District Environmental Health Officer
In 2002, Chris Buchanan came to the Oklahoma City Area Indian Health Service (OCAIHS) with nearly twelve years of public health service experience. Since coming to the OCAIHS Lawton Service Unit, he has served as Field Sanitarian, Service Unit Environmental Health Officer, Health Center Director, and District Environmental Health Officer. He currently serves as the District Injury Prevention Specialist providing environmental health and injury prevention services to the Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Delaware, Fort Sill Apache, Kiowa, Kickapoo of Texas, and Wichita, Tribes. In addition, he provides injury prevention assistance to tribes throughout the OCAIHS and serves in many administrative positions both locally and nationally.
A member of the Seminole Nation and a native of
Chris received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from
What I Learned at EPHLI
The Oklahoma Environmental Health Communication Project (OEHCP) has created working connections with the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSHD), Oklahoma Division of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), and County Health Departments. Working with these agencies has created a relationship with Indian Health Service and tribal governments that will continue long after the project has been completed and could be used as a model for others to follow. Not only have contacts been made with agency personnel, but a better understanding of the challenges affecting each environmental health agency. This project has been a truly rewarding experience.
When a project such as the OEHCP is a success, the credit starts with planning and coordination of each member of the team and all participants associated with EPHLI and CDC. This fellowship process has been the result of excellent planning and realistic scheduling resulting in an informative and smooth operation. The EHPLI and CDC have an outstanding model to follow next year and a template for other fellows to utilize.