A two-year, $70,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation will help support a popular Medical School program that encourages American Indian students to enter health-care careers and continues to support them once they’re enrolled.
The Center of American Indian and Minority Health (CAIMH), which has offices on the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses, is one of four Native American Centers of Excellence nationwide devoted to preparing American Indian physicians to address health disparities in American Indian communities. It lost 83 percent of its budget—more than $1 million—due to federal program cuts last fall (see “Preserving a critical pathway” in the fall 2006 Medical Bulletin ).
CAIMH director Joycelyn Dorscher, M.D., says the grant will help continue some of the center’s programs that might otherwise have been eliminated because of the cuts. “We appreciate foundations like Otto Bremer that recognize they can have an impact on educating Native American students who return to their communities, deliver culturally sensitive medicine, and, ultimately, improve the health of the underserved Native American population,” she says.
Kaying Hang, Otto Bremer Foundation program officer, says supporting the CAIMH program fits the foundation’s mission to help people achieve full economic, civic, and social participation for the betterment of their communities. “In examining the needs of the center,” Hang says, “we recognized that we could contribute to both educational needs and health needs in a way that will make a difference for these medical students and the people they will ultimately serve in Native American communities.”