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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Choctaw Healthy Energy Living Project

Durant, Oklahoma

Federal Funding: $189,817
Project Timeline: February 2011 – February 2013

Latest Update

The Choctaw Nation has completed several lighting retrofit projects throughout the Choctaw Nation hospital system. As a result, the hospitals have reduced electricity consumption and saved a total of $21,705 annually. Project staff completed filming for the documentary DVD that will showcase the success of the project. They completed two public service announcements, one on water conservation and another on energy efficiency, that have been airing on TV since early June 2012. The Choctaw Nation conducted an energy audit of the Rubin White Health Clinic to verify the results of the retrofits. The Choctaw Nation has completed employee and patient surveys and distributed energy efficient light bulbs to survey participants. They are now conducting training on the light changes. The “Earth Day is Every Day” event was also held, and solar and wind project kits were purchased for each teacher in attendance with their students. Upcoming work includes distributing energy efficiency brochures during various events, continuing to train hospital and clinic staff on lighting changes, and finalizing a list of locations for DVD and white paper distribution.

Project Summary

Energy Efficiency Retrofits and Education in the Choctaw Hospital System

The Choctaw Healthy Energy Living Project (Project HELP) promotes energy efficiency improvements and education throughout the Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital System. The community depends heavily on the hospital system: it is the sole source of in-patient, emergency, substance abuse and diabetic care within 25 miles. Five facilities within the system are receiving lighting retrofits. Staff and facility patients are participating in a comprehensive educational program intended to encourage sustainable energy habits. Project coordinators will distribute a White Paper detailing the process and success of Project HELP to other small, rural and tribal hospitals to encourage project replication and share best practices for hospital energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects.

Project HELP is replacing existing hospital light fixtures with efficient fixtures that provide the lighting levels needed for effective care. The retrofits are coupled with an intensive employee and patient education program, including a brochure and six training sessions. As they oversee the work, Project HELP coordinators are identifying barriers and best practices. These observations will be compiled into a White Paper that can serve as a guide for hospitals undertaking similar projects. Project HELP will distribute a high-quality DVD with the White Paper that emphasizes the success of the project.

The five facilities receiving retrofits are the Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital, the Recovery Center, the Chi Hullo Li long-term residential substance abuse treatment center, the Diabetes Wellness Center, and the outpatient Rubin White Health Clinic. These retrofits are projected to save almost 341,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduce 213 metric tons CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions, while also promoting healthy living and sustainable energy habits.

Community Characteristics

Population 80,000
Area 11,229 square miles
Government Type Tribal
Community Type Rural
Median Household Income $34,008

Program Results

  Reported Results (as of October 2012) Projected Cumulative Results
Annual GHG Reductions 292 mt CO2e 213 mt CO2e
Annual Electricity Reductions 396 MWh 341 MWh

Project Website

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