With a common disease plaguing Native Americans, the Choctaw Nation is taking a stand by donating $1 million to the Oklahoma Diabetes Center.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, one in two Native American children in Oklahoma may develop diabetes by the age of 50.
“This is such a scary statistic,” said Judy Allen, Choctaw Nation executive director of public relations, “We gave $1 million to fund two chairs.”
The ODC will have two locations, in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa.
The funds are for two $500,000 chairs, one of which will be designed for pediatrics, according to the OU Web site. The university will also be applying for matching funds from the state regents for higher education.
“It will pay for everything those endowed chairs will need to run the position,” Allen said, explaining that they money is not just for the positions' salaries.
About donating the funds, Chief Gregory E. Pyle said in a press release, “This is going to affect the children of our state and our tribe. We have a relationship with the University of Oklahoma that has been ongoing for several years, bringing doctors from the OU Health Sciences Center to the Choctaw Diabetes Center in Talihina twice a month. When we found out President Boren was going to work toward this Center, we were very excited and the Choctaw Council approved funding to assist with a couple of endowed positions.”
The Chickasaw Nation is also making a donation of $1 million, and with matching funds from the state regents for higher education, have created a $2 million faculty endowment.