|CNB makes $1.5 million special payment to Cherokee Nation Contract Health Services|
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Contract Health Services received a dividend check for $1.51 million at Monday night’s Tribal Council meeting thanks to the April sale of Cherokee Nation Businesses’ corporate plane.
Authorized by Cherokee Nation Businesses’ board of directors, the check represented the proceeds from the sale of CNB’s C-90B Raytheon King Air, which sold for almost $300,000 more than its estimated net book value.
“We’re going to help a lot of our people with the money from that plane,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “The Cherokee government is here to serve the Cherokee people and basic needs like the services provided by contract health are an obvious place to start.”
Cherokee Nation’s health services are administered in two ways. Federally-funded programs are earmarked for specific programs and procedures. Money designated for those programs cannot be redirected in any way. Self-funded Cherokee Nation contract health services, however, are more flexible in the types of services and items covered, giving the tribe discretion in how to best meet its citizens’ needs.
“Contract health is one of the most important ways we serve the Cherokee people,” Baker said. “That’s how we fill much needed gaps that are not covered by federal funding.”
This is the second funding increase for contract health since Baker has taken office. In November, Baker signed the health care dividend act, which authorized an additional 5 percent of casino profits be directed specifically to contract health programs.
“I’ve made health care a top priority of my administration,” Baker said. “Ensuring our people have access to good health care ensures a better quality of life for all. It’s my hope that these types of changes leave a lasting legacy on our people.”