, Muskogee, OK

January 25, 2013

Pay boost coming for Cherokee health workers

— TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation is raising salaries for more than 200 employees at its eight health centers and W.W. Hastings Hospital to better compete with urban areas for health care professionals, a media release states.

Nurse practioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, doctors and dentists working in Cherokee Nation health facilities on average will see an 11 percent pay increase   phased into their paychecks Feb. 10.

The pay increase — a $5 million impact — is part of a comprehensive plan by Principal Chief Bill John Baker, the Tribal Council and health administrators to improve quality in and access to tribally operated health facilities. New and expanded Cherokee Nation health centers also are in the works.

The Tribal Council was not required to vote on the salary increase.

Money for the raises will come from the health division’s operating budget.