Oklahoma Magazine recently named Lauren Bristow, Director of Clinical Operations for Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, as one of the Top 40 Young Professionals in Oklahoma. The publication recognizes 40 people annually who “go beyond what is expected” and have a positive impact on their communities and the state as a whole.
“I was so surprised and humiliated that I was even considered,” said Bristow.
Since joining CPN’s workforce in Fall 2019, she has served on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. She worked closely with fellow CPNHS executives to organize COVID-19 testing and vaccination campaigns while helping the tribe’s clinics keep operations going.
“It is certainly a change from the daily health business, which is constantly evolving anyway,” said Bristow. “It was a challenge, but I couldn’t ask for a better team. We have an absolutely great team. “
When the COVID-19 vaccines first became available, it proved difficult for some people to find ways to get a vaccination. A native of Pottawatomie County, a native of Pottawatomie County, will enjoy the opportunity their careers offer to help the nation serve their fellow citizens and the community at large.
“It was incredibly touching,” said Bristow. “We’ve had seniors struggling to find a vaccine that just completely broke down and it’s heartbreaking to see that. … But we could help them.
“There were also tribesmen from Texas, Mississippi, and Colorado who were very grateful to the tribe for access.”
Bristow provides key management and oversight to keep CPN’s two clinics, imaging center, chiropractic and more running smoothly.
“It’s important to understand how each position affects the bigger picture. It is important to know what your receptionist is doing, what your office, your medical team is doing – all of these things are necessary for a clinic to run, ”she explained.
Reducing Native American health inequalities, supporting philanthropic endeavors, and ensuring that their children carry on the Potawatomi culture are some of Bristow’s primary passions.
“I was raised to honor my heritage and to understand my heritage, so it is important to me that (my children) can see this. … I feel like I’m honoring my family, ”she said.
Bristow enjoys learning beading techniques with her daughter and hopes that their two children will continue the Toupin family’s tradition of reciprocity.
“I am very honored to be able to give something back to my tribe,” she said. “My grandparents were very involved, so I’m very honored to be able to influence my tribal community and the community I grew up in, even Shawnee as a whole.”
Check out all of this year’s 40 under 40 nominees at cpn.news/u40 and learn more about CPNHS at cpn.news/clinics.