The interim regional administrative director for the Osage County Health Department said last week that efforts are being made to resolve technical issues and hire new personnel so that a satellite office can open in Skiatook.


Interim Director Kelli Rader, who is based in Stillwater, clarified during a telephone interview Friday that she still does not have a target date set for the opening of the Skiatook satellite office, but she said the process of hiring personnel has begun.


She said the health department was in the process of setting up interviews for applicants for an administrative assistant position that will serve both the Pawhuska and Skiatook offices.


“That’s a very big position in a county health department,” Rader said, voicing excitement about having candidates for the job. She also mentioned that preparations were being made to fill an administrative tech position and a nursing position that would serve the new Skiatook satellite office.


Rader said the health department is working with the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and with AT&T to resolve technical issues related to communications for the new office. OMES provides an array of services to Oklahoma government offices, including information technology services.


Skiatook has become a significant population and commercial center for southeast Osage County. The community straddles the Osage-Tulsa county boundary and had an estimated population of slightly more than 7,900 people in 2017. City Manager Dan Yancey recently told the Journal-Capital he thinks around 7,000 of those people live in the Osage County portion of the community. A satellite health department office in Skiatook will also be closer to the Osage County portion of Sperry than is Pawhuska.