Casting for Recovery to hold retreat for Native women with breast cancer

BY STAFF REPORTS
08/08/2017 04:00 PM
AUSTIN, Texas – Casting for Recovery, a national nonprofit organization providing free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer, will hold a retreat exclusively for Native American women in October in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Set for Oct. 13-15, Native American women who reside in Oklahoma and have received a breast cancer diagnosis are eligible to apply. Up to 14 women will be randomly selected to attend the retreat at no cost. Meals, lodging, equipment and supplies will be provided for each participant. The deadline to apply is Aug. 11.

CfR officials said Native American women face numerous cultural and economic barriers to cancer care. By providing support, education and resources, CfR officials said they hope to improve the quality of life for Native American women, creating a ripple effect for health in their communities.

CfR officials said the program empowers women with educational resources, a new support group and fly fishing, which promotes emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. For more information or to apply for this retreat, visit https://castingforrecovery.org/breast-cancer-retreats/arkansas-oklahoma/ or call Susan Gaetz at 512-940-0246.

CfR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1996 featuring a program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. Officials said its retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to women of all ages, all stages of breast cancer treatment and recovery, and are free to participants.
Women enjoy a day fly fishing at a Casting for Recovery retreat. The national nonprofit organization provides free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer and will hold a retreat exclusively for Native American women Oct. 13-15 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. COURTESY
Women enjoy a day fly fishing at a Casting for Recovery retreat. The national nonprofit organization provides free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer and will hold a retreat exclusively for Native American women Oct. 13-15 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. COURTESY

Cherokee Nation health providers want base pay raises

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
News Writer – @cp_bbennett
07/31/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A letter from the Cherokee Nation’s Health System Provider Compensation Committee is asking tribal Health Services officials to increase base salaries and incentives to “recruit and retain top quality (health care) providers” to care for patients.

According to the letter, Health Services has increased base salaries once in the past eight years, leading to recruitment difficulties, a loss in providers and increased wait times for patients.

The letter states CN providers are paid $48,000 less annually than the $218,000 base salary outlined in a 2016 physician compensation report. It also asks that base salaries be “adjusted equal to or above market averages” to alleviate turnover.

It states the lack of salary increases have caused providers to resign “after accepting jobs elsewhere for better compensation,” leaving remaining providers to “experience the undue burden of taking on the additional workload for those many empty positions.”

Charles Grim, Health Services deputy executive director, said the organization currently employs 250 providers, of which 160 are physicians and mid-level providers, at all of CN’s health facilities.
Dr. Loni Pearish, Vinita Health Center’s acting medical director, and Dr. Johnson Gourd, a physician at Three Rivers Health Center, speak during a May 15 special Health Committee meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They represented the Cherokee Nation’s Health
System Provider Compensation Committee that submitted a letter this year regarding higher compensation for health providers to help alleviate provider turnover and aid in recruitment. COURTESY
Dr. Loni Pearish, Vinita Health Center’s acting medical director, and Dr. Johnson Gourd, a physician at Three Rivers Health Center, speak during a May 15 special Health Committee meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They represented the Cherokee Nation’s Health System Provider Compensation Committee that submitted a letter this year regarding higher compensation for health providers to help alleviate provider turnover and aid in recruitment. COURTESY

OKCIC to hold annual adolescent health fair

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/26/2017 04:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic will hold its annual Adolescent Health Fair for students 12-18 years old from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 28 in the OKCIC lobby.

OKCIC will provide Native American students with free immunizations, physical exams, sports physicals and vision, hearing, dental, and behavioral health screenings. School supplies also will be provided while supplies last.

“Oklahoma City Indian Clinic tries to take the stress out of preparing for school by making it an easy and positive experience,” Jennifer Williams, OKCIC pediatrician, said. “We like to incorporate exciting activities to the health fair. This makes children more willing to go through the health fair and helps ensure they will have a healthy and successful year.”

Each year the OKCIC hosts the Adolescent Health Fair in conjunction with the Children’s Health Fair as part of a back-to-school program.

A Children’s Health Fair was held July 14-15 for children ages 4-11. The fair had an attendance of nearly 300 patients who received vaccines, physical exams, fluoride treatments, sports physicals and health, hearing and vision screenings, as well as school supplies and a free lunch. While attending, families were able to enjoy various activities including, crafts, outdoor games, a face painting booth and a petting zoo. Several community partners also set up information booths.
A child receives a vaccine during the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic Children’s Health Fair, which was held July 14-15 for children ages 4-11. The clinic will hold an Adolescent Health Fair for students 12-18 years old from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 28 in the OKCIC lobby. COURTESY
A child receives a vaccine during the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic Children’s Health Fair, which was held July 14-15 for children ages 4-11. The clinic will hold an Adolescent Health Fair for students 12-18 years old from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 28 in the OKCIC lobby. COURTESY

CN surgical tech graduates give back to program

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
News Writer – @cp_bbennett
07/21/2017 09:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Since its 2009 inception, several of the 41 W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program graduates have returned to the Cherokee Nation, committed to helping provide fellow Cherokees health care.

One graduate is Rochelle Lewis, a certified surgical technologist who completed the program in 2011. She spent four years at Northeastern Health Systems, formerly Tahlequah City Hospital, before returning in 2015 to teach the program.

“I think it’s imperative for me to be able to go back and help my fellow Cherokees, to be there in a time where they are most vulnerable,” Lewis said. “We are the eagle eye to make sure that a patient has the most healthy outcome possible. I think being able to do that for fellow Cherokees is a great responsibility and a great privilege.”

The CST’s responsibilities are providing patient support in the operating room, gathering operating supplies, keeping count of supplies used, overseeing the operating room’s sterilization and handing surgeons surgical tools.

The program is 9-1/2 months and conducts two classes annually. Each class admits five students.
W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program instructors Rochelle Lewis, left, and Cheryl Gullett use a dummy and surgical tools to illustrate the environment a certified surgical technologist, or CST, will face in the operating room. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Rochelle Lewis, a W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program instructor, sorts through surgical clamps, each with a different name and use. Certified surgical technologists must memorize the names and uses for hundreds of surgical tools to assist surgeons. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Rochelle Lewis, a W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program instructor, holds two surgical clamps for comparison. While two instruments may look the same, the striations inside can drastically change how it is used and on which part of the body it is used. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX The W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program is 9-1/2 months and consists of classroom bookwork and clinicals at Oklahoma and Arkansas sites. The Cherokee Nation pays for all program materials that students need, including books and scrubs. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
W.W. Hastings Hospital Surgical Technology Program instructors Rochelle Lewis, left, and Cheryl Gullett use a dummy and surgical tools to illustrate the environment a certified surgical technologist, or CST, will face in the operating room. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
http://cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/National-Holiday

Eating healthy on a budget

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/12/2017 08:00 AM
MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Eating healthy on a tight budget is a possibility for families if they make minor changes in the way they shop, plan and cook meals.

Many people believe they can’t eat healthy on a budget, but that’s not true, Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, said.

“One of the big things is for people to plan ahead,” she said. “Don’t go into the grocery store without making a grocery list first and planning out the meals for the week.”

She said people tend to make “impulse buys” when they don’t make grocery lists and stick to them.

“They’ll spend more on food than they actually need,” Goss said. “A lot of times they’ll buy extra things like pop, chips and cookies. Those types of things aren’t nutritious but do cost a lot and add up on that grocery bill.”
Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, holds an advertisement for Reasor’s Grocery while at the store in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Goss said when grocery shopping it’s best to look at the ads for sale items to save money. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A box of Ronzoni pasta sits on a shelf at Reasor’s Grocery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with a sales tag of 99 cents. Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, said looking for sales items such as this pasta can help individuals save money when grocery shopping. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, looks at a bag of Pictsweet Farms Steam’ables Broccoli Florets at Reasor’s Grocery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Goss said if consumers couldn’t find certain fruits or vegetables in season it’s fine to purchase them either frozen or canned. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX On the vine cluster tomatoes are advertised at 99 cents at Reasor’s Grocery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, said typically in-season fruits and vegetables are less expensive. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Denise Goss, clinical dietitian and dietician advisor at the Three Rivers Health Center, holds an advertisement for Reasor’s Grocery while at the store in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Goss said when grocery shopping it’s best to look at the ads for sale items to save money. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

ᎫᏐᎢ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ.- ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎣᎦᏎᏍᏛᎢ ᏂᏛᎬᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏱᎦᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ
ᎢᏳᏃ ᏍᏗᎩᏓ ᏳᏂᏁᏟᏴᏌ ᎾᏅᏛᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᎾᏓᎿᏁᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏢᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏳᎾᏓᏍᏓᏴᏂ.

ᎤᏂᏣᏘ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏃᎯᏳᏐᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏛᎢ ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎥᏝ ᎰᏩ ᏱᎩ, Denise Goss, ᎦᎾᎦᏙᎢ ᎠᏓᏃᎯᏎᎯ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ Three Rivers Health Center, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᏌᏉᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᎢᎬᏱᏱ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎯᎶᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎨᏍᏗᏃ ᏩᏴᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᏓᎾᏅᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᏱ ᏅᎪᏪᎵᏍᎬᎾ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᎾᏁᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎯᎶᏍᏗ ᏂᏛᎵᏍᏓᏴᏂᏒᎢ ᏑᎾᏙᏓᏩᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᎠᎵᏒᎢ.”

ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏴᏫ “ᎾᏓᏅᏖᏢᎾ ᎤᏂᏩᏒᏍᎪᎢ” ᏄᏃᏪᎳᏅᏂ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᎾᏁᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᏂᏓᏂᏍᏓᏩᏕᎬᎾ.

“ᎤᎪᏓ ᏚᎾᎵᎬᏩᎳᏁᎰᎢ ᎤᏂᏩᏒᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏂᏂᎬᎾᏊ ᏱᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Goss. “ᏭᎪᏛᏃ ᏗᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᏁᎩᏍᎪᎢ, ᏄᎾ ᎤᏍᏓᎦᏴᎯᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏚ ᎤᏂᎦᎾᏍᏗ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᎢᏭᏍᏗ ᎥᏝ ᏱᏚᏳᎪᏓ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏍᏈᏍᏗᏭ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎧᏅᏉᎪᎩ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎣᏩᏍᎬᎢ.”

ᎥᏓᎾᏁᏍᎬᏃ ᎦᏲᏟ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᏴᎵᏏᏅᏛᏓ ᎠᏕᎳ.

“ᎠᎦᏲᏞᏍᏗ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏱᏊ ᎢᏲᏍᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᏲᏩᏍᎦ ᎤᏓᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᏛᏒᎢ - ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᏤᏝ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎬᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ - ᎠᎴ ᏓᏓᏁᏟᏴᏎᎬᎢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏴᎵᏏᏅᏓ, ᎾᏍᏊ.

“ᎢᏳᏃ ᎬᏣᏩᏛᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏓᏓᏁᏟᏴᏎᎬᎢ, ᎦᎵᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎯᎩᏍᎨᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎦᏁᏍᏓᎳᏗᏍᏔᏅᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Goss.

ᎢᏳᏃ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᏕᏅᎢ ᎦᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏎᎢ ᎠᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ, ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᎹᎭ ᏗᏟᏰᏗ ᎥᎦᏲᎶᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎻ ᎤᎵᏥᏛᎢ ᎠᏏᏉ ᏅᏓᏍᏓᏴᎲᏍᎬᎾ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏅᏑᏴᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏂᏟᏔᏅᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᏓᏔᏅᎢ ᎦᏟᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᎹᎭ ᏱᏛᎫᎯᎶᏣ ᎥᎦᏲᎶᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᎦᎾᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎠᏑᏯᎾᎥᎢ.

ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎪᎩ, ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫᎭᏃ ᎡᏍᎦᏂᏃ ᏗᏂᎶᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏅᏔᏅᏍᎬᎢ ᏱᏓᏂᏩᎯᏏ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᏛᏒᎢ, ᏓᏤᏝᏃ ᎠᏏᏅ ᎠᏓᎾᏅᎢ ᏲᏩᏍᎦ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᏕᏅᎢ.

“ᏴᎦᏟᏛᏅᏍᎦᏃ, ᎡᏍᎦᏂᏊ ᎠᏩᎯᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏗᏂᎶᎩᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᏅᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏓᏤᏝ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᏤᏝ ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎩᎳᏊ ᎠᏕᏓ ᎨᏐᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎥᏝᏃ ᎤᏁᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᏱᎦᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏅᎵᏰᎥᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᏍᏗ ᏍᎪᏱ ᏗᎯᏍᏙᏗ,”

ᎠᎴᏱᎩ, ᏴᏫᏒᎠᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᏛᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎢ ᏱᎬᏛᏁᏗ. ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Goss. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᏓᎴ ᏱᎬᏛᏁᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ-ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗᎢ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎦᎴᏱᏔᏅᎢ ᏕᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᎦᏲᎶᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏩᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏕᎪᏪᎸᎢ ᏗᎪᏣᎴᏍᏗ.

“ᏗᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᎦᏲᏟ ᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏛ ᎥᎿ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎦᎴᏱᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎫᎪᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗᏃ ᏣᏤᎵᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏔᏓᏍᏓᏴᏂᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏣᎿᎥᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᏍᏓᏥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏠᏯᏍᏗᎭ ᏚᏯᎢ, ᎠᏫᏒᏅᎢ ᎤᎦᎹ ᎠᎴ ᏥᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᎪᏗᏓ ᏴᎦᎥᎦ ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏒᏃ ᏴᏙᏓ ᎤᏒᎯᏰᏱ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎢᎦ ᎡᎯ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᏚᏯ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎭᏫᏯᎢ ᎤᏠᏱᏊ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎦᏲᏝ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏓ.
“ᎭᏁᏟᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᏚᏯ ᎥᏓᏍᏓᏴᎲᏍᎬᎢ ᎬᏙᏗ ᎠᏏᏅ ᎭᏫᏯᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “(ᎬᏙᏗ) ᎠᏰᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏰᏟ-ᎠᏰᏟ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏚᏯᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎭᏫᏯ - ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎵ ᏴᎪᏢᏍᎦ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏔᎪᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ, ᎾᏍᏊ.”

ᎠᎾᏓᎾᏁᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᏂᏩᎭ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎤᏔᎾ ᏕᎦᎸᏛᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᎰᎢ ᎤᏔᎾ ᎦᏟᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᏯᎦᏲᏟᏃ ᏱᏚᎬᎶᏗ ᎠᏏᏅ ᏲᏩᏍᎦ ᎯᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᎸᏛᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏠᏯᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎦᎸᏅᎢ ᎢᏧᏍᏗ, ᎤᏂᎧᏲᏓ ᏚᏯ, ᎠᎦᏲᏟ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎤᎧᏲᏓ ᏑᎾᎴᎢ ᎡᎯ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎭᏫᏯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᏃ ᎠᎦᏲᏟ ᏱᏗᎬᏁᎸᎢ ᏱᏛᎦᏁᏍᏓᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᎤᏩᎬᏗᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ. ᎠᎴᎾᏍᎩᏊ, ᎠᎵᏍᎪᏟᏗᎰᎢ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᎯᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏢᏅᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎬᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᏓᎾᏁᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏙ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏳᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎬᏩᏂᏰᎸᏗ ᏓᏤᏢᎢ ᎬᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎤᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎵᏍᎪᏟᏓᏁᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᎾᎵᏖᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏢᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏛᏛᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᎲᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏒᎢ. ᏗᏂᏲᏟᏃ ᎤᏂᎸᏉᏙᎢ.”

– Translated by David Crawler

Claremore Indian Hospital to host ACA fair

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/29/2017 04:00 PM
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Oklahoma will be at the Claremore Indian Hospital on July 20 to assist patients with signing up for free to low-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The insurance company will be in Conference Room 2 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to help people sign up for health insurance.

“We will be hosting another ACA Outreach and Enrollment Fair here at Claremore,” Sheila Dishno, patient benefit coordinator, said. “Even though members of federally recognized tribes have a special monthly enrollment status, it is important for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and families to learn about their insurance options. Whether it’s purchasing insurance through the Marketplace or qualifying for SoonerCare, knowing that you have quality coverage provides peace of mind.”

Dishno said people who attend the fair should bring their Social Security cards, pay stubs, W-2 forms or wage and tax statements, policy numbers for any current health insurance and information about any health insurance they or their families could get from an employer.

The minimum income guidelines for households are as follows:
https://www.facebook.com/ScissorCutArtByTana/

Shortage of Native American doctors raises concern

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
06/29/2017 08:30 AM
PHOENIX (AP) — Dena Wilson never doubted what she wanted to do with her life while growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Her mother worked at the Indian Health Service as a social worker, and aside from a brief desire to be a bird in kindergarten, Wilson knew she wanted to become a doctor.

Wilson attended Chadron State College in Nebraska and then the University of Washington for medical school. After that, she pursued a cardiology fellowship at the University of Arizona’s medical center, and she worked for a Native cardiology program in Northern Arizona before coming to Phoenix to work for the IHS.

“Just growing up, receiving care in the Indian Health Service, knowing there was such a shortage, and never seeing any other Native providers, this was something I wanted to do,” Wilson said.

Wilson belongs to an exclusive club. Not only is she the lone cardiologist working for the IHS in Phoenix, but she’s also Native American, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe.
In this 2014 photo Nicole Willis, a pediatrician at the Cherokee Nation’s Vinita Health Center, visits with 18-month-old Tinzlee Miller of Langley, Okla. Of the nearly 19,000 graduates of medical school last year in the U.S., only 31 were Native American. COURTESY
In this 2014 photo Nicole Willis, a pediatrician at the Cherokee Nation’s Vinita Health Center, visits with 18-month-old Tinzlee Miller of Langley, Okla. Of the nearly 19,000 graduates of medical school last year in the U.S., only 31 were Native American. COURTESY

CN citizens see success through dietary program

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/27/2017 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Thousands of Cherokee Nation citizens across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction are changing their lives through a dietary program.

Offered at all CN health centers and W.W. Hastings Hospital, the program helped 6,482 citizens with weight management, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes in fiscal year 2016.

CN citizen Kevin Hannah is a participant and has lost 100 pounds during his time in the program.

“When I came for the first appointment, I was just fulfilling doctor’s orders and I couldn’t care less about any of it. Meeting with clinical dietitian Jennifer Newton at Three Rivers Health Center in Muskogee changed my perception, and it changed my life,” Hannah said.

After one year of working with Newton through the dietary program, Hannah, a pre-diabetic patient, has decreased his weight, cholesterol and blood sugar levels and describes his experience as life-changing.
Cherokee Nation citizen Kevin Hannah looks on as CN clinical dietician Jennifer Newton shows him the fat contained in cheeseburgers and other common meals. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Kevin Hannah looks on as CN clinical dietician Jennifer Newton shows him the fat contained in cheeseburgers and other common meals. COURTESY

CN Health Services earns Public Health Innovation Award

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/22/2017 08:00 AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Cherokee Nation Health Services recently received the Public Health Innovation Award from the National Indian Health Board at a national conference in June.

The Public Health Innovation Award is given annually to the tribal government, individual, organization or program that best exemplifies the advancement of public health for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.

The tribe was recognized for its efforts at the eighth annual National Tribal Public Health Summit in Anchorage.

“Cherokee Nation Health Services strives to be a leader in health care throughout Indian Country,” Connie Davis, CNHS executive director, said. “On behalf of our Cherokee Nation Health Services employees, I thank the National Indian Health Board for this honor. It’s truly humbling for our team to receive this recognition, and I commend each and every one of our employees who make Cherokee Nation Health Services a first-class department.”

The tribe’s Public Health department educates citizens on healthy eating and exercise habits, and also addresses common challenges such as alcohol and tobacco use awareness within the tribe.
Cherokee Nation Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec speaks at the eight annual National Tribal Public Health Summit on June 8 in Anchorage, Alaska. BRIAN ADAMS/COURTESY
Cherokee Nation Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec speaks at the eight annual National Tribal Public Health Summit on June 8 in Anchorage, Alaska. BRIAN ADAMS/COURTESY

Culture

Visitors get glimpse into CHC archives
BY STACIE GUTHRIE
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
08/18/2017 12:45 PM
PARK HILL, Okla. – Cherokee Heritage Center visitors had the chance to get a glimpse into the CHC’s permanent archive collections with the “Preserving Cherokee Culture: Holding the Past for the Future” exhibit that was set to run Aug. 14-19.

“We want to just feature things that people don’t get to see very often. On average only about 1 percent of a museums holdings are on display at any given time, so this will give people a little inside look into more of the items that we have,” Callie Chunestudy, CHC curator, said.

Nearly 60 historical artifacts were selected for the exhibit, including Gen. Stand Waite’s bowie knife, a hand-written first draft of the Articles of Agreement between the Cherokee Nation and U.S. governments in 1866, photographs and more.

Chunestudy said the goal is to find a way to create a new archives and collections building.

“We are in need of a new archives and collections building, so we want to feature some of the rare and special items that we do hold so the people can understand that we really need updated housing for these,” she said. “We’ve outgrown our space immensely, and it’s time for an up-to-date archives and collections building that we’re hoping to raise money for.”

All the archives and collections are stored in the CHC basement, which Chunestudy said doesn’t allow for proper preservation techniques.

“It’s a little difficult to climate control and things like that just because of the structure of the building, and so we’re looking at building a new facility that will be up-to-date and in line for best practices for housing these items,” she said. “Without a new archives and collections building the items that are currently housed in the basement of the (Cherokee) Heritage Center are in danger of becoming damaged. It’s a secure space, but it’s not up to best practices for archives and collections so our goal is to bring that up to par.”

CHC Director Charles Gourd said those at the CHC have a “responsibility” to preserve and protect the tribe’s history.

“One of the primary functions and purposes of the Cherokee National Historical Society, and then now the (Cherokee) Heritage Center, is the preservation of our material culture. Those objects of cultural patrimony and things that are important to our history,” he said. “In the (19)95 Constitution, we were mandated and specifically designated as the repository. Now, we’re the designated repository as an act of the (Tribal) Council in 1985 to back that up. So we have a responsibility to preserve and protect all of these objects that are important to Cherokee history, government and the Cherokee people.”

According to a CHC press release, the Cherokee National Archives has more than 40,000 items in collections and 200,000 items in archives dating back to pre-European contact.

The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive. For more information, call 918-456-6007 or visit www.cherokeeheritage.org.

Education

NSU Alumni Association honors 2 Cherokees
BY STAFF REPORTS
08/14/2017 12:00 PM
TAHELQUAH, Okla. – The Northeastern State University Alumni Association board of directors has chosen two Cherokee Nation citizens as 2017 honorees of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus awards.

CN Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Julie Erb-Alvarez were selected as distinguished alumni and will receive their honors on Sept. 29 at the Alumni Association Honors Dinner and again Sept. 30 at the homecoming Emerald Ball. Both events are open to the public.

Awards are presented annually to NSU alumni who, through personal achievement and service, have brought honor and distinction to both themselves and the university, a NSU release states.

Crittenden graduated from NSU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration. Crittenden has previously served on the Tribal Council, as the Eastern Oklahoma vice president for the National Congress of American Indians and as a U.S. Postal Service postmaster. He is also a Navy veteran.

“It is an honor to receive this award from Northeastern State University,” Crittenden said. “It has been 43 years since I graduated from the university, and I still wear my gold NSU class ring every single day. I was an atypical college student, returning to school after serving in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam. However, I was blessed to receive an excellent education at NSU, and what I learned there helped guide me on a long career of public service.”

Crittenden has given back to NSU by supporting the tribe’s efforts to restore Seminary Hall and install modern classroom technologies. He also offers support and advice to youth in their pursuit of higher-education opportunities.

“I am proud to say I am an alum of a school that is so committed to Native students and developing leaders for Indian Country,” Crittenden said. “Cherokee Nation and NSU have established one of the most unique and successful collaborations between a tribal government and public higher education institution.”

NSU President Dr. Steve Turner said Crittenden was extraordinarily qualified to be recognized as a distinguished alumnus.

“His career path is highlighted by many years of service to the Cherokee Nation and to our country. I am so excited for Joe and his family and am honored to call him friend,” Turner said.

Erb-Alvarez is a distinguished epidemiologist and chief of patient recruitment for the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute who graduated from NSU in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance.

She continued her education at the University of Oklahoma, earning a master’s degree in epidemiology. She has served as an epidemiologist for the Oklahoma Tribal Epidemiology Center, the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Public Health, Ministry of Health in the Republic of Palau.

Erb-Alvarez was commissioned into the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 2010 and was deployed to Monrovia, Liberia in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014-15. She is a life member of the NSU Alumni Association.

“I was truly honored when I received the call from NSU President Steve Turner. I was completely surprised and really excited when he told me I had been selected as one of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni. And then when explained who the other honorees were, it instilled another sense of pride and emotion. I am deeply grateful for this honor, and am completely humbled with the company I now keep, with those who are also being honored this year and those who have been honored in the past,” she said. “I look forward to NSU Homecoming Weekend in September when I can come back to my beloved alma mater and experience NSU all these many years later. I can’t wait to talk with students, educators, other professionals and friends – those who helped build my education – and share my post-graduation career and life experiences. I want them all to know and understand how much NSU has given me. I had a very solid foundation thanks to my years at NSU. It was easy for me to find my way and excel after an educational experience like that. Both of my parents are NSU graduates, and I was born while my parents were students and living at NSU married student housing. I have a long, long and wonderful history with NSU. The fact that NSU began as a Cherokee Seminary gives it all the more meaning to me as a Cherokee citizen.”

Turner said Erb-Alvarez has amassed an outstanding list of accomplishments since her time at NSU.”

“Her commitment to preserving the health of the nation and serving others through the National Institute of Health and the United States Public Health Service is admirable and makes her more than deserving of this honor,” he said.

Council

Dobbins takes aim at improving health care
BY LINDSEY BARK
News Writer
08/17/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Dr. Mike Dobbins, of Fort Gibson, said he’s ready to serve his first term as the Dist. 4 Tribal Councilor and looks to improve the Cherokee Nation’s health care system.

Dobbins will take his councilor seat with 37 years of experience in health care, practicing dentistry for 20 of those years.

“I chose to run because from a distance I’ve become quite familiar with the Cherokee health system, and there are some great things about it. The framework’s in place…and a lot of good has transpired. With my experience I feel like I can lend some expertise to help improve the system. That was my primary motive in running for council...to see what I could do to improve the health care system,” Dobbins said.

He said he has more to learn about the CN Health Services and how it functions on a daily basis.

Dobbins is also involved in higher education, teaching at dental schools for the past 17 years and assisting Cherokee students interested in health care.

“I’ve assisted multiple Cherokee students with scholarship opportunities, not only with Cherokee scholarships, but with other Native American scholarships and try to help them go through college with little-to-no debt as possible,” he said.

He said in Dist. 4, he’s also heard concerns from CN citizens about housing issues.

“I’m also knowledgeable of the fact that there’s a lot of other Cherokee needs (including) infrastructure, housing, elder care. I’m also sensitive to those areas as well. I plan to be a multi-purpose councilman,” Dobbins said. “I’m on the outside right now, but I intend to see (and) get familiarized with the housing program and make sure that citizens of District 4 are considered for any housing possibilities.”

The 2017 Tribal Council election was Dobbins’ second attempt at becoming a CN legislator. He said he learned from his “mistakes” four years ago and that it was a “less stressful” campaign this time around.

“I ran four years ago and lost by two (votes) to an 18-year incumbent,” he said. “You learn by experience, and I enlisted more help, actually, this time. I tried to do a lot of myself four years ago. I’d say…most importantly I learned what not to do rather than what to do.”

Dobbins said he has an obligation to serve not only the CN citizens who helped or voted for him, but also those who did not.

“I’m their councilman now, and I feel a deep debt of obligation to fulfill that duty,” he said. “I just look forward to serving the Cherokee people on the council. I do have a busy schedule but I feel like I will be accessible. I have a busy schedule outside my councilman responsibilities, but my councilman responsibility will be my priority.”

Health

Team Josiah fundraises for diabetes awareness
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
News Writer – @cp_bbennett
06/19/2017 08:30 AM
TULSA, Okla. – It’s been more than a year since 10-year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Josiah Wright was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but that didn’t stop him from recently walking a 5K and raising $875 for the American Diabetes Association.

“It’s important to find a cure for diabetes,” said Wright, who indicated that was the driving factor for walking in the ADA’s “Tour de Cure 5k Walk” on June 3.

Normally a bicycle event, this year it was expanded to include the walk.

It was Wright’s mother, Lila Bark, who came up with the idea to participate after contacting the ADA for more ways to get involved.

“Josiah has been diagnosed for over a year, and his first year was quite a learning experience and still is,” Bark said. “I wanted us to get involved to show Josiah there are people who want to find a cure and support the cause.”

The family put together Team Josiah consisting of 18 individuals, 11 of them being under the age of 15.

“I felt honored and appreciated all the people that came to walk with me,” Wright said.

The family also found other ways to raise money, including selling candy bars, #TeamJosiah T-shirts and hosting a yard sale.

Wright learned he was a Type 1 diabetic in January 2016 after bladder issues led him to the CN’s A-Mo Health Center in Salina, where doctors discovered his blood glucose level was 324.

A normal blood glucose range is around 100 or less, according to the ADA.

Wright was immediately referred to Laura Chalmers of the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, who gave the diagnosis to the family.

“I was heartbroken,” Bark said. “Still now as I talk about it with people I get teary eyed and emotional, but I am better than I was on that day. It was hard to take in, that your child will have to live with this disease for the rest of his life or until a cure is found.”

Since the diagnosis, the family has altered its lifestyle drastically by monitoring food intake and making exercise a priority.

“I now have to watch what I eat, especially the carbs,” Wright, who is on a special carbohydrate diet, said. “I have to remember to check my sugar and take my insulin before I eat. I eat more vegetables, less pasta and less junk food. I try to put in an hour of physical activity daily.”

Mother and son are also reaching out to groups through Facebook for support and advice, though Bark admits it is difficult finding children who are Type 1.

According to the ADA, only 5 percent of all diabetics are Type 1. For those with the condition, the body does not produce insulin naturally. Insulin is a hormone required to move glucose, a source of energy, from the bloodstream into cells.

“I met another parent through a friend from work whose son is T1, so gradually I am slowly meeting people, but the community around us is very small,” she said. “I would love to start a support group locally or even get involved with the support groups in Tulsa eventually.”

Until then, the family plans to keep participating in 5Ks to raise awareness.

“It was a fun experience and will be a yearly event we participate in,” Bark said. “We hope our fundraising and group get larger every year.”

For more information on diabetes, its symptoms and how to manage it, visit www.diabetes.org.

Opinion

OPINION: Environmental efforts ensure fresh water, better future
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
08/01/2017 12:00 PM
Protecting the environment and practicing conservation principles have always been important to the Cherokee people. It’s fitting that the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday theme is “Water is Sacred.” It is something that resonates with all of us as Cherokees. Water is sacred to our people and has been forever. Water has been part of our ceremonies. Water has sustained us with food and an ability to grow our crops. Water is something we share and celebrate with our families. Our close relationship to water, the land and the traditional knowledge about our natural surroundings has always been part of who we are. Cherokee values and these historic ideas, established over multiple generations, about ecological preservation benefit all of northeast Oklahoma.

Over the past year, Cherokee Nation has put a focused effort to preserve water rights and natural resources. We have been active within our 14 counties and across Indian Country when it comes to conservation of our water. CN established the office of the secretary of Natural Resources to address a various environmental issues. Secretary Sara Hill oversees the programs and services related to preservation and conservation of our air, land, water and animal and plant life.

As a tribal government, and as Cherokees, we have a responsibility to protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the land we live on. We will unequivocally fight for the rights of our people to live safely in their communities. We have a right and a responsibility to protect our water. It is our duty for the next seven generations.

An excellent example of our renewed conservation efforts was a recent federal court decision naming CN the court-appointed steward of restoration efforts of Saline Creek in Mayes County. David Benham, a CN citizen originally from the Kenwood area and a property owner along the creek bank, personally sued Ozark Materials River Rock for the extreme damage done to the water. The company, which will pay for the restoration effort, mined at the foot of the creek, removing the gravel at the lower reaches. Erosion upstream redirected the creek and eroded vegetation, which in turn increased stream temperature and algae growth.

It is appropriate that the court appointed CN as the steward of Saline Creek and will manage the recovery of the damaged areas and easement. Saline Creek has spiritual as well as historical significance to CN citizens in that area. Additionally, it is one of the most beautiful creeks in northeast Oklahoma.

Earlier this year, Secretary Hill’s team defended the Arkansas and Illinois rivers, as CN played a critical role in preventing Sequoyah Fuels Corporation from disposing radioactive waste near important waterways. We are working with the company to find appropriate off-site disposal.

Recently, the tribe also earned a $75,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency that will help support the critical environmental work that we do at the local level. The partnership between CN and the EPA benefits our people, our environmental endeavors, and the health and beauty of northeast Oklahoma.

Together with the EPA’s federal dollars, we can sustain the environmental protection efforts that preserve our clean air, healthy land and fresh water. The CN created a five-person board, the Environmental Protection Commission, which works with Secretary Hill to help the tribe administer its environmental programs and develop community and education programs.

The CN is also a founding member of the Inter-Tribal Environmental Council, an organization that helps protect the health of Native Americans, tribal natural resources and the environment. This tribal organization was created to provide support, technical assistance, program development and training to member tribes nationwide. Today, almost 50 tribal governments are members and share best practices.

Our tribal government strives to build a better future for our people and fights for the rights of our people to live safely in their communities. Protecting the environment through CN’s active and progressive conservation programs is one of the most important things we can do to ensure we achieve that goal.

People

Flag football combine has large Native turnout
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
08/17/2017 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Approximately 70 youths in first through fourth grades were athletically evaluated on Aug. 12 at the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah’s flag football combine held on the infield of Tahlequah High School’s track.

Testing included speed evaluations, route running as well as passing and catching a football.

Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah CEO Dennis Kelley said the combine testing is crucial to selecting evenly matched league teams.

“It’s for all kids across the county. You don’t have to be a Boys & Girls Club member. We have 13 clubs throughout Cherokee County in almost every school except Hulbert and Shady Grove. Our club stats for Cherokee County show we’re at about 70 percent Native American. So anyone who wants to sign up can. Boys and girls are welcome.”

Kelley said the fee for joining is $45.

“We try to keep it as low as we can. Plus, if someone can’t afford it, we try to scholarship them in. Cherokee Nation helps us with some money throughout the year, so we try to use that money for scholarships for kids who can’t afford to pay,” he said.

Cherokee Nation citizen Julie Deerinwater Anderson said bringing her son to try out was a mutual decision.

“I brought my son out today because he was very interested in flag football. It’s an opportunity for him to be a part of a team. Plus it’s his first year, so he can learn some skills without the risk of tackle football,” she said. “It’s healthy and it’s outside. It’s important to me that my son has healthy options.”

For more information, call the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah at 918-456-6888.
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Call Justin Smith 918-207-4975

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