Lauren Bristow finds
the opportunity to serve fellow Tribal members every day rewarding.
Oklahoma Magazine recently named Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Health Services Director of Clinical Operations, Lauren Bristow,
as one of the top 40 young professionals in Oklahoma. The publication
recognizes 40 individuals annually who "reach beyond the expected"
and make a positive impact in their communities and state as a whole.
"I was so surprised and humbled that I would even be considered,"
Since joining CPN's workforce fall 2019, she has served on the
frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. She worked closely with
fellow CPNHS leadership to organize COVID-19 testing and vaccination
drives while also helping the Tribe's clinics maintain operation.
"It's certainly a change from day-today health care operations,
which constantly evolves anyway," Bristow said. "It has been a challenge,
but I couldn't ask for a better team. We have an absolutely wonderful
When the COVID-19 vaccines first became available, finding opportunities
to receive an inoculation proved difficult for some people. The
chance her career provides to help the Nation serve its fellow citizens
and the community at large is gratifying for the Pottawatomie County
"It's been incredibly touching," Bristow said. "We've had seniors
who struggled to be able to find a vaccine just completely breakdown,
and that's heartbreaking to see that.
But, we've been able
to help them.
"There have also been Tribal members who have came from Texas,
Mississippi and Colorado who were very thankful to the Tribe to
be able to have access."
Bristow delivers key management and oversight that keeps CPN's
two clinics, imaging center, chiropractic care facility and more
"It's important to understand how each position impacts the bigger
picture. It's important to know what your front desk does, what
your business office, your medical team does all of those
pieces are necessary to make a clinic run," she explained.
Reducing Native Americans' health disparities, supporting philanthropic
efforts and ensuring her children carry on Potawatomi culture are
some of Bristow's main passions.
"I was brought up to honor my heritage and understand my heritage,
and so it's important to me that (my children) are able to see that.
I feel like I am honoring my family by doing that," she said.
Bristow enjoys learning beadwork techniques with her daughter and
hopes both her children continue the Toupin family's tradition of
"I feel very honored to be able to give back to my Tribe," she
said. "My grandparents were very involved, and so I feel very honored
to be able to impact my Tribal community and the community I grew
up in, even Shawnee as a whole."
View all of this year's 40 under 40 nominees at cpn.news/u40,
and learn more about CPNHS at cpn.news/clinics.