Cherokee Nation doctor completes fellowship

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/22/2011 06:55 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation physician Dr. John Krueger recently completed a one-year fellowship with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The institute is a nonprofit located in Cambridge, Mass.

Krueger, who was one seven participants in the program, said the fellowship was “life changing.”

“I rediscovered why the practice of medicine exists in the first place,” said Krueger, who currently serves as CN’s medical director of quality management. “It is based on the patient’s story, our understanding of it, and most importantly, how we ultimately contribute to it.”

Participants took part in IHI learning initiatives, according to CN Communications. They also train in public speaking and advocacy, visit other organizations specializing in their areas of interest, and attend the Harvard School for Public Health, allowing Krueger to complete nearly half of the courses towards his Master of Public Health degree, communications added.

“I was able to tour the world, and visit the leading healthcare systems across Europe and the United States. It really has given me a new perspective,” Krueger said.

Krueger started with the tribe after being recruited by Dr. Gloria Grim, medical director for the tribe’s health services system. He has worked in several different capacities in the last four years and is now currently located in Tahlequah, according to CN Communications.

With the recent experience and his master’s degree that he plans to have from Harvard in two years, Grim said he “brings a new depth of knowledge” to the tribe’s health services “improvement process.”

“His new knowledge will be used in practical terms to modify processes that will improve patient care and patient outcomes,” Grim said.

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