Cherokee Nation giving pay raises to health care employees

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Hundreds of Cherokee Nation employees will see more money on their paychecks beginning next month.

The tribe announced Friday more than 200 employees at eight health centers and W. W. Hastings Hospital will receive raises to better compete with urban areas for health care professionals.

Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, doctors and dentists working at Cherokee Nation facilities will see on average an 11 percent pay increase beginning Feb. 10.

The raises are part of a plan by Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Tribal Council and health administrators to improve quality and access to tribally-operated health facilities.

"I am committed to providing quality health care services to Cherokee Nation citizens," Baker said. "That starts with hiring and retaining talented health care providers.

The plan also includes new and expanded health centers that are already in the works.

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