TVLSE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill and Secretary of Health Shawn Terry announced the appointment of Colonel Lance Frye, M.D. as the first surgeon general to serve the Nation.
Col. Frye, in his capacity as MCN Surgeon General will provide Muscogee (Creek) citizens, other natives, and non-natives that reside within the Muscogee Reservation the best information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.
According to Secretary Terry, the COVID-19 virus showed the Department of Health the benefit of introducing a General Surgeon to the Nation.
“Dr. Frye’s credentials speak for themselves,” Terry said. “As our surgeon general, Dr. Frye will focus on mobilizing our citizens to be active participants in their health and well-being, focusing on public health issues such as obesity, tobacco cessation, mental health, substance abuse disorders, nutrition and a number of other initiatives.”
By creating a surgeon general post, the Tribe is seeking to further enhance coordination with federal and state partners in the shared commitment to improve the quality of life and lengthen the lifespan of Creek citizens and all Oklahomans.
“The health of our citizens and the communities we serve are of utmost importance to my administration,” Chief Hill said. “The implementation of this new role within our Department of Health further reflects this commitment.”
Dr. Frye will play the same role as the U.S. Surgeon General does on the national level.
His background includes tribal citizenship with the Choctaw Nation, current state air surgeon and senior medial officer for the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Most recently, Dr. Frye OB-GYN served as the Oklahoma Commissioner of Health. During his tenure as the state’s health commissioner, Frye led the pandemic response for the state.
It was tribe’s commitment to improving health care options for rural communities that interested Dr. Frye.
“This dedication was clearly evident during the pandemic,” Frye said. “I am proud to be a part of this innovative and progressive team, and look forward to building and implementing programs that lead to many healthy generations to come.”
The announcement took place at the Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare Center.