SUBSCRIBE NOW

Redding Rancheria planning to open new 'health village' near its Win-River Casino

Michele Chandler
Redding Record Searchlight

The Redding Rancheria is proposing to build a 180,000-square-foot medical campus on property the Native American tribe owns near the Win-River Resort and Casino just outside Redding.

Besides physician and dental offices, the proposed "health village" will include a 90,000-square-foot complex devoted to wellness that will contain indoor and outdoor pools and an elevated indoor running track, Redding Rancheria officials said.

To help people develop healthy lifestyles, there will be six indoor demonstration kitchens where whole families can learn healthy cooking from a dietitian. An on-site organic garden, with fruit trees and vegetable crops, is also planned.

It's designed to be "a one-stop shop," said Glen Hayward, executive director of Health Service at Redding Rancheria Tribal Health.

Related: Redding Rancheria hosts its first voting precinct this year.

“If somebody is anemic, they may get medication to help with their anemia, but they’ll also get a prescription to go out to the orchard for baskets of leafy green vegetables. So, it’s encompassing a lot more than just giving somebody a pill to take care of themselves,” he said.

A health village the Redding Rancheria is proposing to build near the Win-River Resort & Casino would contain indoor and outdoor pools and an elevated indoor running track.

Patients could also be assigned to a personal trainer to take them through water aerobics exercises in the on-site swimming pools to boost their fitness levels while they work with physicians to improve their health.

“It has been on the tribe’s strategic plan for, probably going on 25 years, to build a wellness campus that encompasses more than just providing Western medicine,” said Hayward. “We looked at our patient population and said, ‘what would benefit them the most?’"

Building on other health centers

The proposed campus would join four other health centers the tribe operates in the North State — two in Redding, one in Shasta Lake City and one in Weaverville in Trinity County. Together they serve about 20,000 patients, Hayward said.

A smaller health and wellness center will open this fall at the tribe’s three-year-old medical complex in Weaverville, said Hayward.

“There’s such a need in the community for improved access for care” for low-income communities, he said.

Throughout the Redding Rancheria Tribal Health network, there are 27 primary health care providers at the four existing sites, plus 28 psychiatrists, dentists and other providers, he said. The entire network employs 185 people.

Most current patients are covered by Medicare, insurance for the elderly and some disabled people, or by the Partnership HealthPlan of California, which contracts with the state to administer Medi-Cal benefits to low-income people.

More:Homeless youths face struggles in Shasta County. Here's one couple's story

Like the proposed new health complex, the four other clinics owned by Redding Rancheria Tribal Health are open to all health care clients regardless of ethnic background.

The Redding Rancheria tribe has grown to 400 people as of mid-2019, up from 87 members in 1983.

The Redding Rancheria proposes to build a 180,000-square-foot medical campus on land the tribe owns near the Win-River Resort and Casino outside Redding.

Where is the project, what is the plan?

The new health campus is still in the design stage, according to Hayward, needing final approval from the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council and general tribal membership before moving forward.

While the tribe has “a big chunk” of the needed financing in place, Hayward said the remaining financing for the complex must still be arranged. It is estimated to cost between $100 million to $125 million and could open to the public sometime in 2024.

The tribe’s design team is working with officials from the city of Redding, who will conduct a "courtesy review," said Planning Manager Lily Toy.

COVID-19 in Shasta County: Here's our coronavirus 2020 timeline

The new complex would be serviced by Redding’s water, sewer and power systems, an arrangement also in place at Win-River.

Shasta County Department of Resource Management Director Paul Hellman said the tribe’s proposed facility does not need county approval since it's planned for property already being held in trust by the federal government for the tribe. Once in trust, the federal government determines zoning and uses for the land that benefit the tribe.

Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at michele.chandler@redding.com. Please support our entire newsroom's commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.