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Native American Health Sciences

About Us

Since 1995, WSU Health Sciences Spokane has been active in recruiting Native Americans students to health care fields through these two programs – a student recruitment and retention program, and a two-week summer institute for Native American high school students.

Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute

Each summer, WSU Health Sciences Spokane hosts Native American high school students for a week or more to introduce them to the health sciences programs on campus and the potential careers they can pursue. Learn More

STEAM Summer Research Institute

The Native STEAM Summer Research Institute is a three-week summer program for Native American and Alaska Native students who are interested in pursuing a career and education in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) area. Throughout the three weeks, students will participate in research laboratories on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus, gaining exposure to the STEAM fields and interacting with experts and leaders in the field. Activities at the STEAM Institute will include: basic lab safety, microscopy and histology, imaging, mass spectrometry, and biomedical design and engineering. The Institute will also incorporate traditional learning and cultural activities throughout the three weeks.

Learn More

INMED Reimagine Indians Into Medicine (RISE)

June 22 – July 31, 2020

The RISE Summer Academy, a six-week program, will be open to 15 American Indian Alaskan Native (AIAN) enrolled members of federally recognized tribes or descendants.

Focus of the RISE Summer Academy:

  • MCAT Prep
  • Supplemental Basic Science Refresher
  • Cultural Engagement and Community Building
  • Medical Student Mentors

Learn More

Student Spotlights

Learn about some of our Native students!
Find all Student Spotlights here.

Lauren SanfordLauren Sanford
Graduate Student, Speech and Hearing Sciences



Native American Recruitment and Retention Program

nahashnee.feature2The Native American Recruitment and Retention Program (NARR) was implemented at WSU in 1995 to increase the number of Native American nurses. The program successfully contributed to the graduation of more than 60 nurses during its first 18 years, and had recruited Native American students to pursue the highest levels of nursing degrees available (Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing). After graduation, most nurses returned to their tribes or went to work in clinical settings that predominately serve Native Americans.

Today, the NARR program has expanded its focus to increase the number of Native American students entering all health science careers.

The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine boasts the Indians into Medicine Program (INMED).

Board Members

Learn about the Native American Health Sciences Advisory Board.


Flour Sacks: A Memoir
By Naomi Bender for Washington State Magazine

Good medicine
By Brian Clark for Washington State Magazine

Reimagine Indians into Medicine: 15 students to be given upper hand for med school
By Loren Negron, The Daily Evergreen

WSU works to become more welcoming to Native students on its Spokane campus
By Doug Nadvornick, Spokane Public Radio

Changing the face of health care
By WSU News