Native American, Alaska Native high school students explore careers in health sciences at Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute

Native Americans students observing a medical procedure.
Participants in the 2017 Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute

SPOKANE, Wash. – Seventeen Native American and Alaska Native high school students from multiple states will attend the 24th annual Na-ha-shnee Summer Institute at WSU Health Sciences Spokane, June 16 – 28. Attendees are heading into their sophomore, junior or senior years of high school and plan to pursue careers in the health sciences.

During the 12-day event, 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 receive 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 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.

Media are invited to participate in any facet of the 12-day event, especially the closing banquet on June 28, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the south campus building (campus map), which includes an award ceremony and presentations to the WSU Health Sciences Spokane Native American Health Sciences Tribal Advisory Board, as well as faculty, staff, and family members of participants.

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