Those forming the chapter are CN citizens Melinda Mefford, Janice Horton, Jaycie Robbins-Bogart, Barbara Weavel and Deanna Chandler, as well as CN employee Gina Fletcher.
Fletcher serves as the chapter president while Mefford is vice president. Horton is secretary, and Robbins-Boggart is treasurer. Weavel serves as the education officer, while Chandler covers new member development.
“The new chapter was requested because local residents who are members of AAPC had to drive to Tulsa, Fayetteville (Arkansas) or Fort Smith (Arkansas) for monthly meetings,” Fletcher said. “These meetings provide not only networking with other coders and billers, but also provide continuing education units at no cost. These CEUs are necessary to maintain AAPC certification. We’re so excited to be able to offer these opportunities to our local membership.”
According to a press release from the new chapter, local chapters provide an opportunity for health care professionals to share common interests, questions, information and concerns. Local chapters also provide AAPC with feedback on programs, trainings and current trends facing the health care community, it states.
Cherokee Nation Entertainment’s largest entertainment property is now recognized as one of North America’s select accommodations. Fewer than 6 percent of the 28,000 AAA-approved and diamond-rated establishments in the nation receive the prestigious distinction.
“This honor affirms our commitment to remain a premier entertainment destination,” Martin Madewell, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa senior director of hospitality services, said. “We are proud to see the dedicated efforts of our staff be nationally recognized and ranked alongside the most elite establishments in the U.S.”
According to AAA, a Four Diamond property is one that is “refined, stylish with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.”
AAA, the world’s largest publisher of travel information and one of the world’s largest leisure travel agencies, rates more properties than any other rating entity. Lodging establishments and restaurants receive a rating of one to five diamonds. AAA uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property annually.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and will host guest speakers Kylla Lanier, “Truckers Against Trafficking” deputy director, and sex traffic survivor Dr. Amanda Reed.
Tickets for the event are $100 and can be purchased at https://squareup.com/store/rise-corp/.
RISE was created after Cherokee Nation citizen Keri Spencer’s daughter asked her if they could help those who have been sex trafficked so they created a church program to educate children and parents on what to look for regarding sex trafficking. From that, Spencer spearheaded RISE.
“RISE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. I actually am the founder…and serve as the executive director,” she said. “RISE exists to open a long-term residential facility for girls in Oklahoma that are ages 12 to 18 who have been sex trafficked or commercially sexually exploited.”
The report looks closely at U.S. Census data and uses a definition of “rural” areas developed by the Housing Assistance Council that is calculated with a formula that takes into account population and housing density.
Using this definition, First Nations’ researchers found that 54 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native people live in rural and small-town areas on or near reservations, contrary to common belief.
“An outdated measure of ‘urban’ areas has been used by the Census Bureau for a long time,” First Nations President and CEO Michael E. Roberts sad. “Their definition of ‘urban’ includes small towns of less than 4,000 people. We felt the need to clear up some misconceptions and, in doing so, hopefully improve the distribution of resources to these rural and small-town areas. This is part of our longstanding work of elevating the Native voice and working to change the narrative about American Indian and Alaska Native people. We don’t want rural communities to be left out.”??
First Nations Associate Director of Development Eileen Egan said the institute kept hearing from different foundations that they were using the statistic that 72 percent of Native Americans live in urban areas, which is often reported by researchers.
Dr. Russell Evans, an Economic Impact Group principal and Oklahoma City University assistant professor of economics, conducted the review. He released his findings during an April 21 forum at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
“What we find is that the Cherokee Nation operations here in northeast Oklahoma in 2016 had an over $2 billon impact on northeastern Oklahoma. Supporting nearly 18,000 jobs, just under $800 million dollars in income here in northeast Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s a tremendous source…and perhaps even more valuable given the general state of the state’s economy last year.”
The study shows the tribe employs more than 11,000 direct and contract employees across the United States, with a majority being in Oklahoma.
“$500 million is being paid out in northeastern Oklahoma to workers of Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation government offices. They’re taking back to their communities and spending in their local communities,” Evans said. “The Cherokee Nation directly produces or directly buys from local vendors almost $1.5 billon worth of goods. These are the revenues that are generated by this operation, the Cherokee Nation as well as purchases being made by the businesses and government operations of local vendors. So nearly $1.5 billon in direct economic activity in this area of Oklahoma we can trace back to the Cherokee Nation.”
Dr. Russell Evans, a principal at the Economic Impact Group and assistant professor of economics at Oklahoma City University, speaks during an April 21 forum at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa concerning the Cherokee Nation’s more than $2 billion economic impact on Oklahoma. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen JoKay Dowell, who came with family members, called the powwow a Native-based social occasion because powwows are not culturally Cherokee.
“Cherokees have adopted it in recent generations, so there’s a lot of Cherokees here as well as Kiowas, Navajo, Comanches, Quapaw, Muskogee, Sac and Fox, all kinds of tribes.”
Native vendors also set up at the event selling assorted items such as beaded necklaces and jewelry until the powwow closed at sundown.
The funds go toward Help In Crisis to help it advocate for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Help In Crisis Project Manager Kendra Sweet Malley said the “Walk a Mile” event is crucial to Help In Crisis fulfilling its purpose.
“Help In Crisis serves four counties. We serve Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah and Wagoner. This event allows us to get together as a community and let everybody know that they are a part of that mission to eliminate violence,” she said.
She said implementing pre-registration for the event helped augment the financial and participation numbers. “We started preregistration a few years ago, and this year we got over 100 to preregister.”
The team of Oklahoma City-based economists evaluated the economic impact of the CN and its businesses throughout northeast Oklahoma, which makes up the tribe’s jurisdictional boundaries.
The study’s results will be released at the forum. Similar studies in 2014 and 2012 found the CN had an economic impact on northeast Oklahoma of $1.55 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.
The tribe provides many services, including health care, education and housing. It also makes investments in roads, bridges, transportation, housing, public water and sanitation systems.
Cherokee Nation Businesses, the tribe’s corporate holding company, has a diverse business portfolio. CNB owns companies in the consulting, health sciences, gaming and hospitality, real estate, technology, distribution and logistics, engineering, manufacturing, construction and environmental services industries.
“Cherokee National Treasures, In Their Own Words” includes the stories of 94 artists who continued and continue the artistry and craftsmanship of their Cherokee ancestors. Artists and family members of deceased artist told the book’s stories. The 248-page book also includes photos of the artists and their works.
Betty Frogg, a Cherokee National Treasure for basket making, said if not for Principal Chief Bill John Baker the book would not have happened.
“We talked to him, and we wanted the book to be in our own words, and he made it happen. He made it possible,” she said. “We got a book review board together. We took everything step by step, but to me the beginning stage was the talking stage when we started interviewing the living treasures and the families of the treasures that were already gone.”
Frogg said she wanted the book to tell of the treasures and for people to know their stories.
Cherokee National Treasures Vivian Bush, foreground, and Dorothy Ice sign their pages in the “Cherokee National Treasures, In Their Own Words” book that was officially released on April 13 with numerous artists on hand to sign their books and meet the public. Bush was named a treasure for her turtle shell shakers making and Ice for her loom weaving skills. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX