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Native American, Alaska Native high schoolers learn about health sciences

Seventeen Native American and Alaska Native high school students from multiple states are on the Spokane campus through Friday exploring health sciences as part of the 24th annual Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute.

During the 12-day event, which concludes June 28 with an awards ceremony, students learn about a wide range of health sciences topics and receive college admissions information. In addition to being fully immersed in scientific challenges within each of the colleges, students are receiving hands-on learning experiences taught by health care providers, faculty at WSU Health Sciences Spokane and health sciences college students.

Topics include anatomy training with the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, as well as timely information on opioid addiction and response; basic nursing skills training and simulation experience with the College of Nursing, and a visit to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ compounding lab.

Students will receive CPR and first aid certification and visit research labs, including the Sleep and Performance Research Center on campus. They also take a day trip to the Kalispel Tribe’s Camas Path North Wellness Center.

Students also gain exposure to Eastern Washington University’s dental hygiene, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs, as well as Gonzaga University’s bacteriophage lab.

To help students earn Career and Technical Education (CTE) credits for their participation, WSU Health Sciences Spokane partners with Spokane Public Schools’ NEWTECH Skills Center. The students are eligible to receive 65 CTE credits specific to instructional hours during Na-ha-shnee.

The following sponsors make Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute possible: David and Dorothy Pierce Trust, Eastern Washington Area Health Education Center, Lummi Indian Tribe, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Trude Smith Scholarship, Recruitment, and Retention Endowment held at the WSU, and Wells Fargo.