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WSU offers certificate for providers who care for Native patients

Jerry Crowshoe will teach one of the courses in WSU's new Native American health certificate.
Screenshot from WSU Native American Health Sciences video
Jerry Crowshoe will teach one of the courses in WSU's new Native American health certificate.

Washington State University is offering health care professionals training in hopes of improving care for Native American patients. It has created an online certificate program that’s available for the first time this summer.

WSU’s four-course, nine-month series provides a holistic look at Native health care, says Jerry Crowshoe, the assistant director of the university’s Native American Health Sciences Program.

“It’s more about the culture part of it, getting that rapport before the client comes in so that when your client, or patient, comes in, you have a lot of history in your tool belt. You’ve got a better understanding of who those people were, where they came from," he said.

The program has components specifically related to health care, focusing on Native health trends. It also offers lessons about American history and policy as they relate to Indian tribes.

Crowshoe says the program is relevant to any provider who interacts with Native patients.

“There’s a lot of different tribal members living in Spokane that are seeking care and services and all these different hospitals and clinics that are in our area and non-Native. We want to be able to provide an opportunity for them to be able to get good quality care and start decreasing those health disparities in Indian country, you know?” he said.

Crowshoe says one of the goals is to help health professionals gain the trust of their indigenous patients – which can lead to better health outcomes.

The eight week classes are fully online. People can sign up between now and August 18.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.