National Medical Fellowships (NMF) has presented a 2001 Community Service Award to Dr. Walter Hollow, clinical associate professor of family medicine. Hollow, who directs the Native American Center of Excellence in the School of Medicine’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, received the award Dec. 3 at the NMF Annual Awards Gala in New York City.
NMF is a nonprofit organization working to improve access to, and quality of, health care in underserved communities by increasing the numbers of minority physicians, educators, researchers, policymakers and health-care administrators.
Hollow, a former NMF scholar, is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. In 1975 he became the first Native American to graduate from the UW School of Medicine. He completed UW residency training in 1978. Hollow studies chronic diseases among urban Indians and researches traditional Indian medicine.
He also directs the Native American Center of Excellence at the UW medical school. One component of this center is the Indian Health Pathway, a series of courses, clinical training and research opportunities in Indian health issues.
Another component is the Medicine Wheel Society, a group of health sciences students, pre-medical students, and alumni who meet for mutual support and to serve Native populations. These service activities include a dinner for local elders, projects at the Seattle Indian Health Board, and free sports physicals at the Indian Heritage School.
The pathway and the society attract both Native and non-Native students. To honor these students at graduation, Hollow has hosted blanket ceremonies at his home.