TMC invites public to tour new wellness center

Courtesy photo
The lobby of the “Nihi Dine’é Bá — For The People Wellness Center” echoes the design of a hogan, according to J.T. Willie, director of marketing for the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board Inc.


The Tsehootsooi Medical Center invites the public to tour the new “Nihi Dine’é Bá – For The People Wellness Center” tomorrow.

Last Thursday, J.T. Willie, director of marketing for the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board Inc., gave the Navajo Times a look. The facility has been serving rehab and therapy patients since Nov. 20 out of the new building in front of the hospital. The building also houses the Epidemiologist Office, the Public Health Nutrition Office, the Public Health Nursing Office, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Office, and the Fitness/Wellness Office. But it isn’t open to the public yet.

Willie said the grand opening would be April 2 but the tours on Friday will give needed input so the hospital can match the vision for the wellness center to the needs and input of the public it will serve. “We’re going to give them surveys, so the other part to it is you’re invited to come, but we want to give you a survey, because we want to hear what you think,” Willie said. “What should be added? Should there be more chairs in the waiting area? Should the color have been different? All that fun stuff.”

The main foyer brings the immediate experience of the circular shape of the design. Willie said the imagery of the hogan coincides with the mission of the hospital as stated in the slogan “Join us on our journey to hózhó.” In recent years, the hospital has embraced a Navajo wellness model developed in the community with Navajo Area Indian Health Service, Diné cultural experts, philosophers, and traditional healers. They call it “Shá’bek’ehgo As’ah Oodáál — A Journey with Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle Guided by the Journey of the Sun.”

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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at