Fifteen years ago, I began a journey that turned out to be one of the most delightful adventures that I could have ever imagined. I was given the opportunity to serve the Chickasaw Nation as a Legislator in the Pontotoc District, Seat 2. Monday, June 1, 2009, I will step down from that position to assume a leadership role in the Chickasaw Nation Health System as administrator. Ironically, my first official duty as a legislator was to attend the ceremonial passing of the keys from Indian Health Service to the Chickasaw Nation when we acquired the responsibility for running our own health system. Another irony is that my father also was a hospital administrator.
Under the leadership of Mr. Bill Lance, our health system has grown into one of the most forward thinking, highly achieving health care systems in Indian country. I have some pretty big shoes to fill, and I feel confident that Bill will continue to work with me as I transition into this new role.
My father and I are pictured in my last Legislative article with one of my early day campaign photos. I have included that same picture in my blog. My father went to be with the Lord three years ago. He was always my watcher during my campaigns. I am sure that he is watching over my shoulder even now as I begin this new adventure. Thank you all for your support, and for your continued support as I begin this new job. I will work to serve the Chickasaw Nation in this new capacity and look forward to meeting your health care needs in the future.
Truthfully, it was a difficult decision to leave my legislative seat. I loved my service to the Chickasaw Nation. You are after all, the unconquered and unconquerable Chickasaw Nation. I do believe that my role as administrator will be a continued service to you in a different capacity. I look forward to the challenges as we navigate through some of the challenges that lay ahead. I am not leaving. I am just changing locations.
Judy Goforth Parker, PhD, RN
Chickasaw Nation Health System, Administrator