Program to draw Native Americans into health care fields

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) - A federal grant of nearly $450,000 will help the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine provide career and academic mentoring to high school students on two of the state’s Native American reservations.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funding will help the medical school assist students at Red Cloud High School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Wagner Community School on the Yankton Indian Reservation.

Associate dean for diversity and inclusion Gerald Yutrzenka says the Native American Healthcare Scholars Program is a part of the school’s strategic diversity plan, helping USD to further diversify health care professions.

The program helps identify, mentor and encourage young Native American students to pursue careers in health care. It begins this year and will continue into 2020.

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