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ATSU’s NCAIHP receives $200,000 to recruit native students

MESA, Ariz. – With high rates of chronic illnesses like diabetes, high-blood pressure, and cardiovascular and kidney disease, no group in America has more urgent healthcare needs than American Indians. Compounding the problem is extremely limited access to healthcare and a severe shortage of Native healthcare providers.

Now a $200,000 grant from the Arizona-based Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) will enable A.T. Still University’s National Center for American Indian Health Professions (ATSU-NCAIHP) to help address the problem. Founded in 1892, the university trains 4,000 students in 14 healthcare specialties including medicine, dentistry and physical and occupational therapy at its Mesa, AZ., and Kirksville, MO., campuses. ATSU-NCAIHP is the only graduate university healthcare program dedicated to eliminating the healthcare disparity between Native and other Americans.

The funding will enable ATSU-NCAIHP to launch the Native Early Acceptance Team (NEAT) program. NEAT will provide guidance and support to American Indian students who may be the first in their families to pursue higher education and for whom a four-year college can represent a significant financial hardship. By identifying students early in their academic careers, NEAT will create a pipeline of Native healthcare providers who will return to their communities after graduation. The grant brings to $500,000 the total amount GRIC has given ATSU-NCAIHP for outreach to Arizona’s Native community in just five years.

Through NEAT, A.T. Still University’s National Center for American Indian Health Professions will:

Said Douglas L. Wood, D.O., Ph.D., ATSU’s senior vice president for academic affairs, “The generosity of the Gila River Indian Community will allow ATSU to step up its outreach to the large American Indian community in Arizona and the surrounding states. GRIC is making it possible for ATSU to address the serious healthcare challenges Native communities face and to pursue ATSU’s founding mission of serving the underserved.”

A.T. Still University’s National Center for American Indian Health Professions (ATSU-NCAIHP) is the only graduate university healthcare program dedicated to eliminating the healthcare gap between Native communities and the general population. By encouraging Native students to become medical professionals and to use their skills in the service of their community, ATSU-NCAIHP is fulfilling the university’s mission of serving the underserved. For more information visit http://blogs.atsu.edu/ncaihp.

Founded in 1892, A.T. Still University (ATSU) offers graduate education in 14 healthcare specialties including medicine, dentistry and physical and occupational therapy at its Mesa, AZ., and Kirksville, MO., campuses. With a mission of serving the underserved, ATSU places a particular emphasis on exposing students to populations in need and preparing future graduates to work within those communities. For more information visit www.atsu.edu.

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