Cherokee Chief's Son Identified As Nurse Involved In HIV/Hep C Scare

Monday, June 18th 2018, 5:26 pm
By: News On 6

The Cherokee Nation said the nurse they say administered medication incorrectly at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah earlier this year was the son of the principal chief.

John Baker, son of Chief Bill John Baker, is no longer employed by the tribe. A release says he resigned May 1, 2018.

The "lapse in protocol" caused 186 people to possibly be exposed to HIV and Hepatitis C. The Cherokee Nation said they've all been contacted, and 118 have been tested.  All results have shown no exposure so far.

Hospital CEO Brian Hail said Baker used the same vial of medication and syringe to inject more than one IV bag. Patients were never directly in contact with the needle, he told News On 6.

6/11/2018 Related Story: Cherokee Nation: Nurse Involved In HIV, Hep C Scare No Longer Employed

6/10/2018 Related Story: Cherokee Nation Recommends 186 Patients Be Tested For HIV And Hep C

The Cherokee Nation has created a panel to investigate what happened - and what happens next.

Chief Baker asked Dr. Charles Grim, executive director of Cherokee National Health Services and former director of United States Indian Health Services to lead the panel. 

"Integrity, service and exceptional care are the core values of our remarkable health system," Grim said. "Cherokees deserve to have confidence that when they visit one of our facilities they will receive the highest quality care available and that our employees will adhere to best practices."

Other health care professionals on the panel include Christine Neuhoff, the current system vice president and chief legal officer for St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho; Rebecca Shepherd, former multidepartment nurse manager, Emergency and Urgent Care Departments, W.W. Hastings Hospital; and Dr. Seth Yandell, Chief of Hospitalist Department, W.W. Hastings Hospital.

A release says Chief Baker has recused himself to ensure the independence of the review and that the panel will report findings to Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden.

You can read statements from Chief Baker and his son below: