The Osage Nation Health Authority (ONHA) was enacted by the Osage Nation Congress through Bill Number ONCA 11-116 on September 30, 2011 and approved by Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle on October 5, 2011. It is the governing board responsible for consolidating and implementing the organizational structure of the Osage Nation Health & Wellness Division. It is organized to make decisions regarding the operations of all services and facilities of the Osage Nation Health & Wellness Division. And provide a framework for planning, direction, coordinating, delivering, and improving health services that are responsive to the community and patient needs and that improves patient care outcomes.
ONHAB consists of five (5) members who are appointed by the Principal Chief with the advice and consent of the Osage Nation Congress. The ONHAB membership must include at least three (3) enrolled Osage tribal members. All board members will serve a term of three (3) years. At the present time, one board position is currently open.
Mike Bristow, Board Member
Michael Bristow is a speech-language pathologist employed at the Encompass Home Health, Inc. in Tulsa. Mr. Bristow received his Bachelor of Science biology degree at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah; and completed his Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology degree also at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah. He is a licensed Oklahoma Board of Examiner for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
Dr. Patrick Tinker, Chairman
Dr. Tinker is a cardiologist practicing in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He did his undergraduate studies at University of Texas, Austin and received his doctor of medicine degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1978. He did his residency in medicine at Union University in Albany NY, where he served as chief resident, then finished his postdoctoral fellowship in cardiology at New York University School of Medicine in 1983. He established a private practice of cardiology in Bartlesville in 1983 and is a founding partner of BlueStem Cardiology.
Dr. Tinker is a member of the Osage Tribe and is an elder in the Deer clan, Pawhuska district. He is active in the Native American Church, serving as fireman in the Jennie Gray Chapter, and participates in the annual En Lon Schka ceremonial dances. He has three grown children (Molly Williams, Philip Tinker and Isabel Affinito), and one grandson (Jake Williams). He is chairman of the Pastoral Council of the St James Catholic Church in Bartlesville and serves as co-chair of the Osage Nation Health Authority.
Dr. Tinker is son of Bill and Twyla DeMoss Tinker, both natives of Pawhuska, now living in Bartlesville. His paternal grandparents were N. A. "Alec" and Nadine Tinker of Pawhuska. His great-uncle Major General Clarence L. Tinker, for whom Tinker Air Force Base was named, was killed in action in WWII.
Cecelia Tallchief, Treasurer
Cecelia Tallchief (Osage) and her family have been lifelong residents of Grayhorse and have a distinguished history of Osage tribal leadership. The late John Tallchief and Charles Tallchief, Cecelia’s father and brother respectively, both served on the Osage Minerals Council. Cecelia served as an Osage National Council member in the mid- to late 1990s. Cecelia graduated from Fairfax High School, received an Associate Nursing degree from Northern Oklahoma College, and a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree (BSN/RN) from Pittsburg State. Ms. Tallchief has spent many years in the healthcare industry with experience in administrative, clinical, and community services. She also completed a three-year Tribal Management training program planning.
Following are current and past relevant experience:
- Osage Nation Council member
- Board Chair, Osage Nation Enterprises
- Osage Home Health
- Regional Representative American Red Cross
- Advisory Board American Nurses Association
- Pawnee Service Unit Health Board
- Oklahoma Area Indian Health Board member
- Osage Nation Health Authority Board member
- Claremore Health Board
- New Mexico Indian Nurses Association Board of Directors
- President, Native American-Native Alaskan Indian Nurses Association, 2009-2011
Cecelia states, “The issue of healthcare has always been near and dear to my heart. As a Nation, we must try to improve healthcare for future generations through better programs and legislation designed to facilitate these goals.”
Nancy Keil, Board Member
Nancy Keil, a member of the Osage Nation, began her career in 1978 as a Supply Clerk at the Pawnee Indian Hospital. Shortly thereafter she was transferred to the Contract Health department and worked in medical records as a technician within what was the Pawnee Indian Health Clinic. Related work experiences include: billing, coding, third party claims and accounts receivable. Mrs. Keil spent a large portion of her career as the Contact Representative in which she worked closely with the Pawnee Benefit Package program and the Contract Health program to assist patients with eligibility for health services. She also served in a supervisory capacity for these programs. Mrs. Keil has received multiple awards during her career including the Superior Work Award, Outstanding Work Award and a 30 year Service Award from the Oklahoma City Area Indian Health Service. She retired from IHS in 2008. In 2014 she was appointed by Chief Scott Bighorse to the Osage Nation Health Authority Board where she remains thankful for the opportunity to serve.
Bill Thorne, Board Member
Bill Thorne (Cherokee Nation) has more than 30 years experience as a chief operating official in governmental, private, and non-profit corporations. Currently, Mr. Thorne is the Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center Administrator, a JCAHO ambulatory facility, in Mayetta, KS. In the past, Mr. Thorne also served as CEO of the Acoma-Canoncito-Laguna (ACL) Service Unit of the Indian Health Service in Acoma, NM and as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix for 24 years. He received his MBA from Oklahoma City University.