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Meet Teri L. Morris

This interview with Teri L. Morris ( was conducted by SCCE & HCCA Board Member Debbie Troklus (, Senior Managing Director at Ankura in Chicago.

Teri L. Morris, RN BSN CHC-F, Director of Quality/Patient Safety, Cherokee Indian Hospital, Cherokee, NC

DT: Paint me a picture of what Cherokee Hospital is like and what services are available.

TM: The Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority (CIHA) is located on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina, and currently serves more than 16,000 enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and Indian Health Service beneficiaries. One of the characteristics of our facility that I think is so important to share is the incorporation of culture and community into its design. Because there is such a stigma on healthcare facilities, we wanted to create an environment that eased some of the stressors and potential trauma people typically associate with hospitals. The main mall area or “river walk” is a beautiful depiction of a forest stream that guides you along the corridor, a purposeful design that acknowledges that water promotes healing for the Cherokee people.

We are also a Joint Commission accredited facility, and our services include a 20-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy/ortho/wound care department, outpatient physician department, radiology, a CAP-accredited lab, ER, dental clinic, respiratory therapy/DME, eye clinic, and full in-house pharmacy with a drive-thru option.

We also have three outlying clinics, one of which is an immediate care clinic, and the other two are medical clinics serving in remote locations. Tribal leadership has been instrumental in supporting a recovery continuum for the EBCI that resides under the CIHA umbrella. That includes Analenisgi Recovery Center, which focuses on outpatient mental health and substance abuse, including adult, child, and family therapy. We also have Kanvwotiyi (a residential treatment center located in Graham County), and we are looking forward to the opening of our new Women and Children’s Home in late fall of this year.

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