In 1948, the rural area where The Cookson Hills Center is located was a farming community consisting of impoverished Cherokee people. The Illinois River ran through the community and the people fished and farmed. The roads were dirt and buckboards were the means of transportation. There was no health care or emergency care nearby. The women of the Northeast Conference wrote a proposal to put a small clinic in this community and assigned two nurses to be here. They were given a car so that emergencies could be transported to town 18 miles away. Since its inception, the Cookson Hills Center has been meeting the needs of the people of this tri-county area ever since. We address emerging needs and we have grown with the community. This tri-county area hosts three of the four poorest counties in the State of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is one of the three poorest states in the nation. It is ranked 2nd in the nation in white supremacy; #1 in domestic violence; #1 in hunger; #7 in meth production; #45 in education. Major accomplishments include the introduction of several cottage industries to create employment, ministries in substance abuse, the addition of the day care, the continued assistance to seniors, and the last, the lost, and the least.
Goals & Objectives
1.) To obtain a new work facility that is warm and welcoming. 2.) To create 10 new jobs for our community. 3.) To serve the children of this area and teach them values and standards of the UMC. 4.) To build on the present health resource center providing a full time staff that will help promote and organize the program. 5.) To develop and grow new and county required programs in substance abuse.
We already have a building committee, and we are very close to having enough resources to add a new building to our complex. We will continue to promote the cottage industries that we have, enlarging them and always open to new possibilities. (We were able to add six new positions to our staff last quadrennium.) Our daycare was started; we had to add a second one to serve the children. We also have a children's program. These existing programs will conduct programs that teach our values and beliefs. This program is in its infancy and is beginning to build. We will court outside interests to serve our people; we will write grants and tell our story until we can create a program that attracts substantial support. We will partner with mental health agencies and drug courts in our area to offer the best services possible for people crippled by addiction.