OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt introduced a new Interim Commissioner of Health on Friday.
Stitt announced Colonel Lance Frye, M.D., as the Interim Commissioner of Health, and he will begin leading the Oklahoma State Department of Health as interim commissioner effective immediately.
Frye is from Lindsay, Oklahoma and currently lives in Tulsa.
“Col. Frye is a proven leader and highly qualified medical expert who has faithfully served our country and state with a focus on the health of those around him for over 25 years,” said Stitt. “As a respected health care professional who has vast experience operating under pressure, I have full faith in his ability to continue upon the momentum we have seen OSDH undergo over the past seven months and lead this critical agency as we respond to the worst pandemic in a century.”
Frye currently serves as the interim department chair, residence program director and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, and State Air Surgeon for the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
He said he is not sure if he will step down as interim department chair.
Frye said serving others is in his DNA.
“Thank you Governor Stitt and Secretary Loughridge for trusting me to serve in this role at such a critical time in our state’s history,” said Frye. “Governor Stitt has said his number one goal is to protect the health and lives of Oklahomans, and that is a mission I am honored to carry out. We are all in this together, and I am confident we will continue the great progress we have made in our fight against COVID-19.”
As State Air Surgeon, Frye is the OKANG senior medical officer and adviser to The Adjutant General of Oklahoma for all OKANG medical issues.
He entered the United States Air Force in 2005 after receiving his commission through the Officer Training Corps.
After completing Commissioned Officer Training, he attended Aerospace Medicine training at Brooks AFB where he was recognized as the Honor Graduate.
He entered active duty Air Force as a flight surgeon at Nellis AFB, later transitioning to the Air National Guard and moving to Tulsa in 2010.
Frye received his Doctorate in Medicine from Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, in Loma Linda, California, in 1993. He completed an internship in Family Medicine in 1994 and a residency in Obstestrics and Gynecology in 1997. Frye completed additional training in Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at The University of California in 1998.
After practicing medicine for several years, Frye’s desire to serve his country led him to join the Air Force in 2005.
He deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
He has served in multiple areas of expertise in deployed environments including flight surgeon at contingency aeromedical staging facility, a gynecologic surgeon, combat search and rescue, and casualty evacuation in the highest threat environment of Afghanistan in spring 2008.