Association of American Indian Physicians Staff


John Stafford, Program Director

John graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University and has twelve years experience in federal grants, contracts and cooperative agreements. John is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. 

Gary Lankford, Program Manager

Gary Lankford has been employed at the Association of American Indian Physicians for just over 7 years now and has worked at AAIP in the areas of diabetes prevention, policy and environmental change, obesity prevention and student programs.  Before AAIP, Gary worked for several years at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.  Currently, Gary is the Program Director for the Advances in Indian Health Care student programs at AAIP.  Gary earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma.

Echo Duerksen, Program Assistant

Echo has been employed with AAIP since January 2011.  During her time at AAIP she has worked on several different projects including the Healthy, Active Native Communities Program, Student Program, and currently the Capacity Building Assistance Program.  Echo graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance in 2006.  Prior to AAIP Echo worked for a financial institution for seven years.  While not working Echo enjoys attending her daughter’s t-ball games, gardening, and cheering on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Echo is a member of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and also of Caddo descent.

Alex Springer, Communication Manager

Alex joined the AAIP team as Media Coordinator in December 2013. Before joining AAIP Alex worked for a local newspaper and covered legislation at the Oklahoma state Capitol. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Alex is a citizen of the Great Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and was elected in July 2013 to serve as Representative to the General Council (the legislative branch of the tribe).

Jamie McDaniel, Program Manager - Million Hearts Project 

Jamie McDaniel began with AAIP working on a CDC funded project called The National Program to Eliminate Diabetes Related Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations.  This program was being implemented in three different American Indian settings: rural, reservation, and urban.  She is now the Program Manager for the AAIP Million Hearts: Hypertension Control Improvement in Indian Country.  She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Texas, and later completed her Master’s of Science degree in Family & Child Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma