Grim Named Senior Director of Cherokee Nation Health Services
TAHLEQUAH, OK — The Cherokee Nation has named Dr. Charles Grim, a Cherokee citizen, as Senior Director of Health Services, a top-level leadership position for Health Services. Grim will assume the position effective Monday, March 2.
“Dr. Grim’s appointment adds another top health expert to our team,” said Melissa Gower, Group Leader for Cherokee Nation Health Services. “His services will help fulfill our vision of a happy and healthy people and help establish a center of healthcare excellence in northeastern Oklahoma.”
Grim, the first dentist to serve as Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), is an Assistant Surgeon General, and holds the rank of Rear Admiral in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service. As the Director of IHS he administered a nationwide health care delivery program totaling $4 billion, providing preventive, curative, and community health care to approximately 1.9 million American Indians.
Grim’s career spans more than 25 years in working with Indian people across the United States. During his time with IHS, he has traveled the world working on health issues affecting Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and the indigenous populations of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia.
“I’m very excited about being back home and bringing my experience to bear on the health care issues affecting the Cherokee Nation and the entire health care sector in Oklahoma,” Grim said. “Under Chief Chad Smith’s Administration and leadership, the Cherokee Nation has become one of the best health care systems in the nation and I’m very honored to have been chosen to serve in one of the leadership positions of this outstanding organization.”
In his recent capacity with IHS, Grim oversaw a workforce of approximately 15,500 employees consisting of approximately 2,600 nurses, 900 physicians, 90 physician assistants, 500 pharmacists, 300 dentists, 80 physical therapists, 120 social workers, and 70 psychologists.
In his new position with the Nation, Grim will provide leadership and direction for Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital as well as specialty services.
“I look forward to working with the communities we serve and the employees of W. W. Hastings to continuously improve and expand the level of health services we provide to our citizens and those of other tribal nations,” Grim said.