NHS Names New VP of Finance

NHS Names New VP of Finance

Northeastern Health System names Larry Stephens as the Vice President of Finance. Stephens, a native Oklahoman, earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oklahoma State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Stephens has more than 30 years of healthcare experience, with the last nine as the Chief Financial Officer of PMC, a health system in Shawnee, Oklahoma, that managed seven critical access hospitals. With most of his career serving hospitals, Stephens has developed considerable proficiency for understanding financial needs and meeting those requirements in an efficient and effective manner. He gained healthcare financial expertise while serving in the financial departments of Baptist, Deaconess and Midwest City hospitals. He is recognized for his auditing and analytical skills, gained by 10 years of accounting, as well as firm experience with EideBailly and Price Waterhouse. Stephens is an active member of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is married to Pam, his wife of 35 years. They have one grown child, Jessica, who is an accomplished cellist and conductor of music in Oklahoma City. Share...
NHS Volunteer Vera Freeman Receives Hearts of Gold Award

NHS Volunteer Vera Freeman Receives Hearts of Gold Award

Vera Freeman was the recipient of the Hearts of Gold Award, sponsored by the Tahlequah Hospital Auxiliary. Freeman grew up in Tahlequah where she and her five siblings lived with her paternal grandparents after her mother passed away when Freeman was only five years old. Freeman attended Sequoyah Elementary and Bagley High School in Tahlequah until her Sophomore year and then graduated from Chilocco Indian School in 1953. She began her college education at Northeastern State University and then graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree as a reading specialist from Emporia State University in Kansas. She married Reverend Patrick Freeman, a pastor with the United Methodist Church; and together, they raised three children, Courtney, Eric and Patrick Junior. Their ministry took them to several communities. It was in Lebo, Kansas, where Freeman began her first elementary teaching job before later teaching in Baldwin City, Kansas City, and for the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina where she retired in 1997. Over the 60 years that she and her husband were married, their family often returned home to Tahlequah where Freeman was pleased to note the changes and growth, both with the hospital and the city itself. Throughout her church ministries, Freeman would visit many hospitals, noticing the volunteers, thinking she might enjoy this service once she retired. Northeastern Health System is her third hospital in which to volunteer, and she believes saving the one in her hometown for last has been the best. She appreciates how the hospital continues to grow and the services provided to the community. She feels the hospital appreciates the work...
Dr. Brent Rotton Receives the McIntosh, Masters, Medearis Award

Dr. Brent Rotton Receives the McIntosh, Masters, Medearis Award

The McIntosh, Masters and Meadearis Award, sponsored by Carter Healthcare, was presented to Dr. Brent Rotton at the 13th Annual Hearts of Gold Gala. With a rich history of doctors in the family, including his parents whose careers in higher education were spent at Northeastern State University, along with his brother, Bruce, who is Chief of Surgery at W.W. Hastings Hospital, it was clear at an early age that Rotton wanted a career in medicine and followed in his older brother’s footsteps as a general surgeon. Rotton graduated with his Doctor of Osteopathy from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. He went on to complete his residency at Tulsa Regional Medical Center and joined his brother in practice in Missouri. After practicing for more than ten years, Rotton returned home to practice in Tahlequah as a specialist in general surgery where he could also participate in medical leadership. For the past six years, Rotton has served as Chief of Staff for Northeastern Health System. Sharing his knowledge with future medical professionals is important to him and why he serves as an adjunct clinical assistant professor of surgery at OSU. Rotton and his wife, Monica, who serves on the hospital’s foundation, have been married for 23 years. Together, they have two children, daughter, Kristy and son, Chet, and one grandson, Kash. Rotton cherishes his time with family and also enjoys the outdoors whether it be hunting, fishing or spending time at the lake. Active in the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association and the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, he still finds time to give back to the...
Nolan Receives Thompson Award

Nolan Receives Thompson Award

The Thompson Award, sponsored by Cherokee Nation Businesses, was presented to Dr. Doug Nolan for his instrumental role in Tahlequah’s healthcare history. Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but raised in Tahlequah, Nolan did not start out in the medical profession; rather, as a teacher at an area high school. Often encouraging his students to consider a medical career, he decided to follow his own advice with encouragement from his wife and sister, who is also a doctor. After graduating from Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he completed his residency in family practice and begin practicing at Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital. It is the patient interaction that Nolan most enjoys. He believes the delivery of health care today is more team based, which allows everyone to use their skills, gifts, and talents to provide the best care possible for the patient. His philosophy for practicing medicine remains steadfast: “treat the patient as if they were your family because they are someone’s family: father, mother, son or daughter.” Family is important to Nolan. He and his wife, Donnelle, have been married for 29 years and, together, they have raised four children: Ryan, Kyle, Ali, and Casey. They enjoy spending time together whether it be in Tahlequah or on the slopes enjoying their passion for snow skiing. Nolan believes that we would not be in the positions we are today without the people who provided the education for us in the past, and we have an obligation to pay that debt forward. Whether it be teaching his son how to play baseball or giving back professionally, Nolan has stepped up...
Turney Receives Dr. Mary Carlile Lifetime Achievement Award

Turney Receives Dr. Mary Carlile Lifetime Achievement Award

The Dr. Mary Culver Carlile Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Northeastern State University, was presented to Maurice Turney at the 13th Annual Hearts of Gold Gala. Born in Pryor, Oklahoma, Turney moved to Tahlequah at age four. While he has traveled the world, his heart always remained in Tahlequah. After graduating Bagley High School, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in math and education from then Northeastern State Teachers College and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston, while serving in the army for 14 months. Turney began his professional career with Conoco in 1948, and being under the age of 21, had to get parental approval before the company would issue him a paycheck. So, smartly, he waited until he was 21 before marrying his wife, Clarice; and this year, they celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary. Turney has lived in 12 different cities and traveled to seven different countries, even playing golf with two kings, but it’s safe to say that Tahlequah remains his favorite city … returning after retiring in 1985. With the decision to get involved in the community, his service and commitment have left a positive mark. He has served in leadership positions for First Baptist Church, is a 32-year member and officer in Kiwanis, a lifetime member of the Northeastern State University Alumni Association, a board member of the NSU Foundation, helping to raise money for scholarships and building projects, and a board member for the Tahlequah Hospital Foundation since its creation, as well as a board member for the Thompson House. Turney has served on the Tahlequah City...
Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart recipient, Shirley Johnson, recently joined LifeShare to visit with Northeastern Health System employees about organ donation. LifeShare and Johnson were invited to NHS as part of the hospital’s celebration of National Heart Month. According to LifeShare, more than 118,000 Americans are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants; more than 700 of them Oklahomans. Johnson began what she calls her, “God Support Journey,” with a 3:00 a.m. heart attack on June 20, 2016. “I was awakened by what felt like an extremely painful cramp between my shoulder blades,” remembered Johnson. “This was the third time in three days I had experienced discomfort between my shoulders. Having done yard work over the weekend, and no longer being a spring chicken, I figured it was just a muscle cramp. Boy was I wrong!” Johnson’s husband, DJ, drove her to the emergency room where she was quickly transported to St. Francis Heart Hospital and rushed to the catheterization lab. Johnson had what is known as a “Widow Maker,” due to her heart attack’s intensity, 100 percent artery blockage, and low national survival rate. “Problem solved…so we thought,” said Johnson. “From June to October I was hospitalized several times. I received medications, a pacemaker/defibrillator, and the heart team attempted catheter ablation in my heart, four times, with no success due to 16 scars discovered in my heart.” Johnson’s condition quickly deteriorated, however her faith was increasing daily. “My faith was on fire! I felt God with me as I endured difficult procedures and had to make life decisions,” said Johnson. “Little did I know, I was about to become part of a miracle...