Chickasaw Nation Lt. Governor honored by SOSU

This article appeared in the November 2023 edition of the Chickasaw Times

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) honored Chickasaw Nation Lt. Governor Chris Anoatubby during homecoming festivities Sept. 22.

Lt. Governor Anoatubby was among eight honored with the Distinguished Alumni award, which recognizes alumni who have attained outstanding achievements and success in their professions and/or have attained outstanding service to their communities.

The award is presented by the university and the Southeastern Alumni Association each year at homecoming during an alumni banquet.

Anoatubby has served as Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 2019.

He has a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, a Master of Business Administration from SOSU and is a registered Doctor of Pharmacy.

Lt. Governor Anoatubby said he was grateful and humbled to receive the Distinguished Alumni award.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition,” he said.

He thanked his family for their support including his parents, brother, wife and children, saying to his parents, “I wouldn’t have gotten such a great start in life without your instruction, and your constant encouragement and support. You will both always be heroes, and I hope this is as honoring to you as it is to me.”

Lt. Governor Anoatubby credited the late Dr. Buddy Gaster, former dean of the John Massey School of Business at SOSU, for recruiting him to pursue his MBA at the university.

He also thanked his colleagues, SOSU officials and the Chickasaw people.

“I couldn’t get far without such a great team and a great tribe to represent. Thank you for this recognition. I hope this honors the Chickasaw people and employees of the Chickasaw Nation.”

Lt. Governor Anoatubby has served the Chickasaw Nation for more than 20 years. He began his career in 1997 as a staff pharmacist with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health and was named inpatient pharmacy supervisor a year later. In 2001, he was named chief of pharmacy services, and in 2010 was promoted to chief medical solutions officer of the Chickasaw Nation and president of the tribe’s Sovereign Medical Solutions.

While serving as under secretary of the department of commerce, Lt. Governor Anoatubby led business diversification efforts in health care, pharmaceutical industries, health information technology and other health-related businesses.

In 2018, he was named deputy secretary for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health. In this role, he served as the chief operating officer for the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, Ardmore Clinic, Tishomingo Clinic and Purcell Clinic.

Lt. Governor Anoatubby and his wife Becky have three children, Brendan, Eryn and Sydney.

Other SOSU Distinguished Alumni award recipients include Wren Baker, vice president and director of athletics at West Virginia University; Billy Jack Bowen, retired high school baseball coach who holds a national record for most career victories; Jeff Frye, professional baseball player; Dr. James Stewart, retired oral maxillofacial surgeon; and Dr. Anthony Waldroup, U.S Air Force flight surgeon.

Two awards were presented posthumously to Capt. Johnathan Benton, airline captain, and Chief Warrant Officer Brady Rudolf, pharmacist and Army National Guard helicopter pilot.

Previous SOSU Distinguished Alumni honorees include former Chickasaw Nation Governor Overton James, Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton and former Chief Greg Pyle, Rep. Charles McCall, who serves as speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, former U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage and entertainer Reba McEntire.