fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 

Guest Opinion. Navigating a complex health system can be difficult, especially for those living far away from their provider. Cherokee Nation is working hard to make it easier. Within the Cherokee Nation reservation, we have invested to make sure no Cherokee is more than a half-hour drive away from a clinic. Now, for Cherokee Nation citizens — particularly the many Cherokees living outside our 7,000-square-mile reservation in northeast Oklahoma — the new Patient Experience Team can ease the stress of getting care.

We know that Cherokees are cared for best by other Cherokees within our award-winning health system. The three-person Patient Experience Team will help at-large patients navigate that system to get the care they need and deserve. They will be a one-stop shop for help with arrangements at Cherokee Nation’s health clinics and hospital. They can also provide additional information about tribal facilities and health clinics that may be available in other states.

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

Cherokee Nation Health Services operates the largest health care system in Indian Country, serving more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. We are growing our health care infrastructure and services — and we are making sure to include at-large Cherokees, who make up more than two-thirds of our tribal citizens.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.

The at-large members of the Council of the Cherokee Nation, Julia Coates and Johnny Jack Kidwell, have both been champions for many areas, but health care is a special priority for them. Together, we've been able to expand hearing aid access to at-large Cherokees. Now, thanks to their leadership and creative problem solving, the Patient Experience Team is making health care access even easier. The team has already begun visiting at-large community gatherings to better understand the needs of those communities.

Any Cherokee Nation citizen across the globe can now pick up the phone and talk to another Cherokee about their health care. Cherokees can find guidance for their health or even the health of a family member. And, as we continue to grow our telemedicine capabilities, we will be able to provide citizens even more quality care, no matter where they live.

Today, Cherokee Nation is a national leader on Native American health care. Other tribes and health care systems can look to us for new ideas, like the Patient Experience Team. We must keep up that momentum, because we've got a great deal more work to do. Healthy Cherokee communities are strong and prosperous Cherokee communities, and that’s true in Tahlequah, Sallisaw, Texas, California, or anywhere else on the planet.

Chuck Hoskin. Jr. is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

More Stories Like This

A Call for Equality: Cherokee Nation’s Fight for Justice
The 3 Most Favorable Presidents to Indian Country
Bridging the Divide: Cherokee Nation Invests in Rural Connectivity
Celebrating Our First 13 Years: The Walk That Launched Native News Online
Hope That the Good Sense of Working Together Prevails This Legislative Session

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Author: Chuck Hoskin JrEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.