State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has appointed Tulsa pediatrician Dr. Runako Whittaker to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Board of Directors.
“I am honored to be appointed to the TSET Board of Directors and look forward to making an impact on the health of all Oklahomans,” Whittaker said.
Dr. Whittaker has practiced pediatrics in the north Tulsa community for more than two decades and has served as the pediatrician and medical director of Westview Pediatric Care since 2012. She is a member of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, the Oklahoma Black Physicians Alliance, the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a board member of the Heather Burns Memorial Scholarship Fund. Whittaker is also the recipient of numerous honors, including the Women of Color Expo – Tulsa Woman of The Year in 2018.
“As a veteran pediatrician active in improving the health of children in our state, Dr. Whittaker will bring an important perspective to the TSET Board of Directors,” Hofmeister said. “Her influence and expertise will have a meaningful impact on the wellbeing of Oklahomans, especially our youngest citizens. It’s my honor to appoint Dr. Whittaker to this important role.”
Dr. Whittaker represents the 1st congressional district in Oklahoma, replacing Casey Killblane, TSET Board Member for the past 18 years. As specified in the Oklahoma Constitution, the TSET Board of Directors is comprised of seven appointees with at least one member from each congressional district and no more than two from any single district.
“We look forward to the expertise and experience that Dr. Whittaker brings to the TSET Board of Directors,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “TSET has made targeted investments in preventing and reducing tobacco use, vapor use and obesity in young people. Dr. Whittaker will be an asset in guiding those strategic efforts.”
The TSET endowment invests a portion of the payments received by the State of Oklahoma as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. Earnings from the endowment fund TSET grants and programs aimed at improving the health of Oklahomans.