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Bylas community.

Members of the San Carlos Apache community and Willmeng Construction leaders took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking event for the new Clarence Wesley Health Center in Bylas. From left, James Murphy, CEO of Willmeng Construction; San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (SCAHC) Board Treasurer Nella Ben; SCAHC Board member and daughter of the late Clarence Wesley, Kathy Wesley-Kitcheyan; SCAHC Board member Dr. Artemia Hill; SCAHC Board member Myron Moses; SCAHC Board member Benny Cheney; Chairman of the SCAHC Board, Steve Titla; and Willmeng Project Executive Eric Shepherd.

Among those who provided remarks during the groundbreaking event were Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Terry Rambler; the Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (SCAHC) Board of Directors, Steve Titla; Bylas District Council members Ned Anderson Jr., Eugene David Nozie and Jonathan Kitcheyan, as well as Willmeng CEO James Murphy. Another member of the SCAHC Board, Kathy Wesley-Kitcheyan, the daughter of Clarence Wesley, also spoke about her family’s history and her father’s legacy.

The Clarence Wesley Health Center will provide the San Carlos Apache community with a modern medical facility that can host a broader range of vital healthcare offerings. The new facility will replace the current, smaller building. The larger facility will give the Tribe the opportunity to expand and upgrade its services, including the expansion of Dental, Pharmacy, and Optometry as well as the addition of Imaging services.

This project rendering shows the front entrance to the Clarence Wesley Health Center in Bylas. The facility is a modern, 34,000-square-foot building that will allow the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation to expand services to the Bylas community.

“I am very thankful to the SCAHC Board and all that they have done to make today possible,” said Chairman Rambler during his remarks. “We look forward to the clinic providing more services. My hope is that we will be able to provide more direct services for the Bylas community.”

The new Health Center is designed by Cuningham Architects and will utilize an Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS), providing added energy efficiency to the facility. Also, the Health Center will have a backup electrical system that can power the facility for 96 hours. The facility will be located next to the Mt. Turnbull Elementary School, which is 5 miles south of Bylas. The new location will replace the existing facility that was damaged by shifting soils and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2025.

“It is certainly an honor to be the builder on this facility,” said Murphy, Willmeng CEO. “This facility has a progressive design by Cuningham and it will be industry-leading and able to provide expanded capabilities for the community. I know our team is excited to be here and to be a trusted partner in this community.”

The namesake of this new Health Center, Clarence Wesley, was dubbed “A Champion of Indian Rights.” Wesley served as Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona and later became the first from the San Carlos Apache Tribe to become President of the National Congress of American Indians, serving two terms. Wesley, who died in 1988, was truly a legendary leader in the community and this facility is a fitting tribute to him.


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