Cherokee Nation Public Health Leader Given National Honor


Published September 30, 2016

Cherokee Nation Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec was honored Sept. 21 by the National Indian Health Board with an area impact award.

Cherokee Nation Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec was honored Sept. 21 by the National Indian Health Board with an area impact award.

TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation’s Senior Director of Public Health Lisa Pivec was honored with an area impact award by the National Indian Health Board earlier this month.

The NIHB honored Pivec for advancing American Indian health in Indian Country during an awards dinner September 21, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Our investments in public health are an investment in the future of the Cherokee Nation, and no issue has been more important under Chief Bill John Baker’s administration than quality health care for Cherokee people,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The tribe and our citizens are fortunate that we have talented and dedicated professionals like Lisa Pivec who continue to push that mission and create programs that are second to none.”

Pivec, a Cherokee Nation citizen, has worked for the Cherokee Nation for more than 25 years.

“Pivec and her team at Healthy Nation, the Cherokee Nation’s public health arm, are now the first accredited tribal public health department,” NIHB officials said in a statement of her award. “This task is no small accomplishment and represents thousands of hours of work, coordination and no small amount of perseverance. Pivec’s hard work and dedication to public health accreditation is leading the way for Oklahoma and all of Indian Country.”

Under Pivec’s leadership, the Cherokee Nation’s public health office in August became the first tribe in the country to receive accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. Fewer than 200 public health agencies nationally have earned the title in the past five years.

“The opportunity to serve, contribute and be part of my community is an honor. Receiving this award from those I respect across Indian Country fills me with gratitude and hope,” Pivec said. “There are so many heroes working across the country, giving back to ensure we remain a thriving and powerful sovereign Nation for centuries to come. Cherokee Nation is my home, my family, and I am grateful to those who have walked before to pave the way. My grandparents and mother provided a foundation for me to contribute to, and I hope we can all see our role in serving our great Nation.”

The Cherokee Nation’s public health department has worked on initiatives such as Zika Virus preparedness planning, launching community walking groups, funding school community gardens, implementing a cancer tumor registry database and conducting research with universities on things such as triggers for childhood asthma.

The tribe’s public health also sponsors 5K races and operates a gym with certified public health trainers for numerous Cherokee Nation citizens and employees for free to promote a healthier lifestyle.

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