American Indians and Alaska Natives into health careers roundtable.


The Indian Health Service (IHS) Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation convened a roundtable on preparing and encouraging American Indian and Alaskan Native youth to enter health care careers. This need was demonstrated by the IHS Quality Management Workshop report, which identified 46 sites as having a severe shortage of health care professionals. The participants discussed the concept of a Dream Catcher Program, which would assist communities in providing for their future by a coordinated effort toward educating their children. The discussion resulted in the development of a three-part plan. The first part, a Pathways Blueprint, provides a map for all levels of the community to ensure that students are supported throughout all phases of their education. It calls for family, community, and educators to work together from the very beginning of a child's education. The second part of the plan involves communication between local, regional, and federal agencies to be overseen by the IHS. The third part of the plan establishes the critical elements in a model community that would ensure the success of an educational empowerment program.