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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Vicki Lynn Pinkham
UCONJ 530
Seattle Campus

Issues in Indian Health

Surveys historical and contemporary issues in Indian health. Covers Indian contributions to health, traditional Indian medicine, current disease epidemiology, development of federal Indian health policy, the Indian Health Service, tribal health programs, and consequences of major legislation on Indian health. Prerequisite: current health science student or permission of instructor.

Class description

As future healthcare providers, it is essential that you have a profound knowledge of health issues and policies which may impact your patients and your practice. UCONJ 530 is designed to intensify your understanding and knowledge of historical and contemporary issues in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Health. It is developed to help any health sciences student interested in AI/AN Health further explore the AI/AN contributions to healthcare: traditional AI/AN Medicine, current disease epidemiology, development of Federal Indian Health Policy, the Indian Health Service, Tribal Health programs, and consequences of major legislation on AI/AN Health.

TO PASS THE COURSE STUDENTS MUST: staff an information booth at the UW-Winter powwow, Saturday, February 25, 2012; for four hours between 9 AM to 8 PM. Location: Indian Heritage High School/Wilson Pacific Gym: 1330 N. 90th Street, Seattle Wa

Student learning goals

Understand the historical background of Federal Policy toward AI/AN emphasizing health issues with a gradual progression toward present day AI/AN health policy

Enable the student to analyze and determine the intent of past legislation on AI/AN health programs, as well as current AI/AN Health policies and programs

Analyze the historical development, purposes and functionality of the Indian Health Services (IHS)

Examine the purposes and functions of Reservation/Tribal Health programs, Urban Indian Health programs, and Federal and State health programs and analyze how they relate to the IHS and determine what effects they have on AI/AN Health Care

Understand the major diseases and causes of mortality affecting AI/ANs in the past, present, and future. Compare the current status of Indian Health with other minority and non-native populations Enable students to identify and define the nature of programs, recommended solutions, and determine future directions for AI/AN health care.

Understand Traditional Indian Medicine (TIM) and its current use in the care of AI/AN Health problems along with modern Western Medicine and gain an appreciation for AI/AN contributions to modern medicine and health

General method of instruction

Various guest speakers who specialize in their topics will share their knowledge with students, starting with Paleopathology, pre/post Columbian era, Historical Trauma, Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, and Traditional Indian Medicine, Cancer, Diabetes and the challenges of serving the growing population of Urban Indians, and Best Practices for Urban, Tribal 638 and Indian Health Services (U/T/I)

Recommended preparation

An understanding of Traditions, Values, Spiritual and Healing the whole person, as opposed to (just) healing the disease

Class assignments and grading

Two written assignments are required to receive credit. The first paper will be a two-three page reflection paper on the winter powwow. This will be due in class after the powwow. The second paper is due the last day of class. All written papers (except #4) should be 2 to 3 pages long, double space, and 12 point font with one-inch margins. Students may choose from one of the following formats, or may propose their own project with the approval of the instructor: 1. A concise review of a journal article from the medical literature relevant to a health or health care issue in the AI/AN community 2. A reflective essay exploring a particular aspect of the AI/AN health issue-it would be preferable here to focus on a strengths perspective (i.e., What characteristic’s does the AI/AN community possess that has helped it to survive and thrive through adversity? Give an example that illustrates this characteristic. How, if at all, does this improve your clinical practice?) 3. A report describing a community event attended during the quarter –what did you see, hear, and feel? How will this experience impact your clinical practice? 4. A pamphlet or brochure on a health issue for AI/patients that is appropriate for use in a clinic or community activist organization

50% Attendance and participation 25% Written Assignment 25% Community Service Events

Attendance will be taken and you are expected to attend classes. However, you are allowed to miss 1 class (unless extenuating circumstances–you need to discuss with course director) Expected to start on-time.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
For more info or add codes: vp@uw.edu
Last Update by Vicki Lynn Pinkham
Date: 08/22/2012