Training program gains accreditation
TAHLEQUAH - A program to turn Cherokee students into surgical
technologists at W.W. Hastings Hospital has gained accreditation
from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education
The Hastings surgical technology education program received a
five-year accreditation. Upon graduation of the nine-month program,
students can become nationally certified.
"Cherokee Nation is the first Native American tribe to have a
surgical tech program accredited through CAAHEP," said Health
Services Executive Director Connie Davis.
Tommy Hays and Patricia Sumner are program instructors.
The program accepts Cherokee citizens with a high school diploma
or GED and without a four-year degree. Tuition and books are
"Now that we are accredited, students can sit for the National
Certification Exam, which allows them to work anywhere in the United
States," Sumner said. "They also have an opportunity to be employed
and make a decent salary. The average pay in Oklahoma is $17.40 per
Mercy to operate Watonga hospital
WATONGA - The board of directors for Watonga Municipal Hospital
in Watonga has authorized a lease agreement with Mercy.
The agreement is effective July 1.
Under the terms of the agreement, Mercy will operate the hospital
as Mercy Hospital Watonga, while ownership will remain with the city
of Watonga. Mercy has managed the facility since July 2011.
The 25-bed hospital joins Mercy's family of rural facilities
including Valley View Regional Hospital in Ada, Mercy Hospital Love
County in Marietta and Mercy hospitals in Ardmore, El Reno,
Healdton, Logan County and Tishomingo.
Three members appointed to board
OKLAHOMA CITY - Judith Adams, Holli Witherington and Bill Sharp
have been appointed to the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and
Drug Counselors by Gov. Mary Fallin.
Adams, of Muskogee, is a psychologist and owns a family therapy
center. She also serves as an assistant professor at the University
of Oklahoma. Adams is a graduate of Concordia College in Morehead,
Minn., and has a master's degree from the University of Nevada Las
Vegas and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She is replacing
Rhonda Cochran and serving as a member from a list submitted by the
Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Professional Counselors Association.
Witherington, of Ada, is the executive director of the Brandon
Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery at East Central
University. She is also an adjunct professor at the university. She
received both a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's
degree in education from East Central University. Witherington is
replacing Kyle McGraw, who resigned, and was selected from a list
provided by the Oklahoma Citizens for Advocacy Recovery and
Sharp, of Oklahoma City, is the interim facility director and
director of behavioral health services at the Canadian County
Children's Justice Center. He is the president of the Oklahoma Drug
and Alcohol Professional Counselor's Certification Board. He earned
a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, a
master's in school administration and a master's in counseling
psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a master's
in clinical psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology from
the California School of Professional Psychology. He is replacing
Jane Lepak and will serve as a member of the Oklahoma Drug and
Alcohol Professional Counselor Association.
Parker named Mercy director of research
OKLAHOMA CITY - Gary Parker has been promoted to director of
clinical research in Mercy West communities.
Parker joined Mercy in 2005, serving as manager of research and
chairperson of the institutional review board.
In 2007, Parker received a Cherokee Inspirational Award for his
efforts to help clinic and emergency department co-workers recognize
signs of suicidal behavior. …