The Osage Nation Health Authority Board met in a closed emergency session on Feb. 7 and voted to approve a job description for a chief executive officer at the WahZhaZhe Health Clinic.
The board postponed reviewing and approving a job description for the clinic’s chief medical officer, a post from which Dr. Amanda Bighorse announced last week she would resign.
Bighorse’s predecessor at the clinic, Dr. Ron Shaw, performed both the CEO and CMO jobs.
Bighorse took over as CMO on July 1 last year, and she has since come under fire from some patients, medical providers, nurses and technicians for her management skills.
At least three medical providers – one doctor and two nurse practitioners – have left since Bighorse took over and none had kind words for her when interviewed by the Osage News in preparation for an upcoming article.
Two of the providers, Dr. Trudy Milner and nurse practitioner Kim Holt, were the clinic’s most productive. Holt alone was responsible for billing more than $4 million to Medicare, Medicaid insurance in fiscal 2020 and Milner billed nearly $2 million, according to data the clinic released Feb. 4 in response to an open records request. Overall, the clinic billed about $6.9 million to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance in fiscal 2020. Both Milner and Holt moved on; Milner is now working for Ascension St. John in Tulsa and Holt for the White Eagle Clinic near Ponca City.
Before the Feb. 7 meeting began, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear told the health board that he is getting quizzed about the clinic including at the funeral that morning of former Chief Charles Tillman.
“A lot of people are talking about it and wanting to know what we’re doing,” he said. “I’m saying, well, the board’s meeting this afternoon. That seemed to satisfy everybody.”
The approved job description for the chief executive officer now goes to the human resources division for a market study to determine how much the Nation should pay a new CEO.