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Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center seeking applicants for optometrist


Benny Polacca

The Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center is seeking an optometrist to oversee the eye clinic’s functions.

Current optometrist Dr. Marshall Walker announced his resignation effective April 27, said Dr. Ron Shaw who is CEO of the WHC in Pawhuska. In the meantime, the optometrist position is being advertised.

A job posting for the optometrist position is now listed on the Osage Nation website under “Osage Nation Government – Available Positions.”

On March 15, Shaw told the ON Health Authority Board he was informed Walker has accepted another job in Stillwater where he currently lives. Walker started working for the WHC in November 2015 after the Nation entered into an Indian Health Service compact agreement and the clinic received its rebranded name. 

Shaw said the optometry clinic had a “bare bones staff” with Walker, an unfilled assistant position, and an office staffer and said there are still plans to hire an optometry technician to assist the next optometrist with duties including eye screenings. “As soon as we get that next person lined up to hire, we’re going to repost the optometry tech position… to have someone do the screenings and it will be more efficient.”

Clinic Manager Paula Stabler also told the health board new optometry equipment that had been ordered has gone through delays in the order processing that’s lasted a year and the order is coming from overseas.

During the 2017 Hun-Kah Session, the Fifth ON Congress approved $516,000 for new up-to-date optometry and X-ray equipment in the clinic. The money was appropriated to the Nation’s Capital Asset and Improvement Fund.  

On a related note, Stabler said the clinic’s dental department is awaiting custom-built patient chairs that were ordered. The clinic purchased a new dental 3-D X-ray machine, which arrived in March and staff underwent training on using the machine, she said.   

According to the optometrist job posting, the hired person must have a Doctor of Optometry degree; current/ unrestricted license to practice in Oklahoma and at least two years of clinic work experience.

Original Publish Date: 2018-04-06 00:00:00


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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