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Chickasaw Nation Names New Health System Administrator

Dr. Judy Goforth Parker Dr. Judy Goforth Parker

From news release:

April 3, 2009

Governor Anoatubby Appoints Chickasaw Nation Health System Administrator

Dr. Judy Goforth Parker, Secretary of the Chickasaw legislature and professor of Nursing at East Central University in Ada, has been named administrator of the Chickasaw Nation Division of Health. Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby announced today that they chose Dr. Parker following a search to find a replacement for Bill Lance, Jr. Mr. Lance was named the new Chief Executive Officer of the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce in January of this year.

Dr. Parker, from Ada, Okla., has served as a professor of nursing at East Central University since 1985 and as legislator for the Chickasaw Nation since 1994. She will assume her new duties June 1st.

"Dr. Parker is uniquely suited to this position because of her experience as a tribal legislator and a national leader on health care is sues," said Gov. Anoatubby. "She is a time-tested leader with the determination, compassion, strength of character and commit ment necessary to maintain our record of providing excellent health services to American Indians."

As an instructor and professor at East Central University since 1985, Dr. Parker has directly impacted the lives of hundreds of students. She is a widely published author who has worked extensively to provide the information nurses and educators need to render effective and culturally sensitive care to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

"I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity. I share Governor Anoatubby's vision of providing disease prevention and health promotion services to the Chickasaw Nation and other Native Americans," said Dr. Parker. "Bill Lance's many accomplishments as administrator, including the current construction of the new medical center, have set the stage for continued success."

From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Parker worked to advise Congress on nursing education, delivery and financing of nursing services, diversity and other issues as a member and co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice. In 2002, Dr. Parker worked to develop ideas and approaches to improve health education as a member of the "Committee on the Health Profe ssions Education Summit" on a joint committee for the National Institute of Health.

Dr. Parker has lectured extensively on diabetes in the United States, Canada and Mexico. She was elected as the Oklahoma Area representative of the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee. Her work on that committee includes grassroots efforts aimed at improving access to quality care and making federal policy makers aware of the need to adequately fund diabetes research and treatment programs.

She has served 15 years on the Tribal Legislature, including terms as Secretary and Chairperson. She has also served as chair of the Land Development Committee. She has also served as a member of several other legislative committees, including Finance, Human Resources and Education. As a Chickasaw Legislator she has worked to improve the quality of health care and education for Chickasaws and other Native Americans. Her work supporting tribal economic development and business divers ification has helped the Chickasaw Nation become one of the state's largest employers, with more than 10,000 employees.

Dr. Parker has also served as a board member of the Chickasaw Foundation and Valley View Foundation, as well as vice chair of the Bank2 board and president of the East Central Oklahoma Blood Institute.