The Cherokee Nation released a statement Monday stating that after a review, John Baker, the son of Principal Chief Bill John Baker, was the nurse involved.
John Baker resigned from his position on May 1, officials said.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker has asked Dr. Charles Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A, executive director of Cherokee Nation Health Services and former director of the United States Indian Health Service, to lead a panel to review these events, evaluate best practices and improve medication administration procedures at Cherokee Nation Health Services. Chief Baker has recused himself from this matter to ensure the independence of this review.
- Cherokee Nation officials via statement
Cherokee Nation health officials said they made contact with all 186 potentially affected patients and 118 have returned for testing, officials said.
Officials said none of the 118 have shown any signs of exposure.
I am deeply saddened by these events and my heart aches for everyone involved.
As a father, it is difficult to witness my son experiencing the pain caused by his actions. His decision to pursue a career in service to others continues to fill me with pride to this day. John’s honesty, cooperation and acceptance of responsibility is representative of his values and the quality of man that he is.
As Chief of this great nation I know that no one is exempt from the rules.
Rules and procedures throughout our nation apply to everyone equally. That is most certainly the case here. I want to strongly encourage anyone who sees wrongdoing of any kind throughout our nation to know their voice will be heard and their concerns will be properly addressed.
I’m grateful for the health care workers who helped identify this lapse and their continued service to Cherokee Nation Health Services and the patients they care for.
- Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Along with Dr. Grim, several other health care professionals with serve and report findings in August to Cherokee National Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden.
In a statement to 2 Works for You, John Baker has deeply apologized for his actions.
I, John Baker, RN, am deeply sorry that my actions have caused such anxiety to these families.
When I understood that I may not have been following proper procedures, I immediately began working with health care professionals to identify any mistakes that may have been made and cooperated in every possible way and then I resigned. I love caring for patients and would never knowingly put anyone at risk. My late mother was a nurse and I feel as though I inherited her passion for caring for others.
I believe I was called to the nursing profession and I hope to serve patients with the same concern and compassionate care as she did, and I’ve always hoped she would be proud of the man I am. She and my father always taught me to take responsibility for my actions.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that God offers us all grace and forgiveness and can redeem any situation for the good. God has certainly used this to teach me more humility. I have faith that God will use this situation to improve the care at Cherokee Health systems.
Even though the chances of anyone ever being medically impacted by this are extremely remote, I’ve earnestly prayed night after night for all involved; I pray God’s best for you all.