June 18-29: Native American Health Sciences Institute slated at WSU Spokane

By Addy Hatch, College of Nursing

SPOKANE, Wash. – For more than two decades, WSU has hosted Native American and Alaska Native teenagers for a summer camp to expose them to careers in the health sciences.

The 22nd annual Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute will be held June 18-29 on the WSU Spokane campus.

Emma Noyes, interim director of Native American Health Sciences at WSU, said 24 campers representing 20 tribal nations will attend the camp.

Among the workshops planned for campers are pharmacy compounding; nursing skills (including an introduction to the high-tech nursing simulation lab); dental hygiene and dentistry; a tour of the anatomy lab; CPR/first aid training; and a session on applying for scholarships. They’ll also take field trips, produce a talent show and have lots of opportunities for physical activities like Zumba, rock climbing, and yoga.

Many campers who’ve participated in the past have gone on to health-sciences careers, Noyes said.

“Native American communities in both rural and urban settings are facing health provider workforce shortages,” Noyes said. “Na-ha-shnee aims to inspire the Native American health leaders of the future, who will be committed to improving health and wellness in high need areas.”

The program is open to Native American and Alaska Native students in grades 9-11, who have a GPA of 3.0 or above and an interest in health sciences as a profession. Sponsors cover the cost of the camp, though campers are responsible for their transportation to and from Spokane. Programs are held on the WSU Spokane campus, and campers stay in dorm rooms on the nearby Gonzaga University campus.

Sponsors include: the WSU College of Nursing Trude Smith Endowment; WSU College of Medicine; Muckleshoot Indian Tribe; Snoqualmie Tribe; David and Dorothy Pierce Trust; Tulalip Tribes; STCU; and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Camas Path Behavioral Health Program and Camas Center Recreation & Fitness Program.


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