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Press Release

Release Date: July 24, 2020
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

ADA, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation Family Medicine Residency Program recently honored students who had completed year intervals of service with the Chickasaw Nation.

Among the health professionals marking a year of hands-on graduate learning with the Chickasaw Nation in June were Dr. Jaspreet Kaur, Dr. Alexander J. Risenhoover, Dr. Dylan D. Smith and Dr. Ying Tang. All are now entering their second year of residency.

Dr. Pamela K. Grafton, Dr. Jacob J. Hollenbeck, Dr. Jason D. Johnson and Dr. Denise S. Nguyen completed two years of service and are now approaching their final year. These residents have played a special role in the history of the program, being the first group admitted into the program.

Chickasaw Nation Family Medical Residency advisers are Dr. Eric Beaver, Dr. Marilyn Hines, Dr. Ryan Davis and Dr. Kelly Roberts.

Davis, director for the family residency program, said he wanted to acknowledge the students’ achievements.

The newest batch of residents recently started their journey with the Chickasaw Nation, some of them having just arrived to Ada from cross-country relocations. They included Dr. Tony Wallen, Dr. Ana Phan, Dr. Eric Harris and Dr. Kenneth Smith.

Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Health Dr. Charles Grim offered a message of appreciation to the residency students via video teleconference.

“I want to applaud all of you for coming into a rural residency program. Primary care providers are in great need in rural parts of America and Oklahoma,” Grim said. “I want you all to know we’re glad to have you here. We all believe in you, we all trust you, and we’re so glad to be celebrating the two-year anniversary. I look forward to seeing you in the hallways and maybe in meetings in the future. Good luck.”

He said residency students in the program are well positioned to learn about rural medicine, serving different cultures and populations as well as about the social determinants of health.

“The need is great across the country. So, I think your future is bright. We want to give you one of the best experiences we can,” Grim said.

After launching in 2018, the Chickasaw Nation Family Medicine Residency Program has maintained a reputation of offering compassionate and quality health care out of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center (CNMC). It joined the Chickasaw Nation Pharmacy Residency Program, which began in 2008, in bringing talented new groups of doctors and pharmacists to assist with medical needs in the Chickasaw Nation.

The Chickasaw Nation’s residency program provides excellent opportunities for residents to grow, both professionally and personally, on the hospital floor working and learning with evidenced-based medicine. This prepares residents for careers as family practitioners.

The residency program has both economic and social benefits for the community. Graduates of medical residency programs tend to establish a practice or become active providers where they have trained.

It also promotes the high standard of health care already established at the medical center.

Students interested in fulfilling their residency within the expanding number of health facilities, programs and services of the Chickasaw Nation can visit

From this webpage, visitors will find links to criteria and applications, as well as information regarding curriculum, facilities, faculty and staff, salary, benefits and the community surrounding the CNMC.

“We are a state-of-the-art hospital in a rural setting with the skills, knowledge and technology necessary to be successful. We provide residents with excellent opportunities to grow, both professionally and personally,” Davis explained.

He said with a solid foundation of ambulatory training, the program allows residents to take responsibility for the care of patients of all ages who have broad ranges of acute problems and chronic diseases, with an emphasis on maternity, behavioral health and preventative care.

Each academic year, four first-year resident positions are offered. The Chickasaw Nation Department of Health only accepts applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and participates annually in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

Tessa Ray, residency coordinator, said July is typically the peak of recruiting for the program.