Tag Archives: Bill Donovan

11/19/2011 Navajo Times: Top doc Diné medical doctor hired to develop 10-year wellness plan

11/19/2011 Navajo Times: Top doc Diné medical doctor hired to develop 10-year wellness plan By Bill Donovan, Special to the Times: The Navajo Nation once again has a top doctor. Dr. Gayle Diné Chacon reported for duty as the medical adviser and chief medical officer to the Division of Health, where she will help the tribe develop long-term strategies to restore the people to good health. She will provide guidance to President Ben Shelly as he seeks to fulfill a campaign promise to develop a 10-year wellness plan to alleviate some of the most chronic problems on the reservation, including diabetes and alcoholism, and make everyone healthier.

Hers is a position that was held before by only one person – the late Dr. Taylor McKenzie.

McKenzie, the first Navajo to earn a medical degree, was appointed the tribe’s chief medical officer in 2006 and served in that capacity until his death on April 13, 2007. The position has been unfilled since then, primarily because the tribe was never able to find a Navajo physician willing to accept the job.

“I was offered the job several years ago,” said Chacon, but she was then serving as director of the Center for Native American Health, an organization she helped create at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She is currently on sabbatical from that position.

Chacon is Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan). Her chei is Tachii’nii (Red Running into Water Clan) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Kinlichii’nii (Red House).

Born and raised in Chinle, she knew from an early age that she wanted to do something with science, inspired by a book her father, Frank Dinéyazhe, brought home when she was 5 or 6 years old.

Her father, who is now retired, worked for the BIA and one of his duties was to burn discarded equipment. But when the load contained books, she said, he couldn’t bring himself to burn them so he would bring them home for his children to read.

10/27/2011 Navajo Times: Bogus bonuses – 2 Tuba City officials removed for scamming illegal bonuses

10/27/2011 Navajo Times: Bogus bonuses – 2 Tuba City officials removed for scamming illegal bonuses By Bill Donovan, Special to the Times: Two officials for Toh Nanees Dizi Chapter has been removed from office in the investigation into five officials accused of illegally paying themselves bonuses totaling over $80,000. Jimmy Holgate, who served on the chapter governing council, was removed on Tuesday when he failed to show up for a hearing before the Office of Hearings and Appeals. The hearing included witnesses who had traveled all of the way from Tucson. As a result of the default judgment, Holgate will have to reimburse the chapter $7,644 and cannot run for public office for five years.

Last week, Helen Herbert came to the tribe’s ethics Office and admitted she had defrauded the chapter.

She too was on the governing council. She agreed to reimburse the chapter $10,000 by paying $200 a month to the Ethics Office.

That still leaves the top three chapter officials facing hearings.

Robert Yazzie, council vice president, was scheduled to go before OHA on Oct. 20. He is accused of illegally taking $20,180.

Council President Max Goldtooth is scheduled to have a hearing Nov. 9 on charges of misappropriating $17,200.

The hearing for Secretary-Treasurer Charlene Nez, who is accused of taking $26,668, is scheduled Nov. 30.

All five are accused of giving themselves illegal bonuses for doing ordinary chapter business. For example, each got a $3,000 Christmas bonus as well as anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for signing ordinary resolutions approved by the chapter.

The charges filed by the Ethics Office said the officials also violated tribal law by failing to present the payments for approval by chapter members before the checks were issued