Q: How long have you been with Community Health Plan of Washington and what is your current role?
Osiyo! (Hello in Cherokee) I am Natalie Christopherson, from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
I was hired a little over two months ago to perform my dream job! I am the Tribal Liaison for CHPW, where I get to combine my education with my personal upbringing and interests to serve our tribal members. This role enables me to work with our CHCs, and other Indian Health Providers/Partners to connect our tribal members with quality healthcare and appropriate resources to ensure that whole-person care is extended to our tribal communities. This role also allows me the unique opportunity to assist all employees of CHPW with trainings, education, resources and any other information that will help them while working with tribal members. Although I am a remote worker, I am usually just a call or email away and I am ready to assist. I do not believe there is a stupid question; it takes quite a bit to offend me, so please feel free to reach out.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue a career in health care?
Like many, I chose a career in health care to help others. My background is in behavioral health and the juvenile justice system. As the Tribal Liaison, I will be able to continue to help the underserved populations and communities.
Q: As a newer CHPW employee, what has you excited about working here?
I’m excited to be part of an innovative company that values their employees. Through my onboarding process, I have spoken with so many employees that have been promoted within CHPW, which tells me that individuals, talents, skills and abilities are noticed, appreciated, and are being properly utilized.
Q: What is something you have recently learned or accomplished that you are proud of?
I never want to stop learning. If you stop learning, you stop growing. I have met those people… they are not fun! I’m currently working on becoming a Master Angler. To do this in Washington requires catching a state-record size fish. Once the catch is officially documented, you then are able to carry the title of Master for that species of fish. I am going for several titles! When I am not out making fish fear me, I have started classes to learn my native Cherokee language.
Q: What is your favorite season in the Pacific Northwest and why?
I live in the Columbia Basin, almost the center of the state, and we experience drastic season changes that are beautiful and enjoyable. My favorite season is spring… when the fishing season opens!