The Imperial County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution at their meeting on Tuesday that supported the Cocopah and Quechan Tribes as they seek federal appropriations for a new healthcare clinic. The County now joins a list of other local governments that have formally supported the Tribes’ efforts.

The Fort Yuma Health Center currently serves as the main healthcare provider to members of the two tribes, totaling 2,434 people. The oldest of the current buildings was built in 1852, with the newest having been built in 1956. Replacing the current clinic is listed as one of the top priorities by the Federal Indian Health Service Department.

One member of the Board did ask that the current site be preserved for historical reasons, but the resolution did not include any such language. Instead, it affirmed the County’s strong support for “the design and construction of the replacement Fort Yuma Health Center as the principal facility for providing primary health care of the Cocopah Tribe and the Quechan Tribe.” It went on to support the two tribes in their efforts to obtain federal appropriations.

Although the need to replace the current facility has been known for years, securing the federal dollars to update the site has been tough slogging.