Tom Price Visits Cherokee Nation One Week Before Resigning as HHS Secretary

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Director Connie Davis visit during a tour of the tribe’s W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah.

Published September 30, 2017

TAHLEQUAH — Tom Price resigned on Friday as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary after it was diclosed he illegally used private jets while secretary. Politico broke one week ago on Friday. During this past week, more evidence emerged that Price’s continued use of chartered jets cost the taxpayers more than $400.000. On Thursday it was revealed the White House approved flights for Price on military plances to Europe, Asia and Africa that cost taxpayers in excess of $500,000.

His resignation comes a week after Price visited the Cherokee Nation on September 20 and 21, 2017.

“Anytime you can show leaders in Washington who you are and what your needs are, it has a lasting impact,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “The visit by Secretary Price opened new dialogue by allowing us to be more visible and talk about a priority we both share – curbing the opioid crisis in America and in Indian Country.”

The visit to Cherokee Nation included a tour of its tribally operated hospital, the construction site of its outpatient health facility (which when opened will be the largest tribal health center in the country), the Cherokee Immersion Charter School, the Jack Brown Youth Treatment Center and the Cherokee Veterans Center.

“It was an honor to meet with the Cherokee Nation, and we so greatly appreciate their hospitality on what was a remarkable visit to Indian Country,” Price said last week. “We enjoyed a positive and productive exchange of ideas, and we had the privilege of learning more about the health care facilities that are helping and will help improve the health and well-being of so many. The visit afforded us the opportunity to highlight the partnership that is vital to addressing the needs and concerns of the Cherokee Nation – particularly the opioid crisis, which is a scourge that knows no boundaries. It was inspiring to hear how the Cherokee Nation is helping lead the way in addressing this challenge.”

It is not known if he flew on a chartered plane on his visit to Oklahoma.



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