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HomeHealthShaw elected President Elect of Association of American Indian Physicians

Shaw elected President Elect of Association of American Indian Physicians


Shannon Shaw Duty

Osage Congressman and medical doctor, Ron Shaw, was recently elected the President Elect for the Association of American Indian Physicians.

Shaw, who is also the medical director for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, will serve as President Elect for one year of his three-year term. The following year he will serve as President, and in his third year he will serve as Immediate Past President. He said his first goal is to improve the level of health care for Natives and increase the number of Native American health professionals.

“I would say it’s a chance to build upon skills I’ve developed and acquired serving over the last year as an Osage congressman. That’s what gave me the notion I could occupy and successfully complete such a role for the association,” Shaw said. “I respect a lot of the work we do in the congress; it’s orderly, methodical, I want to bring those same best practices to the AAIP. We have business to conduct, issues to discuss.”

According to the AAIP website, AAIP is a nonprofit based in Oklahoma City and conducts educational forums, workshops and hosts conferences throughout the year in different regions of the United States.  

AAIP’s membership is made up of American Indian and Alaska Native physicians who are at least 1/8 American Indian or Alaskan Native, and who are licensed to practice medicine in the United States, according to the website. AAIP also offers an affiliate level membership for American Indian or Alaskan Native physicians who are unable to meet the 1/8 blood quantum requirement.

Shaw said he’s been involved with AAIP since the 70s. Currently, AAIP has around 2,200 Native physician members and about 450 active members.

“We were thinking about how many Osage physicians we have the other day, that we know of, and there is Cameron Rumsey, Moira Red Corn, Patrick Tinker,” he said. “Dr. [Robert] Chesbro is Choctaw, he will be working with us at the Osage clinic.”

Shaw, who is from the Grayhorse District, was instrumental in the Nation’s recent compact with the Indian Health Service for the Pawhuska clinic. He has also served on the Nation’s Health Advisory/Authority Boards since the Jim Gray administration. 

Being the medical director for the Citizen Potawatomi has given him an inside look at what a IHS-compacted clinic looks like and functions. The Citizen Potawatomi has had a compact with IHS since the 90s, he said. They have nine providers, a full-time psychiatrist, two separate clinics, cardiology clinic and a behavioral health department, he said.

“We do in-house X-ray, mammography and ultrasound. We do a lot of stuff here, I would love to see us have these services in the not-too-distant future for the Pawhuska health center,” he said.

According to AAIP, a major goal is to motivate Native students to pursue a career in the health professions or biomedical research, thereby increasing the number of Native medical professionals in the workforce.

“Health professionals affiliated with AAIP can also be a network for consultants working with Indian populations, it is a vast resource of experience and knowledge,” Shaw said. “Short of our annual conference every year, we need to figure out how to disseminate that method and branch out to those looking for that information.” 

Original Publish Date: 2015-08-18 00:00:00

Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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