Health Sciences Institute welcomes Native American students

By Kevin Dudley, WSU Spokane

health-sciences-institute-webSPOKANE, Wash. – The 20th annual Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute – a 12-day summer camp for Native American and Alaska Native high school students interested in health science careers – will be on the WSU Spokane campus June 21-July 2.

Twenty-five high school students representing 19 different tribal backgrounds and three states – Washington, Oregon and Arizona – will learn about the health sciences programs offered at WSU Spokane and hear from past Na-ha-shnee participants.

“Native American and Alaska Native communities tend to have limited access to health care and Native people are underrepresented in all health professions,” said Emma Noyes, outreach coordinator for the WSU Native American health sciences program and Na-ha-shnee camp director. “This camp exposes students to a variety of health care careers, and students will participate in more than 70 hours of workshops and training.”

The camp is designed to inspire and prepare the future health leaders of both urban and reservation communities. It also helps prepare attendees for the college application process.

The program – which began in 1995 – provides hands-on learning experiences taught by health care providers and WSU staff and faculty. The camp offers courses in first aid and CPR training, basic nursing skills, traditional medicine, pharmacy, anatomy, diabetes prevention and more.

A closing banquet on July 1 will feature guest speaker Hailey Wilson, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe from Lapwai, Idaho, who attended Na-ha-shnee in 2003. She is a first-year medical resident at Swedish Cherry Hill Family Medicine in Seattle.

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Puyallup Tribe of Indians and Tulalip Tribes, as well as the Trude E. Smith Funds, sponsor the institute.

Find more information on WSU’s Native American health sciences program at


Emma Noyes, WSU Native American health sciences, 509-324-7215,
Kevin Dudley, WSU Spokane communications, 509-358-7528,