Indian Health Pathway (IHP)
Certificate Program for Medical Students:
IHP provides a path for Native medical students to stay connected to their community while enhancing opportunities for Native and non-Native medical students alike to learn how to integrate their American Indian/Alaska Native patients’ cultural, spiritual and traditional needs into the health care relationship.
The Indian Health Pathway is under the direction of Jason Deen, MD, (Blackfeet). Dr. Deen is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington Medical Center, respectively, in the Divisions of Cardiology. He is a graduate of the Indian Health Pathway through the Center of American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is an active participant in the Strong Heart Study, a large epidemiologic study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in reservation-bound American Indians. Dr. Deen’s main research interest is cardiovascular health disparities in American Indian communities and cardiovascular risk stratification in American Indian youth.
History and Vision
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities are some of the most underserved minority groups in the nation. The IHP provides medical students with the necessary information and experiences to make them better practitioners in urban and reservation-based AI/AN communities.
IHP was established in 1992 through the leadership and efforts of Dr. Walt Hollow (Assiniboine-Sioux), the first Native American to graduate from the medical school. The IHP provides a unique educational experience for medical students to learn how to provide culturally proficient care for AI/AN patients through the use of specialized lecture series, community events, immersion clinical experiences in medical practices that serve the AI/AN communities, and other opportunities to participate in the practices and traditions that are core to the AI/AN ways of life. IHP is also unique in that it utilizes a number of AI/AN faculty and community leaders who have had a vast amount of collective experience in working directly with Native populations to teach these components.
• Prepare both Native and non-Native medical students for careers in AI/AN health
• Encourage research on AI/AN health issues
• Enhance curriculum on AI/AN health issues at the University of Washington School of Medicine
About our logo
The logo was originally created for the Native American Center of Excellence (NACOE) by Artist and Storyteller Roger Fernandez. It was designed to represent the cultures of the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest.
The overall circular shape of the design can represent either a spindle whorl, used by the Coast Salish tribes, or a hoop or shield, used by the Plateau and Plains cultures. The design running vertically through the center of the circle in a parfleche design is from the Plateau/Plains cultures.
In each half of the circle are eagle designs from the north and south of the Pacific Northwest Coast region. At the bottom of the circle are two eagle feathers. The eagle imagery is symbolic of protection of the physical and spiritual aspects of Native culture.