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Muscogee Nation appoints Lance Frye in new Surgeon General role

Lance Frye
Lance Frye will step into the role as surgeon general for Muscogee Nation

Former Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Lance Frye has now stepped into the newly created role of Surgeon General for Muscogee Nation.

Frye was appointed as Oklahoma's health commissioner in May 2020, right as the pandemic was gripping the state. Last fall, Frye resigned, following Republican outrage over the health department issuing a nonbinary birth certificate. Fry maintains that was not the reason he stepped down.

In his new role for Muscogee Nation, the Choctaw citizen and OB-GYN will be overseeing public health for Native and non-Native citizens that reside within the Muscogee Nation's boundaries and use the tribal nation's health services.

Frye's appointment comes after Muscogee nation's multi-million dollar investment last summer to take on the former Cancer Treatment Center of America facility in Tulsa.

“The tribes have always been committed to improving the lives of not only their citizens but all Oklahomans. This dedication was clearly evident during the pandemic response,” said Frye. “I am proud to be a part of this innovative and progressive team, and I look forward to building and implementing programs that lead to many healthy generations to come.”

The newly created role comes after the tribal nation made significant investments in mental; and behavioral health for residents and opening the new Council Oak facility in Tulsa.

Muscogee Nation said that Frye will help give, "the best information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury."

The tribal nation said that by creating the new role, it will be better able to coordinate with federal and state health agencies when it comes to public health.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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