American Indian youth encouraged to consider healthcare careers at summit on April 15

AIYWS_Logo_Final-01Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan to address youth in their medical lab coats at end of day

Hennepin Healthcare’s Talent Garden series continues its successful outreach to young people with its American Indian Youth with Stethoscopes Summit on Saturday, April 15 from 9-3:15 p.m. American Indian men and women ages 12-18 who are interested in learning about healthcare careers have filled all of the slots for this summit – the first one that is specific for American Indian youth.

“Nearly a third are from out of town – and at last count, we have 28 tribal affiliations among the registrants from Minnesota and Wisconsin,” explains Aida Strom (Sisitowan Wahpetowan Dakota), Health Equity Community Engagement Program Manager at Hennepin Healthcare.  “Each of our Youth Summit participants receives a white lab coat with his or her name embroidered on it – and for this event, we’re also including their tribal affiliation. We are so excited about the outpouring of interest for this event and hope that it’s indicative of the future of our healthcare workforce.”

Dr. Thomas Wyatt (Shawnee/Quapaw), Senior Medical Director of Emergency Services at Hennepin Healthcare, is one of the panelists who will meet with every one of the student groups throughout the day.

“We need more American Indian representation in healthcare. We have a long history of caring for others – and we can all make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s as a physician, a nurse, a technician role – everyone has an essential purpose in the health and wellbeing of our patients. We are honored to be here to encourage and support our future healthcare colleagues.”

Similar to the other Youth Summits, the American Indian Youth with Stethoscopes Summit will begin with a keynote speaker (Dr. Mary Owen from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth) and introduction of panelists who will share their experience and tips for pursuing a career in healthcare. Participants will rotate in groups to experience hands-on learning activities throughout various stations in dentistry, ultrasound, dermatology, pathology, and in the Simulation Center caring for “patients” as they deliver babies and stitch wounds.

Panelists also include Dr. Casey Dorr from Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, and medical students of the U of M Med School chapter of ANAMS (the Association of Native American Medical Students)  whose U of M chapter leaders have embraced the event and will also escort students throughout the day. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has also greatly contributed to the success of this event.

“This Summit will differ from others as we incorporate traditional indigenous practices into the day,” said Strom. “We will open with a traditional prayer offered in the morning, and later, we will be entertained with traditional dancers and drums. Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan will conclude our day with a sendoff speech when we reconvene as a group at 2:30 p.m.”

What:             American Indian Youth with Stethoscopes Summit
When:            Saturday, April 15, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Where:           Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinic & Specialty Center
715 S. 8th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Free parking is available in the ramp beneath the clinic building; entrance is located at 821 S. Park Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55404

The American Indian Youth with Stethoscopes Summit is part of a series of initiatives and events organized by Hennepin Healthcare through its Talent Garden program to expose youth to careers in medicine, while connecting youth to high quality work-based learning opportunities and creating access to a network of healthcare professionals of color.