Center for Native American Health Opens January 2021
The Center for Native American Health is slated for completion on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus in January 2021 with the hope for a grand opening late spring or late summer (August)
The Center supports students who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) or as First Nations indigenous, AND peers, faculty and staff colleagues, tribal partners, and community stakeholders are invited to visit and partake in enriched cultural and educational events.
The Center is unique in that it offers:
Its own Native American-developed and culturally based clinical patient exam room with telehealth and educational opportunities from NA providers and clinicians, WSU faculty from across the three health science colleges, and IPE engagement between students and faculty. In the future, indigenous patients can use the space to share their views of clinical communication and exchange.
Indoor and outdoor healing elements to meet the unique needs of indigenous students, staff, and faculty.
Culturally based design elements representing health and healing (i.e. colors and balance of the medicine wheel, waterfall element, etc.)
Multi-purpose space to spur student success
The Center will offer:
3 smart rooms with 55” monitors, computer/Wi-Fi access, OWL technology for Zoom and recording capacity
6 statin PC lab with free faxing, scanning, and printing
Clinical skills patient exam room with telehealth/education capacity
Mentorship from faculty and peers
Advisement by Center staff
Research and scholarly project opportunities
Scholarships & emergency Funds
Experiential learning opportunities
Healing gardens in outdoor space
Healing elements indoors (herbs, water and cultural elements)
Kitchen with island, theatre-sized popcorn maker, coffee and drink station, fridge, sink, microwave, and other appliances
Indoor gathering space with large TV monitor for meetings
Additional seating and studying areas
Children’s play area
Cultural events, both traditional and educational
Lockers for student storage, restrooms, filtered drinking station
5’ digital screen providing event updates, news, etc as it pertains to NAHS and the Center
Front desk student service support personnel
The 2020 Empire Health Foundation InHealth grant helped make the Center possible with $115k in contributions.
During COVID restrictions, the Center will still be able to:
Provide tele-educational and experiential opportunities with providers from the patient exam room for students who need hours toward matriculation requirements of programs.
Provide tele-educational and cultural opportunities from the Center kitchen with food and traditional meal preparation (on Zoom).
Provide advisement, mentoring, and other student support access online.
The project lead on this Center project is WSU Health Sciences Spokane’s Kendra Kurz, who is working with the NAHS team, including Director, Naomi Bender, to design the space and make every effort possible to meet the unique and cultural needs of students. Other key staff working on this project are Jon Schad, WSU Health Sciences Spokane Facilities and Operations, and Daren Noe, WSU Health Sciences Spokane Information Technology Services, who is helping design study and telehealth/education spaces. The Center is also supported by a cohort of tribal providers/clinicians/officials and faculty from the three colleges to help design the patient exam room.
The Center’s Student Support Service Manager is Evanlene Melting Tallow, who will be in charge of the daily operations of the Center and students.
The Center plans to grow in year 2021, with a:
Tribal-Community Partner Initiative arm that provides opportunities to work with tribal communities, partners, clinics, and other stakeholders to support tribal community health outcomes (whether that’s in research, community projects, or even student-driven scholarly projects).
With this extension is a request for space for tribal partners, to include faculty working on native health research initiatives and projects at WSU, to gather (with tele capacity) and work toward WSU’s land grant mission of providing service and response to tribal communities.