TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Cherokee Nation Principal Chief-elect Chuck Hoskin Jr. today announced the selection of Martha Ketcher as the tribe’s health senior advisor and Michael Lynn as executive director of Community Services.
Ketcher spent 30 years with Indian Health Service and returned to the Cherokee Nation as executive director of Community Services in June 2018. As health senior advisor, Ketcher will work with the largest tribal health system in the country, which sees more than 1.3 million patient visits per year in its eight health centers and W.W. Hastings Hospital.
“Martha Ketcher provided strong leadership in Community Services, raising the profile and its various programs and building a strong sense of teamwork among the staff,” Chief-elect Hoskin said. “Now, the dramatic growth of our health system calls for her expertise there.”
Ketcher is a graduate of Northeastern State University where she received a bachelor’s in accounting and business administration. She also received a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
As executive director of Cherokee Nation Community Services, Ketcher managed a $173 million annual budget, coordinated regional planning and funding, and worked to integrate a broad range of tribal services across the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county area.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve my tribal nation as senior advisor for health programs,” Ketcher said. “Any previous position I have held throughout my career within the health field the last 31 years with IHS, including my early years where I served as an accountant for Cherokee Nation, will serve me well in preparation for senior advisor. I’m eager to participate in the new endeavors and the promising collaborations.”
Lynn is a graduate of Northeastern State University, where he received a bachelor’s in business administration accountancy. He has been employed with the Cherokee Nation since 1995, serving as director of the Department of Transportation since 2003. As director, Lynn was accountable for an annual budget of more than $60 million, managing all road and bridge planning and construction, and administering public transit and transportation activities.
“We are fortunate to find talent within Community Services to lead the department’s vital work,” Chief-elect Hoskin said. “Michael Lynn has the expertise as well as the strong internal and external working relationships needed for the department to thrive.”
Lynn currently serves as the chairman of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Tribal Advisory Board, as chairman of the Oklahoma Tribal Transportation Council, and as vice president of the Grand View Public School Board in Cherokee County.
“I am honored to serve in this capacity and look forward to continuing the great work that Cherokee Nation does for its citizens and communities,” Lynn said. “Community Services has an excellent team that I have worked with for a number of years, and I am excited to lead a department that has the opportunity to touch so many lives.”
Cherokee Nation Community Services includes the tribe’s Department of Transportation, engineering and sanitation programs, environmental health, Cherokee Nation transit, Tsa-La-Gi Apartments in Sallisaw, and youth and adult services.