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ATSU / DIVERSITY / ORGANIZATIONS / National Center for American Indian Health Professions

Helping future indigenous healthcare providers thrive

The American Indian and Alaska Native communities are among the most underserved in terms of healthcare. To help address this great need and building on its long tradition of working closely with these communities, A.T. Still University (ATSU) created the National Center for American Indian Health Professions (NCAIHP) as a way to develop outreach to American Indian and Alaska Native high school and college students, with the goal of sparking interest in healthcare careers.

NCAIHP provides prospective American Indian and Alaska Native students with healthcare career advising, assistance with admissions applications, financial advising, academic support, and more. NCAIHP is dedicated to helping American Indians and Alaska Natives to become physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals.

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathic medicine and ATSU, of mixed American Indian heritage, was influenced by the healing traditions of the local Shawnee Indians in Kansas. In 1835, Dr. Still learned the native Shawnee language while assisting his father in treating the Shawnee Indians at the Wakarusa Mission in Kansas. In 1892, when Dr. Still opened what is now ATSU, he used the simplicity of the Shawnee communication of “objects not words” to take an Indian approach to teaching by deep observation without the distraction of language. Dr. Still’s founding concepts of body, mind, and spirit along with the body’s natural ability to heal itself remain closely aligned with American Indian and Alaska Native traditional healing.

Current American Indian and Alaska Native students attending ATSU benefit from academic and personal support, cultural connectivity, and mentorship through NCAIHP. By working closely with academic programs, NCAIHP serves to provide students with the opportunities to successfully complete their education and, in turn, provide healthcare services to underserved communities.

ATSU NCAIHP offers a mentor program connecting high school and college students to ATSU alumni who can answer questions and help find volunteer opportunities in healthcare. Alumni are also invited back to campus as both honored speakers and guests for continuing education opportunities.

From admissions to graduation and beyond, ATSU’s NCAIHP serves all American Indian and Alaskan Native students needing and seeking support to become academically and personally successful.